Do you wish you had a better way to answer the question: : “So what does your business do?”
You might be attending a networking event. Or a family dinner with distant cousins and relatives. Or a power house conference where you are meeting dozens of people over a few days.
How do you stand out?
How do you capture their attention so they want to know more?
Most people tend to introduce themselves based on what they do. It’s a default in our society to give your name and job title. The problem is that it doesn’t tell the listener what makes you stand out. There is no way to differentiate between you and others who offer the same service.
If you introduce yourself with your title, the listener is likely to lump you into a box. Tell them you are a graphic designer and they think of the last two people that they met who are designers. Even though your skills are different. Talk about your web design business and they visualize the last web designer who didn’t finish the project. Share that you are a coach or some new fancy category and they will often give you a blank stare.
So don’t start with your title. Answer this question instead:
My recent podcast on DogTrainersConnection with Bonnie Brown
Want tips on how you can earn more money in your micro-business while doing what you love? Then you’ll enjoy this podcast interview. I had the pleasure of being interviewed by Bonnie Brown, Founder of The Dog Trainers Connection. She asked a very powerful question for dog trainers who lovewhat they do but want help in growing their business.
Dog trainers – like most service professionals – have to juggle the dual task of serving their clients AND serving their OWN business – aka finding more clients and juggling the many roles of running a business. That’s not easy!!!
So I shared three powerful tips on how dog trainers and other service professionals can grow their biz.
Many people start businesses because of a moment of “Eureka”! They are in love with (Blank). Someone asks them to provide (blank) and hands them dollars for a job well done. The person providing (blank) thinks “I love this stuff and someone PAID me to do it?”. So they hang up their shingle and wait for the flood of customers to come and keep them doing what they love.
If you have a big network, you can run your business without paying alot of attention to your marketing. Your people will tell your story and keep your cash register ringing.
But if you’ve tapped out your existing friends and family network and know you want to grow your business
Your sucky time management isn’t the problem with your business. You haven’t even scratched the surface. The real problem is
It always seems like time is the enemy. You aren’t making enough money because you can’t seem to get everything done? There is too much “to do” and not enough time.
I hear this scenario all of the time from entrepreneurs. I woke up motivated, Malla. I had a PLAN! A few marketing tasks. Some sales calls. And a list of operational tasks. I knew it was going to happen. But I fell off after:
one too long visit with my accountant and a reminder about taxes
a no call/no voicemail prospect who told me she was interested but has ignored all of my calls
and the three hours I spent messing around with that plug-in which still isn’t working on my website.
I get it! But you don’t have a time management problem. You haven’t even scratched the surface. The real problem is
you have no shortage of good ideas. Ideas are great. But the big difference for those that have successful businesses is their EXECUTION of the good ideas. And how do you do that?
Starting a business is a funny thing. You start out with one idea and before you know it…it’s blossomed into a multi-national $40 million company with 10,000 employees. You are making moves and raking in the dough.
Why? Because you have no shortage of good ideas.
And ideas are great.
But the big difference for those that have successful businesses is their EXECUTION of the good ideas.
One of the biggest mistakes I see entrepreneurs make during their startup – Not assessing the skills they need to run a business. So start first with assessing your skills. Don’t start with the business plan.
One of the biggest mistakes I see entrepreneurs make during their startup…..
Not assessing the skills they need to run a business.
Yes, you need to figure if you’ll incorporate or not.
Your office location is sorta important.
And you’ll definitely need startup funds. (But has anyone heard of bootstrapping til you make it?)
But the bigger question is how well will you be able to run your business?
If you want to start a bakery, you need to know how to bake well. But honestly you need to know how to get people to pick your bake shop and keep them coming back for more goodies.
Or perhaps you learned some WordPress skills. Great! But does everyone in your network know that? And after you tapped out your 5 friends and family, how do you tell the world and get to YOUR ideal client? And what makes you different from others who have a list of clients 10 feet long?
So start first with assessing your skills. Don’t start with the business plan. Interview a few entrepreneurs/small business owners. Find three that you admire who are willing to tell you their story – their HONEST story – about how they built the business. And then compare what skills they have to the skills you have and will need to develop.
And don’t worry about finding the uber successful entrepreneur. Find three-five freelancers or micro-business owners to interview. Get them to tell you the story of how they started.
Sample questions like:
Where did you get funding? Self? Family? Friends?
How did you first start marketing your business?
What was your first big sale? How did you get it?
How did you learn about finances?
How did you figure out how to set your sales #s, your expenses, etc?
What would you do differently?
Grade yourself on a scale of #1-10 on the following subject areas:
Grade yourself honestly. No one is looking at the results!!! lol. What the number represents to you is where you’ll need to put in some work.
Don’t worry if it’s low in many or all categories. It just means that you need to listen to more stories from business owners about what they did and practice those lessons yourself. Attend courses and networking events that help entrepreneurs. Or speed up your learning and hire a coach to help you identify and resolve your trouble spots.
Let me know your “ahas” from the conversations! I’d love to hear what stands out for you below in the comments.