Ready fire aim by Michael Masterson | book summary

 Ready fire aim by Michael Masterson | book summary 

Summary in a paragraph 

ready fire aim is written by Michael Masterson who is an entrepreneur, and, in his book, he shares his insights and ideas that help him to make 100 million dollars business the book is divided into four parts. 

PART ONE Being All That You Can Be

Introduction The Very Best Job in the World

  • the three most important decisions in life are: 1. What you do. 2. Where you do it. 3. With whom you do it.
  • The easiest way to create profits in your business is to sell your best customers a higher-level version of something they have already bought.
  • Never unilaterally decide what you want to sell. Find out what the market wants to buy.

    CHAPTER ONE Getting to the Next Level
                                                  Four stages of business growth.

    Stage One: Infancy—zero to $1 million in revenue 

    Main Problem: You don’t really know what you are doing. 
    Main Challenge: Making the first profitable sale.
    Main Opportunity: Achieving a minimum critical mass of customers.

    Stage Two: Childhood—$1 million to $10 million in revenue

    Main Problem: You are only breaking even or may even be losing money. 
    Main Challenge: Creating many additional, profitable products quickly. 
    Main Opportunity: Increasing cash flow and becoming profitable. 

    Stage Three: Adolescence—$10 million to $50 million in revenue 

    Main Problem: Your systems are strained, and customers are noticing. 
    Main Challenge: Turning the chaos into order. Main Opportunity: Learning how to establish useful protocols and manage processes and procedures. 

    Stage Four: Adulthood—$50 million to $100 million in revenue and beyond 
    Main Problem: Sales slowdown and may even stall. 
    Main Challenge: Becoming entrepreneurial again. 
    Main Opportunity: Getting the business to run itself.

    CHAPTER TWO Why Employee Size Matters

    • the only problem and goal at stage one you should have (if you are paying attention to the right thing) will be figuring out how to sell your lead product.
    • Once you have solved that first problem and sales are coming in quickly, your business takes its first leap forward in employee growth.
    • 100 % employe retention doesn't work. 
    CHAPTER THREE Becoming a Five-Star Business Genius

    • For a business to grow into a $100 million or a $300 million enterprise, it must be very good, if not great, in five areas: 1. Coming up with new and useful product ideas. 2. Selling those products profitably. 3. Managing processes and procedures efficiently. 4. Finding great employees to do the work. 5. Getting people, procedures, products, and promotions going.
    PART TWO Stage One: Infancy

    CHAPTER FOUR The Supremacy of Selling

    • Without sales, it is very hard to sustain an ongoing business.
    •  As a business owner, selling should be your number one priority––and you must act accordingly.
    • The ratio of time, creativity, and money spent on selling as opposed to other aspects of business should be something like 80/20, with 80 percent of it going toward selling and only 20 percent toward everything else.
    • Every entrepreneurial business—regardless of what stage of growth it is in—needs four personalities at the helm: 1. A seller: someone to market the product. 2. An improver: someone to improve the product. 3. An organizer: someone to make sure things flow smoothly. 4. A pusher: someone to get people to do what they are supposed to do.
    • During the first two stages of growth, the priorities should be in this order: 1. Selling 2. Pushing (to make sales) 3. Improving (products and sales) 4. Organizing
    • There is a direct relationship between the success of a business at any given time and the percentage of its capital, temporal, and intellectual resources that are devoted to selling.
    • When beginning a new business (or launching a new product within an existing business), the sooner you can make the first sale, the better your chances are of success.
    • PRIORITIES FOR STAGE ONE BUSINESSES In starting a business, this is what your priorities and sequence of activities should be: 1. Get the product ready enough to sell it, but don’t worry about perfecting it. 2. Sell it. 3. Then, if it sells, make it better.
    • 1. You need to create cash flow to keep your business going. 2. You will never really know whether your big idea—what marketers call the unique selling proposition (USP) of your business—is a good one until you give it the ultimate test in the marketplace.
    CHAPTER FIVE Your Optimum Selling Strategy
    •  To determine the optimum selling strategy for your business, you need to answer four questions that will have a profound impact on how successful you are at developing the positive cash flow your business needs to get to the next level. These four questions are: 1. Where are you going to find your customers? 2. What product will you sell them first? 3. How much will you charge for it? 4. How will you convince them to buy it?
    • Once you have determined your initial optimum selling strategy, you can start to think about how you can “test away from it.” Spend some time brainstorming with your best people. Ask the key questions: 1. What other products can we sell? 2. How can we make the offer more enticing? 3. How can we make the advertising copy more compelling? 4. What other media should we test?
    •  But when it comes to figuring out where to find your customers, what to sell them, how much to charge them, and the terms to offer, the answer is: Do what the competition is doing—in the beginning, at least.
    • There are five simple steps to creating a product that can launch a business: 1. Find out what products are currently hot in the market. 2. Determine if your product idea fits that trend. 3. If it does, you’re set to go. If it doesn’t, follow steps 4 and 5. 4. Come up with me-too versions of several hot products. 5. Improve them in some way by adding features or benefits the originals lack.
    • to present your offer to your prospective customer––and your job as a Stage One entrepreneur is to find out what that is for your new product.
    • test as many different media.

    CHAPTER SIX Mastering the Copy Side of Selling

    •  FOUR KEY CONCEPTS EVERY MARKETING GENIUS MUST KNOW To be able to create great copy and work intelligently with great copywriters, there are four marketing concepts you need to learn: 1. The difference between wants and needs. 2. The difference between features and benefits. 3. How to establish a unique selling proposition (USP) for your product. 4. How to sell the USP
    • Recognizing that you are in the want business will help you become a better marketer and salesperson, because you will recognize that you have to create want in your customers’ hearts.
    • Happily, buying is not entirely rational. In fact, rationality comes into play only after the irrational process—the emotional persuasion—has already taken place.
    • But don’t stop with ordinary benefits. Go deeper.  what might be a deeper benefit to figure that out, you need to ask yourself, “Who are my target customers? And why, exactly, would they want this product.
    •  If your customers are looking for success, define success in concrete terms. What, exactly, do they want?
    • If you feel that your customers are looking for success, define success in concrete terms. What, exactly, do they want?
    • If you want your best chance of selling a new product into an established market, it helps if you do one of two things: 1. Make it—in some way—better than the competition. 2. Make it—in some way—seem better.
    • if you want your product to have a strong position in the marketplace, you have to come up with a unique position.
    • unique selling proposition has to be a benefit to the buyer.
    • Three Aspects of a Solid USP In my view, every successful unique selling proposition should have three characteristics: 1. The appearance of uniqueness. As the Schlitz story demonstrates, the characteristic that you decide to promote in your USP does not have to be unique to your product, but it does have to seem like it is. 2. Usefulness. The appearance of uniqueness is not enough. If the distinguishing characteristic of the product is not desirable, no one will want it. In deciding on your product’s USP, it is better to select some feature that isn’t entirely original and make it seem unique than it is to select a feature that is unique but useless. 3. Conceptual simplicity. If your product’s USP is trendy, it is almost certainly simple too. Very few complicated things ever become trendy. It’s good to remember that you have to sell the USP—and nothing sells well that is difficult to explain.
    • How to Sell the USP Once you have established a USP for your product, you need to sell it. All effective sales efforts have four components: 1. The Big Idea 2. The Big Promise 3. Specific claims 4. Proof of those claims

    CHAPTER SEVEN Secondary–Yet Important– Priorities for Stage One Businesses
    • two ways to learn about a business: (1) by attending seminars, taking programs, and reading books—all of which provide generalized, secondhand knowledge about the industry—and (2) by speaking personally with people who are in business and getting firsthand advice from them.
    • The positive effects of mentoring are not just anecdotal, they have been documented through serious research.
    • When you are starting out, it is much better to acknowledge that you don’t know what you don’t know and tell every person on your team that their job is to do whatever you tell them to do, which will be whatever is necessary to discover your OSS and attract enough.
    CHAPTER EIGHT A Quick Review of the Problems, Challenges, and Opportunities Faced by the Stage One Entrepreneur
    • Don’t waste your time on corporate marketing.
    • Don’t waste money on invisible (to your customers) business extras like office space, furnishings, equipment, and the like.
    • Don’t be misled by phony business experts.
    • Be proud of your business acumen, but don’t be arrogant about your particular business ideas.
    • Ask for advice from smart people.
    • Don’t ever believe you know more than the market.
    • Make sales your company’s top priority.
    • Learn everything you can about sales and marketing.
    • Discover the optimum selling strategy (OSS) for your business––the particular combination of media, pricing, and positioning that will bring you the most qualified customers.
    • In determining your OSS, understand how pricing and other aspects of your offer affect sales.
    • Give your marketing team one main goal: to bring in a certain number of qualified customers.
    • If possible, use direct mail or direct e-mail to discover your optimum selling strategy.
    • In testing price to determine your OSS, favor the downside.
    • Don’t invest in a lot of inventory before you have figured out your OSS.
    PART THREE Stage Two: Childhood

    CHAPTER NINE From $1 Million to $10 Million and Beyond

    • best products and selling strategies don’t last forever.
    • Entrepreneurial Axiom: The primary factor in Stage Two growth is the development and marketing of new products. The faster you can develop and sell those new products, the faster your business will grow.
    • very valuable phrase––“let the market decide.
    • Back-end sales are those that come from your existing customers. The purpose of the front-end sale is to acquire a new customer. The purpose of the back-end sale is to produce a profit.
    • Entrepreneurial Axiom: Every stage of business growth has its own set of problems, challenges, and opportunities. To succeed at every stage, the business owner must change the fundamental orientation of the business and develop the skills necessary to effect that change.
    • To get your business from $1 million to $10 million, you need to get more products to the marketplace. First, you must replace your stale lead (front-end) product with one or several new ones to continue to attract new customers. And then you must create a line of back-end products and sell them to your existing customers.
    CHAPTER TEN Innovation– the Key to Second-Stage Growth

    • your goal is not to develop brand-new ideas, but to notice trends that are beginning and develop products that anticipate that trend by a little—just enough to catch your customers’ attention.
    • THE PRINCIPLE OF "ONE STEP REMOVED" When developing new products, you don’t want to make the mistake of investing in something that is two or more steps away from what you know how to do. That’s because your chances of success decrease geometrically with each step. Take one step, and you are fine. Two steps, and you are on thin ice. Three steps, and you are up to your neck in very cold water.
    • 1. The secret to breaking into new markets or reviving a flagging business is to create tipping-point products. 2. The secret to creating tipping-point products is to find hot products in rising markets and come up with some way to make them new and different.
    • You need tipping-point products for your front end, but you can make lots of money on the back end with ordinary products, so long as you make the effort to sell them to your existing customers.
    • If your new-product idea feels like a breakthrough, it might be (but probably won’t be). But if it feels ordinary, it will be ordinary. So always keep working on it until it feels really good.
    • in all its tipping-point brilliance, you need to create both a model that resembles the product idea and the headline and lead for a promotion that might sell it. If you can do that, then you can proceed.


    •  The amount of growth a company can expect at the second stage of its development is directly related to its ability to generate and test new-product ideas quickly.
    • First, you should love good ideas. Second, you should hate sluggishness.  Money loves speed.
    • encourage innovation and speed by preaching two sermons repeatedly. The first one is accelerated failure. The second one is Ready, Fire, Aim.
    • Ready, Fire, aim means what it says. When you have an idea that has the potential to grow your business, test it as soon as it is ready. Don’t fiddle with it, trying to get it perfect. You can make adjustments later, after you know the idea is working.
    • Spend the greatest part of your time, money, and corporate resources getting the idea ready for testing.
    • The most important thing, by far, is starting with a good product, a product that provides a big benefit to the customer. The benefit has to be so big, in fact, that it’s easy to communicate. The moment your customer hears about it, he has to be able to see himself benefiting from it. That’s a good product, one that offers that kind of huge, instant appeal.
    • Intuition is more reliable at anticipating future events than formal analysis is.
    • 1. Ask yourself how much it will cost to make the idea come to life. Take that number and double it. 2. Figure out how many units it will sell (or how much extra cash it will bring in) and cut that number in half. 
    • A champion must (1) believe in the idea, (2) have the authority to execute it, and (3) have the experience to make wise decisions along the way.
    CHAPTER THIRTEEN What Are You Waiting For? Start Firing Already! Firing Already!
    • READY, FIRE, AIM IN A NUTSHELL The Ready, Fire, aim formula has three simple rules: 1. Begin when you are ready—excited by the idea because your gut tells you that it will work. 2. Don’t waste time perfecting your product or planning for every contingency, since you can’t know what will work until your idea is in action. 3. Only after the idea has proven itself in some way (when you know for sure that it will work) should you make adjustments to improve it.
    CHAPTER FOURTEEN Aiming the Product
    • Ready, Fire, Aim acknowledges that it is impossible to get a product right before the customer has had a chance to use it.
    •  Ready, Fire, Aim works well for most consumer products and many business-to-business products.
    • I have found that businesspeople—actually, all people—fall into one of two groups: (1) those who feel, mostly on an instinctual level, that the universe is fixed and disconnected..
    •  those who feel it is interconnected and infinitely expanding.
    •  know that if I give more I will get more, and that if I share more, more will be shared with me.
    • Business should not be like war. It should be like love, like loving your neighbor. Remember, most of your profits will come from back-end sales, which means that the easiest way to grow your company is to develop good, long-term relationships with your customers and produce really good products for them.
    • If you want your business to grow quickly and easily, commit yourself to giving your customers as much as you possibly can.
    • To ensure that, you must engage in a program of incremental improvement—regularly upgrading your products by small degrees, even when there is no evidence that your customers are in any way unhappy.
    • Car manufacturers have long understood the perceived value of incremental improvements. With every new improvement in the steering function or the dashboard, they enjoy an additional opportunity to distinguish their product from the competition and get past customers to exchange old models for new ones.
    CHAPTER FIFTEEN Aiming the Marketing, Part 1
    •  Myth #1: It is good to sell things that people need, like grain and milk, but it is bad to sell things that people don’t need. Reality: More than 90 percent of what people buy is based on wants, not needs.
    • Myth #2: It is good to sell things, as long as you don’t charge much more than they are worth. Reality: What does value really mean?
    • Myth #3: It is good to make good things better, but it is bad to sell them. Reality: Give me a break.
    • Lesson 1: Your customers don’t care about you or your business. They care about themselves.
    • Lesson 2: A small portion of your customer base is giving you the lion’s share of your corporate profits.
    • Lesson 3: Understand why your customers buy from you.
    • Lesson 4: Almost every sales transaction begins with the process of generating leads.
    • Lesson 5: Learn multichannel marketing.
    • Lesson 6: Follow the Golden Rule of Marketing Genius: Treat your customers the way you want to be treated.
    • Lesson 7: Understand the Secret of the Four-Legged-Stool.
    • Lesson 8: Understand that customer complaints and objections are the key to better selling.
    •  Lesson 9: Maintain a “no dead end” policy regarding your products.
    • Lesson 10: Take advantage of customer inertia.
    • Lesson 11: Understand the 80/20 Rule.
    • Lesson 12: Understand the unique selling proposition (USP) of every product.
    • Lesson 13: Every product line needs its own branding.
    • Lesson 14: Never lose your marketing edge.
    • Lesson 15: Understand the Secret of the Core Complex. 
    • Lesson 16: Practice reciprocity with your customers. 
    • Lesson 17: Understand that intimacy is the key to a customer’s lifetime value to your business.
    • Lesson 18: Be confident and enthusiastic when you sell.
    • Lesson 19: Don’t push or bribe your customers. 
    • Lesson 20: Develop and nurture a marketing culture that emphasizes three sentiments. 
    CHAPTER SIXTEEN Aiming the Marketing, Part 2
    •  If you convince a customer to buy your product when he needs it, you will have a loyal customer. But if you can persuade him to buy a product from you every time, he wants it, then you have a human ATM. 
    • The Law: The likelihood of a customer buying a particular product is inversely related to his need for it. And Its Corollary: The less a customer needs a product, the more likely he is to buy it.
    • Buying frenzy: - 1. Having the feeling that I have more money than I need. 2. Being exposed to psychologically effective selling signals. 3. The good feeling I get from buying.
    • Market to your core customers’ wants, not their needs.
    • When a marketing campaign works, keep using it (with modest changes) until it wears itself out.
    • all frenzies are stimulated by the same three things: 1. New money to spend. 2. Effective marketing that appeals to the right desires. 3. The purchase itself—the stimulation of buying the product.
    CHAPTER EIGHTEEN A Quick Review of the Problems, Challenges, and Opportunities Faced by the Stage Two Entrepreneur

    • this chapter summarizes the part two, so it doesn't make sense to write here. 
    PART FOUR Stage Three: Adolescence
    CHAPTER NINETEEN Making the Stage Three Transformation
    •  To change your business for Stage Three growth, you have to: 1. Change yourself. 2. And then change or hire great people to run your business operations.
    • Running a growing Stage Three business takes at least six skills that are not needed to start and grow a modest-sized entrepreneurial business. Those are: 1. Controlling operations 2. Managing your managers 3. Communicating your vision 4. Networking for joint ventures 5. Negotiating deals 6. Being good at hiring
    • I recommend a more formal approach: sending out regular letters to all your employees to update them on major changes in the business and upcoming plans, and explaining how these changes and plans reflect your overall vision.
    CHAPTER TWENTY Changing into a Corporate Leader
    • Running a growing Stage Three business takes at least six skills that are not needed to start and grow a modest-sized entrepreneurial business. Those are: 1. Controlling operations 2. Managing your managers 3. Communicating your vision 4. Networking for joint ventures 5. Negotiating deals 6. Being good at hiring 
    •  criticism is more effective when it is expressed after something positive has been said.
    CHAPTER TWENTY-ONE Filling Your Stage Three Business with Stars and Superstars 
    • lot of practical advice in book about hiring the employes. 
    CHAPTER TWENTY-TWO Bottlenecks, Bureaucracy, and Politics

    • Bottlenecks are people or procedures that slow things down. 
    • Bureaucracy is any system or protocol that exists independent of the core purpose of the business. 
    • Politics is the destructive dynamic that results when people pay more attention to power than profit.
    • Here are some signs of the political personality:  They come to you to complain about people, rather than discuss problems.  They jealously guard their titles, their prestige, and the products they are in charge of. They want you to prevent other managers from encroaching on them.  They play favorites, and their favorites are those who support them.  They want their employees to be loyal to them, not to the customer. They punish perceived acts of disloyalty, usually by firing or permanently freezing out the offending party. They are extremely supportive of you—to your face. But you sometimes wonder if they really embrace your ideas about the business. They get into frequent squabbles with their peers over territorial issues.  They tend to hire employees who are good at following orders.  They almost never hire people who are better than they are.
    CHAPTER TWENTY-THREE A Quick Review of the Problems, Challenges, and Opportunities Faced by the Stage Three Entrepreneur a Quick Review of the Problems, Challenges, and Opportunities Faced by the Stage Three Entrepreneurs
    • summary of entire part four so it doesn't make sense to write here.
    PART FIVE Stage Four: Adulthood

    CHAPTER TWENTY-FOUR The Last Big Change 
    • Avoiding hard work starts with understanding what kind of work seems hard to you. For me, hard work boils down to one of two things: 1. Doing something that bores me. 2. Doing something, I don’t care about.
    CHAPTER TWENTY-FIVE Acting as Your Company’s Main Investor
    •  treat your company as you are its main investor.


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