Short answer: You look professional and it’s a tax write off. But you might want to dig deeper.
How does this decision affect your business model, your brand, and your leadership style?
I know you are probably thinking: “Malla, I’m just getting a phone. It’s not that deep”.
Yeaahhhhh. It is. Adding an additional expense has a direct impact on your business. You want to consider a few things.
- Extra time – Someone has to answer it
- Extra money – There is a new bill
- Extra time – It can be a distraction
So how do you decide?
Before you jump into the final decision, consider creating a decision matrix. While it takes time to develop, it will save you in the long term. It’s pretty likely that you’ll make future business purchases. With the decision matrix in place, you’ll make them based on strategy AND your gut intuition. So consider these ideas:
Over the years, I’ve encountered many people who want to start a service business. Rather than working any longer for “The Man”, they opt to hang up their own shingle. No more office politics. No unfair promotions. Just the projects that they are enjoy. And checks that they don’t have to share! Yessssssssssss!!!
Most working professionals do their research. So they start out like this:
- Legal registration
- Print business cards
- Get a website
- Start social media accounts
- Locate office space
- Wait for clients to show up
And for many, the client “wait” isn’t long. Friends and family are happy to oblige during the first few months. They are celebrating and happy to get quality services at a rock bottom rate.
But after a few months, the love of friends and family is gone. The list is tapped out. And there are no new recommendations. So the marketing marathon begins:
- Networking events
- Online groups
- Social Media
- Paid ads
But the results are ……crickets. Alot of proposals. Alot of “that’s too expensive”. Alot of “If I had money”.
Because the biggest thing that many service professionals miss is:
But why is it so FREAKING hard to find these people on a regular basis????
You get all dressed up for a networking event. Pass out a ton of business cards. Schedule follow up via phone and email. Spend hours on social media posting, liking, and following. (Well, maybe it was only 20 min. ‘Fess up. I was there too laughing at jokes on #BlackTwitter! lol)
You’ve even tried paid ads and special incentives. The online marketing gurus constantly talk how this stuff works and suggest ads.
But…nothing. Crickets. Silence. You’d have an easier time finding an empty register at a Back to School penny sale.
So, here is an idea to ponder.
I waited patiently. I knew the question would come up. It always does when I talk to someone who recently got the entrepreneurial “spark”. You know that moment when you realize that your passion is something you can get paid for.
So I can just put up a website and people will buy my service?
There is whole lot between “build it and they will come” and your idea. You’ve got to invest in the marketing, planning, and host of “oh my goodness this is tough” moments.
Yes, you need a website. But before you spend a DIME, consider these three ideas FIRST:
Customers want something new.
You might have heard that Wal-Mart is closing stores in several small and rural communities. It’s a tough blow for many of those communities. Because their small businesses were hit hard when Wal-Mart came to town. And now that they are leaving, customers are stuck with few options.
My friends, that spells opportunity for you!
No, I don’t mean that you should open a retail store.
But pay attention to the trend. When the world’s biggest store starts closing stores, something is shifting. Even if it’s only a fraction of their stores.
It means something is not working.
And that my friends… Is a great thing for entrepreneurs.
“When inspiration wanes, how do you get the OOMPH to continue on?”
A few months ago, I was speaking to a group about social media strategies for small businesses. One of the participants asked several questions about how to increase her already sizable number of Facebook and Instagram followers.
We started talking offline. And something came up during our discussion. While she had a sizable following, she hadn’t sold anything to her audience. None of her ebooks. No affiliate ads. No online programs. Nada.
Please don’t miss the AWESOME marketing strategy that Beyonce’s team used. Whether you agree with the politics, social media discussion, or even liked her Super Bowl performance – it doesn’t matter.
Beyonce SLAYED her marketing.
Whether you are an expert or not even sure where to start with your own marketing, you can use these strategies. I’ll share two that are easy to implement with the time you already spending on your business.
Promote only three packages.
I know. I know. There are 50 things that you want to sell. And probably 100 things that you are good at providing.
Don’t. It’s too confusing.
Share only three services when you talk to new prospects. People get confused when you are offering too many options. And they will move into the indecision mindset (aka won’t spend money) rather than buy from you.
Consider the last time YOU had to make a decision with too many options.
- Are you having panic attacks thinking about writing your business plan?
- Hearing the voices of former teachers telling you how bad your writing is?
- Freezing up when you try to plan out what goals to focus on?
- Or just B.O.R.E.D. out of your mind staring at the blank page?
Then you’ll be all ears when I reveal a secret about writing your business plan.