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Integrating Business Systems with Life

Integrating Automated Business Systems with Life

Automated Business Systems

New Years, New Directions….

My mission in 2015 is to bring Automated Business Systems to the forefront of small business owners. I truly believe that many small businesses will continue to struggle in today’s economy without focusing on the future.

My main objective is to introduce the concept of Automated Business Systems so that living the American Dream becomes a reality again.

It’s time to make America great again!

What is an Automated Business System?Small Business Owners

If you’re a small business owner, maybe a business with 10 employees or less, then simply it means a way of conducting the mundane details in the most effective and automated way possible.

For example, you might not know how to integrate your billing systems with your accounting software.

By automating this process, you’re saving yourself hours upon hours of data entry. Sadly, many people, just like you might not even know the first thing when it comes to setting up a financial system to stay on top of your day to day activities.

An automated business system consists of several key components. Just so I can speak in terms that are familiar to you, I’m going to use the body as an analogy.

You’ll have the Brain and Nervous System, the Heart and Circulatory System, the Lungs, the Muscles and the Skeleton.

The body cannot exist if you are missing any of these systems. And the same goes for your business. So let’s get started shall we?

Automated Business System for Busy Small Business OwnersThe Brain: Business Strategy and Execution

Let’s start by asking the question: How does business strategy and execution relate to automated business systems?

It’s quite simple really. Let’s just say that you own a traditional brick and mortar convenience store. A family run corner store perhaps.

The business strategy that business owners have is simply to have the best location possible. Often times it’s a “build it and they will come” strategy.

So as the demographics or competition changes in the neighborhood, the small guy tends to die off.

However, if you’ve created an intelligent business plan, adaptation becomes automatic because the strategy was already there.

Let’s put this into a real life example.

I’ve observed many, many businesses in my neighborhood go out of business within months of opening. Small and large businesses. Franchises and mom and pop shops.

It is very clear to me that these businesses didn’t have the right strategy. Or if they did have the right strategy, that they didn’t execute it well enough.

So let’s just call this store Fran’s Candy Store. Let’s say Fran is the Sole Proprietor and invests her life savings into this dream.

The neighborhood she chooses to open up shop is an up and coming neighborhood with plenty of well to do and middle class folks with a fair amount of disposable income.

In her mind she’d always pictured kids riding their bikes to the candy store getting candy with their allowance money and happily leaving when they bought all the candy that they ever dreamed of.

The business strategy she used was merely based on a “hunch” and “good location” that this candy store would do well.

Well the “hope and pray” approach to business is a recipe for disaster. As you can imagine, this business went belly up in a matter of months.

So what could Fran have done differently?

The answer. Automate her business strategy and execute it.

The way you automate your business strategy is to plan for every conceivable scenario possible. This is not an easy task by any stretch of the imagination.

To Automate Your Business Strategy and Execution Plan Do This:Accounting Systems

  1. Create a Solid Business Plan
  2. Have that Business Plan Evaluated by Accountants, Lawyers and Other Small Business Owners
  3. Create Contingency Plans for Every Worst Case Scenario Possible

These three steps as simple and obvious as they might be are neglected by some of the biggest dreamers in America. When you invest your life savings into a business, you have a sense of excitement and nervousness to want to make that money back. In fact, short cuts are taken, poor and misinformed decisions are made and business failure is inevitable.

I can say this because I’ve had several failed business ventures!

But don’t worry, I’m here to tell you that life goes on and if you keep working at it. Eventually you’ll become the great business owner you’ve always dreamed of becoming.

The Heart: Research and Development

Does it make sense for a traditional brick and mortar, Mom and Pop shop do research and development?

I think the traditionally trained person is going to say no. But after working with and visiting many of these businesses since I’ve been “entrepreneurally aware” (yeah I just made that up), I’ve noticed that many of them have a mindset where they can simply open up shop and they’ve done all of the work.

When in reality they should be consistently researching their target market, looking for trends, evaluating costs, counting profits and coming up with new, fresh, energizing ideas.

What does an automated business system look like in terms of research and development?

For me, it’s having a set of research steps that are used over and over again to find the right mix of products, services or processes that generate maximum revenues and minimize expenses.

Development should be an exact science. For example, have you seen how fast Walmart and build a store? Or have you noticed how fast Apple can produce new iPhones?

The development process is a sequence of steps that are used over and over until the product or service is perfected. This is exactly how small businesses need to think in order to survive.

To Automate Your Research and Development Do This:

  1. Think Like Your Baking a Cake: Compartmentalize Each Step of Research
  2. Don’t Stop Until Your Research is Complete: Make a Note of Each Winner and Loser
  3. Develop Your Ideas Thoroughly and Move Quickly to Test Market
  4. Rinse and Repeat: Don’t Think Just Do

The Lungs: Marketing and Sales

Marketing and sales in my opinion, is where you can have the most fun. But you have to automate the mundane or else you can really end up hating it.

Automating business systems inside of your sales and marketing is actually a lot easier with the internet and the type of technology that’s available.

Like you need air to breathe. You need marketing because it leads to sales. And sales leads to cash. Cash gives businesses life.

Period.

The one thing that I’ve always hated seeing were businesses that went out of business within months. 99% of the time it was because they lacked the capital to stay open long enough to make a profit.

Why?

Because they didn’t build in a marketing budget into their start up costs.

So how do you create an automated business system for marketing and sales?

The #1 Principle is to KNOW THY MARKET!

If I were to ask you who your customer avatar is, you should be able to know them so well, that you know what they had for breakfast.

I’m being dead serious.

This is an afterthought with the traditional brick and mortar business and its brought on because of the “build it and they will come” mentality.

The systematic research of your target market should begin with you identifying who your perfect customer is.

Questions to Ask to Identify Your Customer Avatar

  1. What are their buying preferences?
  2. What demographics do they belong?
  3. Do they have children?
  4. What kind of cars do they drive?
  5. Do they own a home?
  6. Do they have pets?
  7. What kinds of clothes do they wear?
  8. Where do they shop?
  9. What kinds of jobs do they have?
  10. How much money do they make?
  11. Do they own businesses?
  12. Are they self-employed?
  13. Do they have credit cards?
  14. Do their kids go to private school?
  15. What activities do they do in their free time?
  16. Do they travel?
  17. Where do they like to vacation?

I think you get the point.

Remember, this is like air. You need this, so there are no shortcuts for this step. You must identify these people.

Want to know the secret? Go on the internet, take a picture of what you think they might look like and give them a name!

Obviously there’s more to talk about here, so keep your eye out for the links to a more comprehensive training that will change the way you think about your business.

The Intestines: Customer Service

I named this section after what it is. The digestive system. Yes there’s some crap in there, but there’s also the process of giving you energy and life.

When you pick your customers, you can truly design your lifestyle around your business.

Customer service is an overlooked skill in business. Most people picture massive call centers and angry customers.

But it doesn’t have to be that way.

The rule is this, treat your customers well and they will treat you well. My favorite example of the businesses that I hear about are the businesses that make hero’s out of their employee’s customer service experiences.

Where the boundaries of business and humanity blur and the good deed goes more than noticed because of how above and beyond the employee went with serving the customer.

This is a mentality that has to be learned. Automated doesn’t truly describe this the right way. I believe this starts with the right corporate culture that brings the teams to hire ethical, honest people.

People that have integrity.

Integrity to do what’s right without fear of repercussion.

To automate customer service, would be to automate the process and procedures to handle each issue that might come up.

That means being meticulous with the tracking of all interactions with clients.

This not only provides a better customer experience, but it also allows for ample training opportunities for each person to grow.

But to be fair.

Some aspects of customer service really do suck. I mean who wants to deal with an unhappy person!?

I know I don’t. But if I do, I like to treat them with respect. Learn how I can resolve the situation and if possible. Satisfy their needs and make them happier.

The automation of this is simply the following:

  1. Create Exceptional Corporate Culture
  2. The Customer is Only Right When They’re Right
  3. Meticulous Tracking and Training of Each and Every Situation

The Muscles: Finance and Accounting

Business grown is measure in revenues and profits. Just as muscles need to exercise to grow, you need to exercise your financial IQ to grow your business.

Having an automated system built into your business will allow you to be more financially savvy when it comes to the really big and tough decision.

Financial discipline will be an easy decision.

When most people see accounting and finance, they shudder, channel their fears of elementary school where they didn’t want to get called on because they didn’t know the answer, deep seeded embarrassments…

But the reality is that you have to practice reading your financial statements as much as the next guy.

More importantly, you need to make sure that you know where every, last penny is going and where every last penny is coming from.

Most small business owners are not accountants or bookkeepers, nor are they loan officers and underwriters. They’re not lawyers either.

There is a language that’s tough to understand. There’s ratios that tell you how healthy your business is.

There are simple equations that tell you if you should spend or save. Or even make the tough decision of firing the people you love because they work for you and you can’t afford to pay them anymore.

When people think small business accounting systems, they think Quickbooks.

I’m here to change that perception. An accounting system goes beyond the bookkeeping software. You have to go deeper as a small business owner.

Ask the questions:

  1. How are my numbers input into the bookkeeping software?
  2. How do I interpret what my financial statements are telling me?
  3. How do I use my financial statements to make business decisions?

These questions are critical to the design of the finance and accounting systems you have in place. Your life could be a lot harder and you wouldn’t even know it.

Today, you can have your expenses automatically saved and synced to your accounting software, like Quickbooks, and you would be good to go on a daily basis. That’s like having a bookkeeper doing your books without having a bookkeeper.

That’s saving you probably an hour a day.

When you hire a CPA to review your financial statements, they could interpret the story of your financial statements in a way that would help you understand what the heck they’re telling you.

And you should be doing this every single month.

But the question is how do you truly automate the process?

Here’s how you automate your finance and accounting systems:

  1. Choose a Bookkeeping Software
  2. Choose a Receipt/Expense Tracking Software
  3. Hire a CPA

For a list of resources and a more in depth analysis on getting this set up, make sure you keep your eye’s on this post for when I update it with resource links and other articles.

The Skeleton: Foundational Business Principles

Principles are like the body’s skeleton. It forms the shape of the business. A strong skeleton makes a strong body.

The beauty of this is that you can always re-evaluate your business principles when the business isn’t functioning properly.

Sometimes, we make mistakes and our principles don’t align with our goals. This is 100% acceptable ONLY if you work on adapting them to align with your goals, morals and ethics.

I’m not going to pretend that I’m the foremost business expert in the entire world, but I’m a sensible, logical person.

Your business principles should mirror your personal principles. So if you’re wondering what those principles are, you should just look in the mirror to start out with.

Is this a corny perspective? Maybe.

But it’s an honest perspective. I’ve been with companies where I’ve severely questioned the ethics and morals of some of the people there.

It’s a crazy world out there.

At the end of the day. It’s on you to leave a lasting legacy on the world. You can do that by automating your foundational business principles.

The most simple thing to do would be to create 3 to 5 principles that govern all decision made by every single person in the company.

I’ve seen this work flawlessly for a multibillion dollar company and I’ve taken this with me throughout my entire career.

Take a look at the Five Principles of Mars for some inspiration. I can tell you with confidence that you don’t grow to a multibillion dollar company without strong principles.

So….

What do you think? Did you like this post, was it informative? What else would you like to learn? Let me know in the comments below…

Mark Gubuan

E: Support [@] MarkGubuan.com
P: (503) 862-9289
S: Mark.Gubuan

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Like one week long acid trip. That’s how I would feel best describes my mind after going through the immense mental gymnastics that is Tai Lopez’ 67 Steps.

But oh-my-god.

You have to get your eyes and ears on this video program. For $5 bucks you can skip the coffee for one afternoon and get this shit. Like 5 mins ago.

I choose to live a life of abundance and rather than worry about if my competition might get their hands on this, I would rather worry about if you DIDN’T get your hands on this.

Your life is better because of these videos.

Look. I do spend hundreds, if not, thousands of dollars on personal development and other various forms of education for myself and my business.

This is BY FAR one of the best trainings I’ve come across in a LONG, LONG TIME.

ESPECIALLY for the value.

Put it this way. Every time I listen or watch the video training (which is your option by the way), I not only FEEL smarter, I AM smarter.

I can react to my environment differently, I understand the psychology of human beings more.

I can identify weakness, strength and advantages and disadvantages.

Look.

This guy was a millionaire in his 20’s, lives in the Hollywood hills next to Cameron Diaz, Katy Perry and Ben Stiller. He goes to the Berkshire Hathaway meetings. Talks to millionaires and billionaires daily.

He’s a smart dude.

Trust me. Go Here and Get The 67 Steps. You’ll thank yourself later.

Setting You Free,
Mark Gubuan

P.S. The Just Get Money Team is EXPLODING OFF THE MAP get started right here

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Are You Missing The Boat on Email Marketing?

I came across an article on Mashable today and I wanted to share my thoughts on it. In the world of internet marketing, there is an epidemic that’s occurring under the naive, unsuspecting victim. Yeah I said victim.

Hang on a sec! Before you get all pissy about that statement, hear me out.

The internet marketing world is largely a massive cash grab and there is an underworld that most will never see nor realize that it’s even there. This creates victims.

But I digress, I am talking about email marketing and how you can define a successful list using the data that we have provided to you.

Understanding The Uses of Engagement Metrics

Engagement such as open rates and click through rates are great metrics for understanding how active or how engaged your list is.

Personally, I see this as mental masturbation and we need to get through to the bottom of that data quickly.

You do this by simply asking questions about the data, such as, who is opening? Of the people opening, who are clicking? Why are they clicking? Are these the same people as yesterday? Last week? Last month?

Learning to fully dive into your data is a key skill to have. Do not neglect this refinement in your business as the growth you see is CRAZY AWESOME!

How to Measure Return on Investment Properly

I will be the first to admit that I chased the FREE leads for many years and that growth was PAINFULLY SLOW.

My return on investment was SO SMALL I wanted to crawl into a hole and die.

The answer to this is to track the hell out of your digital content. I was told not to worry about this. This is FLAT OUT WRONG and shitty advice.

Had I built the foundational principles of tracking throughout my standard operating procedures, I would understand my data.

When it comes to email marketing, it is so SIMPLE to create tracking links. Just use Google’s URL Builder to create tracking links.

Also, create conversion pixels on all of your Thank You Pages. (Want to see how to do that? Leave me a comment below and I’ll shoot a video for you)

The measurement at this stage becomes VERY SIMPLE. Just take your advertising spend for your email marketing campaign and the revenue related and boom, you have your return on your investment.

The bottom line here is profit. (see what I did there?)

Incremental Behavior? What the hell does that mean?

Incremental behavior can be imagine like someone taking steps up stairs. Did they open? Did they click? Did they view the shopping cart? Did they buy? Did they buy more?

As your client moves through your sales funnel, the role that the email marketing campaign plays becomes more important. Especially since you want to condition your client to feel like the best way of communicating is coming through their email inbox.

As a client goes from step to step, you should be ENGAGING them in different ways with different messages.

Speak to a person that abandons their shopping cart in one way. And the person that didn’t even click in a different way.

The sooner you start tracking, the easier this segmentation will be.

Ok, so it’s your turn.

What did you learn? Do you use email marketing? Let me know in the comments below!

Setting You Free,

Mark Gubuan

P.S. Want to learn the SAME SKILLS that I used to generate 200 Leads a Day? Click Here

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What are solar roadways?

Solar freakin’ roadways! Holy crap…

Why are we not funding this? Oh wait… we are.

I always geek out when I see someone invent something that can change the world. This is the kind of thing that will change the world.

A quick word on marketing since this is a marketing blog. I absolutely love the concept and idea. They’re getting funding which is a major goal. But something revolutionary like this should be mainstream and I’m only hearing about this in 2014.

Marketing is an artform and a science. But this proves that not everyone who has great ideas is a great marketer and business person. Thomas Edison CRUSHED Nikolas Tesla in the marketing department and thus, Tesla’s ideas never caught on. Had they collaborated, (another discussion altogether) the world would look vastly different today.

Solar energy is THE FUTURE. Marketing IS A NECESSISTY to spread ideas. Without it. We’re all lost.

Have you hugged am internet marketer today?

Setting You Free,
Mark Gubuan

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Journaling Your Way to Freedom

I often asked myself the question, how do I think more like a millionaire? Or, how do I improve my marketing? And today, I’m happy to announce that I have discovered the answer to these two important questions. The answer is very simple. Writing in a journal.

Now this isn’t a “Dear Diary” type of journal. That’s great for typical daily thoughts and things like that.

This is specifically for marketing and business.

So have multiple journals in your life and your life will change.

A journal is as simple as a $2 notepad. Or I use a FREE software called Penzu since I do a lot of internet marketing and I like to cut and paste stuff from the internet into my journal.

Quick Journaling Points

1. Write down how you feel when you’re making major purchases

When you do this, you’re allowing yourself to get inside the mind of your prospects (you in this instance).

It gives you a window into what people are thinking, the objections they have and the things that actually drive them to make a purchase.

2. Journal specific situations like buying with time constraint or product launch purchase or small purchase on Facebook

When you write about specific situations, it can help to see how things go down when a buyer is in different situations and how their minds might work.

3. Write down these events in story form

This is an interesting tip because you’re essentially writing the “copy” for your next sales letter here.

Try it and see how you succeed.

Ok ready…. break!!!

Setting You Free,
Mark Gubuan

P.S. Want to earn a full time income while working part time? Click Here to Discover How I Make Money While I Sleep

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Native Advertising an InfoGraphic by CopyBlogger

Copyblogger's 2014 State of Native Advertising Report
Like this infographic? Get more content marketing tips from Copyblogger.

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Make Corporate America Your Lover

This blog post is a follow up to Make Corporate America Your Bitch…

You can read that here: http://blog.thelazymansroadtowealth.com/blog/making-the-corporate-world-your-bitch

It’s a love hate relationship really. Because we all want to be our own bosses… hell there’s even a book called E-Myth…

That talks about how people get so specialized they think they’re the master of their craft.

When really they’re only the master of a portion of their craft.

When business really comes to tear them down, the falter and eventually fail.

This story is about how I entered Corporate America and ended up falling in love with it.

If you’re gonna do Corporate America, here’s what I learned since 2005.

  1. Always be a mentor and have a mentor inside the company
  2. Always be ready for change
  3. Don’t be afraid to speak your mind because this is what makes you valuable
  4. Live by task lists
  5. Build relationships
  6. Have fun
  7. Always know when enough is enough

So why the sudden change in tone from yesterday to today?

It’s because I want you to realize that life isn’t always rainbows and butterflies…

People get pissed off and disgruntled…

It’s a fact of life.

People need to hear the truth sometimes.

And more importantly people need to hear your feelings.

But I digress…

Watch this video about my thoughts on Corporate America

 

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E: Support [@] MarkGubuan.com
P: (503) 862-9289
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Embarking on a New Adventure

Hey what’s up!? I’m pretty excited today because I’m about to embark on adventure a new direction that’s been in the making since 2009 really.

I’ve been on this crazy journey as an entreprenuer and like most things I do, I severely screw up a couple of times before things just “click”.

My wife isn’t too pleased with my progress to date, but I’m not letting that stop me from creating the life of FREEDOM that she deserves.

I’m 100% ready to create a lifestyle that most people dream about.

Especially after how painful work was for me this week. I vow to never have this happen again. I went through the same thing when I quit the restaurant industry.

Actually… let me tell you this story really quick because you’re gonna gain a lot of insight on how one seemingly small decision can warp your entire future.

 The Steakhouse Decision

It was around 2002 or 2003 when this story all went down. I was a young 22 year old college student working as a bus boy, trying to make ends meet.

I worked at a delicious steakhouse and I absolutely loved it there. Food was good. Girls were pretty. Dudes were cool. We partied.

We studied and had a great time.

But everyday, I had a nagging feeling.

There’s got to be more to life than this. Why am I in school? Why am I working so hard for another person?

I need to get a job so I can just start making money. That’s what I thought.

Well I worked the same day, same time every week. Like clockwork, just how I like it.

And then one day they changed my schedule on me. When they did that I didn’t check the schedule because it was the same for two years.

I was just chillin’ at home on the couch watching sports waiting to go the gym or the library, when I got a call from my manager asking me where I was.

I told him, I’m not working today. He replied saying that I was on the schedule.

Needless to say, I was LIVID. How dare they change my flow! This is my life! Don’t tell me what to do! I’m a college student that’s about to become a young professional!

I AM BETTER THAN YOU!

That’s basically how I felt. So I did what any rational person would do.

I quit.

I DECIDED that I would NEVER work food service ever again. And that I would make more money than THAT guy. Just to be able to come back and say. Yeah, I’m better than you bro. You still work here?

Fast forward to 2014

Well, I never worked a day in food service. And I make more than that manager.

One small decision to quit that job propelled me further than ever. It was a simple decision.

But it was so powerful.

The same thing just happened to me again this week.

Do you understand how freakin’ powerful this is? I RECOGNIZE it this time. Before I didn’t and it was all retrospective.

This time. I’m recognizing this happening in real time.

As I write these words, I’m getting so damn excited.

Because there is a special project that will all but guarantee that I take my business to the next level. And in such a way that most people will think that I came out of no where.

The reality is that I’ve been doing personal development, training, implementing, building for years.

There was only one piece missing. And I’m about to solve that problem. Pretty much instantaneously.

And guess what… YOU are going to be the benefactor…

Watch this space like a hawk because I’m going be offering some pretty damn sweet things in the next week.

With that I leave you with this video. Changes by 2Pac

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E: Support [@] MarkGubuan.com
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Hey what’s up! So from now on I’m going to give you a guess a freakin’ great resource on anything and EVERYTHING internet marketing. Also, I’m going to be giving you the best of the best 100% FREE home based business marketing training that you can find on the internet.

All I ask is that you like, comment and share these blog posts so that other people can see how cool YOU are!

Trust me.

When people see that you’re seeing this kick ass content, they’re going to be afraid that you’re going to out compete them.

Trust me, watch the video at the end and you’ll be making people scared.

Now on to..

Sunday Round Up | The Internet’s Best Home Based Business and Internet Marketing Content

Digital Marketer

Most of the advice you’re getting about blogging is DEAD WRONG. We know because we’re operating blogs in dozens of niches and we test EVERYTHING. One of our most successful blogs, SurvivalLife.com, has grown to one million in sales. That’s not annual sales. We generate one million in sales every month — and growing.

How To Make (At Least) $1000 a Month From Your Blog

This is the difference. The difference between the broke, frustrated blogger and the high-profit, authority blogger is Math. The broke blogger doesn’t know his numbers. The broke blogger doesn’t measure. If this sounds like you… it’s not your fault. They don’t teach this stuff in college. Heck, they don’t even teach this stuff in graduate business school. The crazy thing is that it’s not even complicated math. If you know your multiplication tables, you’re good. Here’s your key metric: $1 per subscriber per month Here’s how you get there…

Closing Secrets by Daegan Smith and Mark Hoverson | Do you know this ONE secret?

 Holy crap! So I just stumbled upon this webinar because I was sitting at my house on a Sunday, just getting ready to fold some laundry..

The training that I was originally going to go through on an iPhone app was crappin’ out on me so I started to go through YouTube for some Tony Robbins training.

Well, I was in for a surprise as a suggested video showed up on my feed and I decided. Ah what the hell, I have an hour to kill. Let’s see what these two geniuses have to say.

Trust me when I say this, but they could have sold this webinar…. for cold. Hard. Cash. And it’s FREE right here. Click the video.

 

So what did you think? Make sure to leave me a comment!

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E: Support [@] MarkGubuan.com
P: (503) 862-9289
S: Mark.Gubuan

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MYTH: Newsletters Are a Dead Form of Marketing

Welcome back! I hope your Monday didn’t kill you too much yesterday. We all know Monday’s can tend to be long and busy, so don’t work too hard. Work smarter not harder. Speaking of working smarter, you have to see this article from the GKIC Inner Circle.

What it talks about is whether or not newsletter marketing is actually dead. I am excited to announce to you that newsletter marketing in print and electronically is VERY much alive.

There’s a lot of B.S. out there about newsletters. The declaration by several bloggers that “Newsletters are Dead,” is not only a huge misguidance, but an expensive piece of advice to follow.

Considering that 50%-70% of my private clients have grown out of my newsletter base—deciding to follow this advice and give up my print newsletter would cost me a substantial fortune.

Tell this to the many GKIC members who currently use newsletters to attract their ideal customers, clients and patients and you’ll find many of them will tell you that their newsletter readers are WAY more likely to hire them than someone who reads their blog or engages with them on social media.

You can read more about this blog post here.

Before you go I want to make sure you know that I will be going live with TrustedHomeBusinessTraffic.com in the next week. This will give you the opportunity to take your home based business to the next level. I am going to allow you to tap into the EXACT SAME newsletter sources that the gurus won’t share with you.

I’ll even do you one better. But you have to wait for launch to see what I have in store for you.

 

If you are reading this the image of my son and I is not displaying...do us an awesome and display images :)

E: Support [@] MarkGubuan.com
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