Hey, struggling entrepreneur, read this ASAP:

How To Save Your Failing (Or Struggling) Business: 22 Easy Possibilities

Ex-homeless business mindset coach shows you how to diagnose & heal your failing business (or struggling one) fast with just a few simple questions.

Note: Jay "The Biz Doctor" Fonceca failed 20+ businesses so you don't have to. Let him save you years of pain.

The Biz Doctor: Mind explaining your problem in detail?
Entrepreneur: Uh, hello? I’m broke.
The Biz Doctor: . . .sigh.

Do you have a failing business? Is your business struggling? Let The Biz Doctor diagnose and pinpoint your business issues.

"Why is my business failing or struggling?"

“Why can’t I make enough money?”

I hear this often from my clients, and it’s a totally reasonable question, I get it. Because practically everything gurus tell you is “necessary” need to fix your biz is… well… useless.

They don’t know you, and they don’t know what’s wrong with your business.

But you know you, and you know your biz.

So to figure out what’s wrong with your business you don’t need an MBA. You don’t need the latest business book. You don’t even need an outside opinion.

All you need is yourself.

But then… why do so many entrepreneurs struggle to pinpoint major issues with their own business? Why are you struggling with your own business?

TABLE OF CONTENTS

  • Because you don’t know how to diagnose bottlenecks in a failing business.
  • DIAGNOSING MARKET RESEARCH ISSUES
    • How well do you know your “one person?”
    • How well can you articulate your targets’ core desire?
    • How well-known are you around their hangouts?
    • How big, growing, & reachable is your market of “one persons?”
    • How big is your list of 100+ influencers?
    • How well do you speak your targets’ language?
    • How well do you know your competition?
  • DIAGNOSING YOUR BUSINESS SETUP
    • How clearly defined is your niche?
    • How strong are your traffic streams?
    • How strong is your attention-getting, eye-catching hook?
    • How compelling is your story / angle / ‘why’?
    • How strong is your social proof?
    • How strong is your “storefront” or demo?
    • How strong is your lead magnet?
    • How well have you validated your product / service? (The “Mom” Test)
  • DIAGNOSING YOUR CLIENT OUTREACH
  • DIAGNOSING YOUR SALES
    • How effective is your offers system?
    • How effective is your biz at persuading past objections?
    • How well do you capitalize on downsell / upsell opportunities?
    • How well do you “wow” your customers with bonuses?
    • How strong is your guarantee compared to your competitions?’
  • DIAGNOSING “EXTRAS”

You struggle because…

Because you don’t know how to diagnose bottlenecks in a failing business.

And it’s not your fault.

No one taught you the life-changing skill of “business diagnosis.”

Which is a bit strange. It’s something founders need to know because startup failure rate is massive.

Knowing how to diagnose business issues is a super-clutch skill that should be taught.

Unfortunately, none of the schools, teachers, or experts teach “business diagnostics.”

They’re too busy putting out clickable cliches and meme-able memes. If they teach you how to diagnose (and cure) your own business issues…

Well, you won’t need them any more.

I failed over twenty businesses, and that’s why I’m now so good at diagnosing them.

Identifying business problems is something I’ve become quite good at, and I’ve learned how important “business diagnosis” is.

“Prescription without diagnosis is malpractice.”  – Jacco van der Kooij

Plus I’ve helped many clients boost their profits and turn their businesses around, just by diagnosing and curing their biggest business diseases, whether operational or mindset-based.

(My biggest win so far was helping Evan Carmichael grow his small business from 1,000 followers into an empire of 3 million+.)

"Every important business decision I run through J-Ryze as a sounding board, a force for good, great conversations… a big shot of adrenaline, creativity, & wisdom."
Evan Carmichael
Celebrity Thought-Leader

Anyway, business failure reasons are varied –but if you know how– diagnosing them is easier than you might think.

It’s a vital thing to learn, because owning a business without knowing how to diagnose biz issues…

…is like owning a car without knowing how to pump gas or adjust the mirrors.

No one should really be doing it, and if you are, you’re pretty much begging for trouble.

So let’s solve that for you.

Like a good therapist, we’ll use a few easy-to-answer questions to look at your business’s symptoms & health in key areas.

Once we know your answers, we’ll point you towards a specific cure for each.

And if you’re worried this might be hard or long, you can relax.

Because although some people spend years in therapy…

…therapizing your biz will go super-quick.

Why? Because your business isn’t nearly as complex as a human brain.

Your entrepreneurial endeavor is:

a) easy to diagnose, and
b) easy to cure.

Now, if your company is failing or struggling…

…it might seem like “OMG, there’s so many things to think about, this is overwhelming…” but most business owners only need to work on 1-to-3 of these areas, they just don’t know which ones until they’ve gone through the questions.

Any question you can answer “4” or above to, is one you’re likely safe on.

It’s only the “3” and below areas in your business that could be major bottlenecks for your profits.

Ready? Let’s go.

The end of a black stethoscope, labelled "BizMedic" on a cream background, with a sick-patient icon, labelled "Your Business" just above it.

Here’s 20 easy questions to diagnose any failing business... including yours.

How to save my failing business:

DIAGNOSING MARKET RESEARCH ISSUES

Avatars, market, influencers, language, etc.

1.

question one

How well do you know your “one person?”

(what is your client avatar's name?)

Every successful biz –from Joe’s Plumbing to Blackrock– started by helping one person. Then two. Then three, and scaling from there.

That first client was key, because they became the template for all the other clients served. Your one person symbolizes an entire market.

  • If a biz helped a jock initially, they easily scaled to helping other jocks.
  • If a biz helped a gamer initially, they easily scaled to helping other gamers.
  • If a biz helped a life-coach initially, they easily scaled to helping other life-coaches.

Business is about delivering perceived value to people, so pick one person you know you can help to start.

If you’re not clear on your target person (& the market they symbolize), your biz will struggle.

A hand drawn rating scale from 1 to 7, pink-hued.

If you answered 3 or below, then you don’t know your “one person” well enough to reliably convert leads into sales, or even reliably find leads at all.

  • Your main problem is understanding your target.
  • Learn & practice this topic alone until you master ideal customer profiles.
  • Recommended reading: Buyer Personas – Adele Revella

If the answer to this is 4 or above, then you can move on to the next “save your business” diagnosis question.

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2.

question two

How well can you articulate your targets' core desire?

(What pain do they avoid? What pleasure do they seek? How strongly?)

Your one person has the three core desires that all humans do: Health, Wealth, and Relationships.

Russell Brunson calls these the “three core desires,” I say the “big three.”

It’s vital you identify your one person’s “main” desire.

If I’m talking to a lonely single woman, “relationships” are likely her favorite. It’s different for a wealth-focused entrepreneur or a health-focused athlete.

“But Jay, my ideal client is interested in psychology and DIY, those don’t fit!”

Wrong, the first is mental health.

The second depends, is your ‘one person’ crafting for their spouse? Peace of mind? Sales?

If you don’t know your ideal client’s priorities, you’re in for trouble.

A hand drawn rating scale from 1 to 7, pink-hued.

If the answer to this is 3 or below, then you’re not clear enough on your targets’ desires to resonate with or compel them.

  • Your main problem is voice of customer.
  • Learn & practice this topic alone until you master voice of customer.
  • Recommended reading: Finding The Right Message – Jennifer Havice

If the answer to this is 4 or above, then you can move on and continue diagnosing your business bottlenecks.

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3.

question three

How well-known are you around their hangouts?

(Are you a familiar face yet?)

People are like schools of fish. You’ve gotta find fishing holes brimming with your preferred catch. So, ask yourself,

“where do my fish –your customers or ‘one person’– gather?”

If you’re strong at this, many gathering spots should spring to mind.

  • 10 subreddits your clients frequent.
  • 10 hashtags they adore.
  • 10 keywords they google for.

You and your brand should be putting in enough face-time to be familiar there.

This is a key step in reviving a failing business.

A hand drawn rating scale from 1 to 7, pink-hued.

If your presence in your targets’ hangouts is 3 or below, then you’re not familiar enough to earn their trust.

  • Your main problem is recognition.
  • Learn & practice this topic alone until you master becoming a familiar presence.
  • Recommended reading: Traffic Secrets – Russell Brunson

If the answer to this is 4 or above, then it’s on to the next question to diagnose your business struggles.

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4.

question four

How big, growing, & reachable is your market of "one persons?"

(What's the health & reachability of your market?)

Alex Hormozi outlines this beautifully:

  • Does your market have clear pain that they’re aware of?
  • Is your market growing (think ecommerce vs. newspapers)?
  • Does your market have money for you?
  • Is your market easy enough to reach, or is it too hard/costly?
  • Are you familiar with your market and certain you can provide value to them?
  • If your market is OK currently, what about the future? Are you tied to one platform that could easily shut down?

Some business owners choose their markets wisely and thrive. Others choose poorly and fail.

Either way, choosing your market is a common entrepreneurial pitfall.

A hand drawn rating scale from 1 to 7, pink-hued.

If your market’s health is 3 or below, then your market won’t have enough momentum for you, no matter how great the rest of your biz is.

  • Your main problem is market-discovery.
  • Learn & practice this topic only, until you master choosing a viable market.
  • Recommended reading: Choose – Ryan Levesque

If the answer to this is 4 or above, then you’re doing great at market research… move on to the next question.

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5.

question five

How big is your list of 100+ influencers?

(...that your “one person” follows.)

Russell Brunson calls this list of influencers (that your “one person”) cares about your “Dream100.”

These hundred influencers currently own, attract, or control the traffic your business wants.

Your ideal customers are already following and gathering and rallying around these influencers, so if you want to succeed, you’d best know who they are, and you’d best be looking to tap into their traffic.

And if you’re doing a good job in this area, your list will likely be even bigger than a hundred.

If you’re doing poorly here, you won’t be able to list 100 people your “one person” (and therefore your market) cares about.

A hand drawn rating scale from 1 to 7, pink-hued.

If your list of influencer targets rates 3 or below, then you haven’t located enough “tribe leaders” that your one person rallies around.

  • Your main problem is lack of high-value targets.
  • Learn & practice this topic only, until you master collecting customer influencers.
  • Recommended reading: Traffic Secrets – Russell Brunson

If the answer to this is 4 or above, then you’re on your way, next question. 🙂

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6.

question six

How well do you speak your targets’ language?

(Do they prefer 'job', 'career', or 'occupation' for example?)

Know what phrases resonate with your “one person.” Have a list of language, buzzwords, and slang that resonate specifically with them & learn to speak their language.

This seems like fluff, but it’s actually a crucial business recovery tip.

Without it your leads won’t relate to you, or they’ll bounce because you feel inauthentic to them, or your words will feel irrelevant and fail to ‘click’ emotionally.

Plus, the more terms you use (that they also use), the more credible you are as someone who “gets” them.

Resonant language is a game-changer for strong brand/client relationships and for boosting engagement, conversions, and loyalty.

A hand drawn rating scale from 1 to 7, pink-hued.

If you “speak their language” at a 3 or below, then your headlines, pitches, and copy will fail to resonate.

  • Your main problem is resonant language.
  • Learn & practice this topic only, until you master speaking your targets’ language.
  • Recommended reading: Lingo – Jeffrey Shaw

If you answered 4 or above to this, then you speak your targets’ language well enough. Next question! 🙂

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7.

question SEVEN

How well do you know your competition?

(Are they cheaper than you? Are you faster than them? More polished?)

Understanding your competition through a S.W.O.T. analysis (or other market research) is key, and a business who avoids this, is likely to fail.

There are many players out there helping solve customers problems already, whetheryou realize it or not.

Knowing where you stand in relation to them is vital in making decisions for every aspect of your business.

Not knowing your competitions’ position well enough is a common business mistake, so…

How clear are you on your competitions strengths & weaknesses compared to your own?

A hand drawn rating scale from 1 to 7, pink-hued.

If your awareness of your competition’s position is at a 3 or below, then your brand will fail to, well… compete.

  • Your main problem is positioning.
  • Learn & practice this topic only, until you master positioning vs. your competition.
  • Recommended reading: Positioning – Ries & Trout

If you answered 4 or above to this, then you’ve positioned well enough. Next question! 🙂

How to save my failing business...

DIAGNOSING YOUR BUSINESS SETUP

Niche, traffic, hooks, proof, and more.

8.

question EIGHT

How clearly defined is your niche?

(Too narrow = too few customers, too broad = unclear offering.)

Maybe you know your “one person’s” core desire, and you know how the competition is already serving them…

...but how clear are you on your niche?

For this, you must dig deeper than their “core desire” or the “big three.” For example, if your one person is passionate about wealth… what aspect specifically?

Maybe they’re passionate about marketing. Great, that’s still too broad for a niche though.

What specific marketing niche do they call “home?”

Does your one person wake up eager for affiliate marketing threads? Or do they hunger for old-school direct response landing in people’s mailboxes?

If your one person hates affiliate marketing but loves old-school direct response, it’s going to affect your niche substantially.

Some people think you can avoid niche, but every company you look up to started by committing to one.

How clear are you on this in your business?

A hand drawn rating scale from 1 to 7, pink-hued.

If your niche ranks 3 or below, then your biz will struggle to connect with enough customers, because customers think in niches.

  • Your main problem is choosing an effective niche.
  • Learn & practice this topic only, until you master choosing a solid niche.
  • Recommended reading: Positioning – Ries & Trout

If you answered 4 or above to this, then your niche is healthy, and you can tackle the next “why is my biz failing” question.

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9.

question nine

How strong are your traffic streams?

(How much traffic are you getting daily?)

Earlier we diagnosed your familiarity with your customers’ hangouts and with their influencers or “tribe leaders.”

But is there even enough traffic there to tap into?

How many people are in those subreddits? How many followers do those influencers have?

Would you say you have clearly strong traffic streams waiting for you?

And do you own your traffic streams, or does someone else?

(Note: This question is similar to the “market size” issue in question four, but I’ve found clients sometimes need this asked more directly when I’m troubleshooting business issues.)

A hand drawn rating scale from 1 to 7, pink-hued.

If your traffic streams only qualify for a 3 or below rating, then you won’t have enough leads, prospects, or sales.

  • Your main problem is tapping into traffic streams.
  • Learn & practice this topic only, until you master tapping into traffic.
  • Recommended reading: Traffic Secrets – Russell Brunson

If you answered 4 or above on traffic stream strength, then you’re good to go to the next diagnostic question.

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10.

question ten

How strong is your attention-getting, eye-catching hook?

(Is it polarizing, out-standing, & compelling enough?)

Your hook is what grabs someone’s attention & compels them to listen further.

You see thousands of hooks every day (both good & bad).

Subject lines, memes, videos, captions, etc. aren’t hooks themselves, but they are potential vehicles for a brand’s hook.

This hook isn’t just for your product, or your offer.

It’s the hook for your brand’s marketing message itself.

Your hook should be the biggest,
boldest, most audacious thing you can promise to prospects… which is also credible because it’s backed by proof.

Fedex, Domino’s, & M&Ms did this well.

Are you mentioning your stuff in a catchy, appealing way, or is your hook off-putting, with terrible (click)bait?

A hand drawn rating scale from 1 to 7, pink-hued.

If your hook only rates a 3 or below rating, then most impressions, views, or opportunities will be useless.

  • Your main problem is an attention-grabbing hook.
  • Learn & practice this topic only, until you master the art of the hook.
  • Recommended reading: Get Different – Mike Michalowicz

If you answered 4 or above on hook strength, then onward you go.

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11.

question eleven

How compelling is your story / angle / ‘why’?

(Does your story resonate with your "one person?")

Russell Brunson calls it the ‘epiphany bridge story.’ Others dub it the ‘before/after’ story.

I prefer calling it your ‘butterfly story.’

Butterfly, because it tells of a transformative journey from problem to solution, from caterpillar into butterfly.

This story should resonate with your community’s pain/pleasure, amplifying desire in already-hooked leads. It should compellingly instill belief that your brand’s offerings will positively alter their lives. For example:

“I overcame [problem] with [solution]—let me share the story…”

or

“[Negative result] held me back until I discovered [remarkable product]! Here’s what unfolded…”

Stories like this are deeply embedded in our DNA since caveman times, & tap into a subconscious awareness that a solution is near, paving the way for an easy purchase.

You can use other story angles if you prefer, but…

…an effective butterfly story can be done in a single headline, or a full video presentation, and it preps your target for change, action, or buy-in.

A hand drawn rating scale from 1 to 7, pink-hued.

If you put your story up against others, and it only ranks a 3 or below rating, then customers will struggle to connect with your offerings.

  • Your main problem is a compelling story.
  • Learn & practice this topic only, until you refine your story effectively.
  • Recommended reading: Storynomics – McKee & Gerace

If you answered 4 or above on story strength, then your biz issues lies elsewhere.

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12.

question twelve

How strong is your social proof?

(Testimonials, credibility badges, co-signs...)

Social proof, credibility badges, and other trust signals are key for any business.

Before your “one person” will buy from you, they’ll wonder, “Can I trust this brand?” People wonder whether they can trust your stuff will be worth their money and time.

So your brand is best-served by providing some proof of trust.

  • An accomplished bio
  • Glowing testimonials
  • High-ranked reviews
  • Co-signs by influencers
  • News coverage

And don’t hide them, put them front and center, often.

Trust & credibility are precious to have, build them well.

A hand drawn rating scale from 1 to 7, pink-hued.

If your social proof is at a 3 or below, then prospects will hesitate or bounce from your offerings.

  • Your main problem is strong social proof.
  • Learn & practice this topic only, until your social proof is strong enough.
  • Recommended reading: Influence – Robert Cialdini

If your social proof’s already at a 4 or above, then your biz diagnosis continues.

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13.

question thirteen

How strong is your “storefront” or demo?

(E.g.. your landing page / grid / window / showroom, etc.)

Hooks & stories only get a prospect to your storefront or demo. Next, your brand needs to demonstrate substantial value.

This can be done through:

  • A grid or feed of content showing your expertise, social proof & testimonials, and what you sell, if anything.
  • A free sample or consultation.
  • A highlight reel or trailer/teaser of your best work.
  • A heavily discounted trial phase, etc.

Many brands use a combination of the above, or something else entirely.

The inventor of the bulletproof vest let customers shoot him in the chest, and after that demonstration they were sold.

Either way, it’s vital you make a clear demonstration of value & give people a reason to stick around, revisit, and talk about you.

Think about what would impress you if you were browsing someone’s work or online footprint, and deliver something similar.

A hand drawn rating scale from 1 to 7, pink-hued.

If you “storefront” is at a 3 or below, then most traffic you engage will browse & bounce or pass you by.

  • Your main problem is an inviting “storefront.”
  • Learn & practice this topic only, until your storefront is inviting enough.
  • Recommended reading: Platform – Cynthia Johnson

If your storefront ranks at a 4 or above, then your business setup is coming along nicely. Next question.

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14.

question fourteen

How strong is your lead magnet?

(freebie / sample / demo / trial, etc.)

Lead magnets are essential if you want to continue ‘touchpointing’ your customers until they’re ready to buy.

Lead-magnets are when a brand provides some ‘free’ value upfront in exchange for permission or ability to re-contact the prospect further down the line.

(They’re usually small, specific, and enticing.)

This in turn allows a brand to continue “touchpointing” a lead or prospect for the 8-15 touchpoints needed (on avg.) to convert them into a sale.

If this is done well, your brand ends up with a “list” of interested contacts with the potential to become customers.

You can also use that list to qualify leads, nurture leads, content-market to them, etc.

A hand drawn rating scale from 1 to 7, pink-hued.

If your lead magnet measures a 3 or below, then you’ll fail to capture leads effectively and funnel them towards a sale.

  • Your main problem is an enticing lead magnet.
  • Learn & practice this topic only, until your lead magnet entices effectively.
  • Recommended reading: $100M Leads – Alex Hormozi

If your lead magnet is a 4 or above, then you’ll capture leads well. On to the next.

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15.

question fifteen

How well have you validated your product / service? (The "Mom" Test)

(If you've trusted family or friends about your offering, you've already failed.)

When most brands ask their customers for feedback, they do so poorly, and end up getting lied to.

The “Mom Test” refers to framing questions in a way that even our mom couldn’t “white lie” in response.

It uses principles like not sharing your biz idea because people will lie to protect your feelings.

(Instead, go on a fact-finding hunt of their current and past behaviors, because that reveals the truth.)

Another tip is to avoid bad data, meaning don’t get distracted by fluff generics or ego-soothing customer compliments.

(Instead set 3 learning-goals to find out from your customers and make sure you’re focused on those.)

The strongest way to validate your idea though, is to make sales and prove people will pay for your stuff.

Getting “sign-ups” is an alternative “good step” towards validating product-market fit.

A hand drawn rating scale from 1 to 7, pink-hued.

If you don’t cross the 3 or below line for the Mom Test then you’re unlikely to have a product-market fit.

  • Your main problem is an aligned product-market fit.
  • Learn & practice this topic only, until you establish product-market fit.
  • Recommended reading: The Mom Test – Rob Fitzpatrick

If you passed the Mom Test with a 4 or above, then you have a good product-market fit, so move on to the next question.

How to save my failing business...

DIAGNOSING YOUR 'CLIENT OUTREACH'

Systems for traffic, discovery, capture, nurture, etc.

16.

question sixteen

How good is your system for getting traffic / leads to your hook?

(E.g. outreach / inbound-marketing / content-marketing / ads.)

We diagnosed traffic streams earlier…

…but now we’re talking about traffic systems.

A business needs to perform certain activities over and over, if you don’t have system  for them, you’ll likely struggle.

Do you have a system to capture traffic, turn them into leads, and introduce them to your hook/story?

If so, how strong is it?

A hand drawn rating scale from 1 to 7, pink-hued.

If your traffic system scores a 3 or below, then you won’t have a reliable stream of leads and prospects moving through your funnel.

  • Your main problem is lacking an effective traffic system.
  • Learn & practice this topic only, until your traffic system purrs.
  • Recommended reading: Traffic Secrets – Russell Brunson

If your traffic system deserved a 4 or above, then you have a reliable source of prospects. Next question.

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17.

question seventeen

How strong is your lead-capture system?

(E.g. email sign-up, scraping, a guestbook, etc.)

Email form sign-ups and list-building are one of the most common systems for capturing leads, but they’re not the only ones.

Whether you use a guestbook in your brick-and-mortar biz, run contests & quizzes, or you sneakily scrape websites for people’s contact info…

…a strong lead capture system is a business necessity.

How strong is yours?

A hand drawn rating scale from 1 to 7, pink-hued.

If your lead-capture system rates a 3 or below, then leads will ignore the earliest steps of your funnel.

  • Your main problem is lacking an effective lead-capture method.
  • Learn & practice this topic only, until your lead-capture system thrives.
  • Recommended reading: $100M Leads – Alex Hormozi

If your discovery system deserved a 4 or above, then you have a reliable way to qualify prospects. Next question.

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18.

question eighteen

How good is your “discovery” system?

(Your system for understanding a prospect & qualifying whether helping them is worth it.)

Whether you’re booking prospects on discovery calls, taking surveys, or bugging people’s offices… your business needs an effective “discovery system.”

These are systems to uncover new opportunities, insights, or information that can help you (dis)qualify prospects & build rapport.

Not having this basically makes you deaf and blind to your market…

…especially since people change.

How strong is your discovery system?

A hand drawn rating scale from 1 to 7, pink-hued.

If your discovery system scores a 3 or below, then many of your leads will drop out of your sales cycle partway through your funnel.

  • Your main problem is lacking an effective discovery process.
  • Learn & practice this topic only, until your discovery system hums.
  • Recommended reading: Gap Selling – Keenan

If your discovery system deserved a 4 or above, then you have a reliable way to qualify prospects. Next question.

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19.

question nineteen

How effective is your nurturing / remarketing system?

(A system to engage / contact / and 'touch' prospects who may not be ready for a sell yet.)

This is a system to build & maintain relationships with prospects all the way through their journey to becoming a customer (& beyond.)

Examples include:

  • email marketing campaigns
  • content-marketing
  • social media engagement
  • webinars & live events
  • remarketing campaigns
  • crm, etc.

They’re like a continuous ‘drip-feed’ of value over time that get prospects used to interacting with your brand comfortably.

How strong is your nurturing system?

A hand drawn rating scale from 1 to 7, pink-hued.

If your nurture system is a 3 or below, then many of your prospects will grow stale, cold, or slide back in your funnel.

  • Your main problem is lacking an effective remarketing or nurture routine.
  • Learn & practice this topic only, until your nurture system hums.
  • Recommended reading: Follow Up & Close The Sale – Jeff Shore

If your nurture system deserved a 4 or above, then you have a reliable way to nurture prospects until they’re ready for a pitch, offer, or sale.

How to save my failing business...

DIAGNOSING YOUR SALES

Offers, objections, and more.

20.

question twenty

How effective is your offers system?

(The journey from offer to purchase, to bonuses, to post-purchase, etc.)

Do you have a system to recognize when a prospect is ready for an offer?

Does your system know what size offer to make at first, and what size offer to make following that?

Does your system effectively “stack value” and tweak the 4 “value levers” (time, risk, etc.) so your offer is a “no-brainer?”

How strong is your offer system?

A hand drawn rating scale from 1 to 7, pink-hued.

If your offers system is a 3 or below, then many of your prospects will balk when it’s time to open their wallets.

  • Your main problem is lacking an effective sales system.
  • Learn & practice this topic only, until your sales system rocks.
  • Recommended reading: $100M Offers– Alex Hormozi

If your sales system got a 4 or above, then you have an effective way to get customers to open their wallets.

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21.

question twenty-one

How effective is your biz at persuading past objections?

(Most humans first instinct is "no." Are you going to accept that from 8 billion folks?)

People who could desperately use your offering are going to make excuses to avoid having it in their lives.

That’s just how humanity is.

They’ll say they don’t have the time, money, brainpower, strength, or any number of things.

Sometimes these things may be true.

Most of the time, they’re just fluff, neuroses, and internal trauma being allowed to derail things.

The question is, how well is your objection-handling system at a) telling the difference and b) solving the latter?

A hand drawn rating scale from 1 to 7, pink-hued.

If your objection-handling is a 3 or below, then many of your sales will die mid-sell.

  • Your main problem is  poor handling of objections.
  • Learn & practice this topic only, until you can handle the majority of objections.
  • Recommended reading: 25 Toughest Sales Objections – Stephan Schiffman

If your objection-handling got a 4 or above, then your biz can close sales well, and you’re ready for the next diagnostic question.

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22.

question twenty-two

How well do you capitalize on downsell / upsell opportunities?

(additional offers, upgrades, downgrades, etc. building upon your initial offer at time of sale.)

An upsell is encouraging the customer to spend more by choosing a higher-end or upgraded version of the product or service.

A downsell is offering customers a less expensive or scaled-down alternative when the original offering may be too costly or not fitting their needs.

A cross-sell is suggesting additional products or services that complement the customer’s main purchase, potentially enhancing their overall experience.

Be honest with yourself…

How good are you at finding and leveraging X-sell opportunities?

A hand drawn rating scale from 1 to 7, pink-hued.

If your downsells and upsells are at a 3 or below, then you’re leaving a large chunk of money on the table with every customer.

  • Your main problem is  bad upsells & downsells.
  • Learn & practice this topic only, until your downsells/upsells are effective.
  • Recommended reading: Dotcom Secrets – Russell Brunson

If your downsells / upsells rate a 4 or above, you’ll be getting decent average order value from your customers, and can go to the next question.

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23.

question TWENTY three [optional]

How well do you “wow” your customers with bonuses?

(anything that benefits the purchaser & goes outside the expected exchange.)

Bonuses are great for business for many reasons.

They raise customer satisfaction & loyalty, they show appreciation, they’re a competitive advantage, and most importantly…

…they make all your prices seem much more justified, acceptable, inviting, or just plain worth it.

Wow-worthy bonuses can even turn into word of mouth buzz and free advertising.

How good are your bonuses, though?

A hand drawn rating scale from 1 to 7, pink-hued.

If your bonuses offered are weak, at a 3 or below, then your customers are unlikely to be wow’d.

  • Your main problem is suboptimal bonuses.
  • Learn & practice this topic only, until your bonuses are effective.
  • Recommended reading: The Power Of Moments – Heath Brothers

If your bonuses are a 4 or above, you’ll be getting decent average order value from your customers, and can go to the next question.

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24.

question TWENTY four [optional]

How strong is your guarantee compared to your competitions?

(Money-back guarantees are the bare minimum... you can do better.)

Money-back guarantees have been around since forever…

…and they’re basically expected by customers at this point.

A great business will go a step beyond here and get creative with their guarantees.

“Money-back guarantee, PLUS you keep the product.”

“Try our 6-pack guarantee, if you don’t get abs, you get your money back, plus we send you a case of beer.”

“If this doesn’t fix your marriage, we’ll spend a day with your mother-in-law…”

How strong are your guarantees?

A hand drawn rating scale from 1 to 7, pink-hued.

If your guarantees at a 3 or below, then you’re letting risk-averse customers walk away.

  • Your main problem is suboptimal guarantees.
  • Learn & practice this topic only, until your guarantees are effective.
  • Recommended reading: $100M Offers – Alex Hormozi

If your guarantees are a 4 or above, you’ll be converting plenty of on-the-fence prospects to buy.

How to save my failing business...

DIAGNOSING "EXTRAS"

Team, referrals, etc.

25.

question TWENTY five [optional]

How synergistic, functional, and aligned is your team?

(Solopreneurs need not apply.)

Team synergy, alignment, & trust helps foster innovation, collaboration, productivity, communication, and more.

If you can’t tell a brand (or product) made up of a highly aligned team from a brand made up of a dysfunctional, chaotic one… I don’t know what to tell you.

Team alignment contributes to the overall success & sustainability of a biz.

How well aligned with your vision, and each other, is your team?

A hand drawn rating scale from 1 to 7, pink-hued.

If your team’s at a 3 or below, then every other business issue gets amplified, big time.

  • Your main problem is an unaligned team.
  • Learn & practice this topic only, until your team synergizes well.
  • Recommended reading: The Five Dysfunctions Of A Team – Patrick Lencioni

If your team’s at a 4 or above, your business will run like a well-oiled machine.

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26.

question TWENTY six [optional]

How effective is your referral system?

(Serving customers is great, but turning customers into your street team is better.)

People trust their friends and people “like them.”

So, a single referral can do most (or all) of the work of selling for you.

This is super helpful for a business.

It takes time and money to get a new customer, but one good referral can skip all that, saving you a lot of resources, and making business growth happen effortlessly.

Besides a huge savings on marketing, referrals also boost conversions majorly, as well as pre-qualifying leads for you and shortening your sales cycle.

High word-of-mouth buzz and referrals are the “holy grail” for a business, worth diagnosing.

Is your referral system up to par?

A hand drawn rating scale from 1 to 7, pink-hued.

If your referral system’s at a 3 or below, then you’re missing out on plenty of referrals.

  • Your main problem is a poor referral system.
  • Learn & practice this topic only, until your referral system is reliable.
  • Recommended reading: Million Dollar Referrals – Alan Weiss

If your referral system is at a 4 or above, you’ll be building your unofficial street team like crazy.

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27.

question TWENTY SEVEN [optional]

How strong are your financials?

(Profit & losses, balance sheet, taxes, receivables, etc.)

Do you know how much money is coming in? How much is going out?

Have you been paying your suppliers, or do you owe them money? Do customers owe you money?

Are there other financial inefficiencies? Do you have a solid accountant? Could you be paying too much in taxes?

Do you even know what a profit & loss statement or balance sheet is?

Successful businesses take control of their finances and have an intimate understanding of them, make sure you’re one of them.

(This should include a healthy pricing strategy as well.)

A hand drawn rating scale from 1 to 7, pink-hued.

If your business’s financials rate a 3 or below, then you may have a “leaky boat” without even knowing it.

  • Your main problem is a poor accounting.
  • Learn & practice this topic only, until your business financials are strong.
  • Recommended reading: The Accounting Game – Mullis & Orloff

If your financials are at a 4 or above, you can rest easy and keep growing.

All successful businesses answer 4 or above to the majority of these questions.

So now you have a handy cheatsheet guiding you through the business diagnosis questions.

You now at least have the first step of how to save a company from financial crisis.

Whether your main issue is traffic streams, or juicier offers, or a better market, you now have a clear direction and can start seeking turnaround strategies for failing businesses.

And if  you’d like a walkthrough through most of the concepts above, check out our business survival guide podcast on it:

Or if you’ve having trouble diagnosing your biz issues correctly, or would like extra confirmation that you’re on the right track, please email Cynthia and she’ll help get you sorted out.

And if the aspects of business we’ve discussed here are tip-top for you, but somehow your company is still just a struggling or failing business…

Or if you already know some of the above needs work, but you’re struggling to actually improve it, you likely have…

Mental health business blocks.

Mental health business blocks are things like:

And the mental health issues can go on and on for entrepreneurs.

If your business is struggling due to mental health issues, that's a whole other story.

If you want to improve your mental health so you’re able to apply yourself to what you know should be easy fixes, I highly recommend our Mental Health For Rebelpreneurs podcast… Eyes Wide Open.

If you’re more of a reader, there’s the blog posts I linked above, plus I’m working on something special, but there’s also other great books on business mindset out there such as:

  • Happy Money by Ken Honda
  • To Sell Is Human by Daniel H. Pink
  • The War Of Art by Steven Pressfield
  • The Greatest Salesman In The World by Og Mandino
  • Work The System by Sam Carpenter

and many of the other books on my “Under-The-Radar Books That REALLY Solve Your Problems” list.

"Failure isn't bad. Failure is often a necessary teacher, so we can learn a lesson with our full heart and mind. My mentor J-Ryze failed at 20+ businesses, yet he's the only business coach I go with."
Headshot of internationally best-selling author, Issac "I.C." Robledo.
I.C. Robledo
Int'l Best-Selling Author

Business is simple at it’s core.

Selling is a skill, just like cycling or swimming.

All businesses, from Nike to your favorite author, to the 7-11 on the corner, run on systems.

They have systems to promote, systems to nurture, systems to sell, and so on. The only way to get repeatable, reliable cash, is to do repeatable, reliable things.

So if you don’t have a system you’re proud of for each of these steps, your business will struggle and your life will be one that doesn’t have the cashflow you know you deserve.

The good news is, each of these steps is jaw-droppingly easy to diagnose with a single question, and each one is easy to cure with committed study and practice.

The good news is, each of these steps is jaw-droppingly easy to diagnose with a single question, and each one is easy to cure with some committed study and practice.

They’re not rocket-science or neurosurgery.

For centuries, people have gotten the hang of them, and
you can too.

You can go from your business not making money, to running a giant empire… You just have to setup reasonable systems to address any symptom that’s harming your business.

But if you want a hand with any of the steps…

…Cyn and I are happy to help, just have the courage to reach out and ask.

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P.S. We're J-Ryze and Cyn, and we mentor entrepreneurs in mental health and business. We hope you found value in this post, and we really, truly, wish you all the joy and success possible.

Thanks for reading!