How to spark interest when asked “What do you do?”

Our actions and decisions today will shape the way we will be living in the future. (2)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:

3 Tips to Grow Your Biz

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 love what they do but want help in growing their business.  Podcast interview by The Dog Trainers Connection and Malla Haridat

 

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.

Send me any questions you have after you listen!

Before you worry about incorporating, do this

Don't start a business by incorporating. Here's what I recommend you consider first.

Don’t start a business by incorporating. Here’s what I recommend you consider first.

Prove that you have a business.  Earn your first check.  Gain your first three sales.  And be stuck with a check you can’t cash because you ain’t got a legal structure.

It might seem counterintuitive to much of the advice that you read about start-ups.  But hear me out on why I’m suggesting you start with a few sales first.

A lot of people start with the technicalities when they get their business started.  Their list looks like this:

  • What their office needs to look like.
  • What to put on their business cards.
  • And stressing over their legal structure.

All those things are important.  But only AFTER you prove your business model works.  Aka you can earn money and have an interested pool of potential prospects. 

The #1 question I hear from Entrepreneurs

“Help me make more monnnneeeeeeeeeeyyyyy!”

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

Your sucky time management isn’t the problem with your business.  You don’t have a time management problem.  You haven’t even scratched the surface.  The real problem ishttps://mallaharidat.com

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

Your hot mess: No you can’t serve all clients

Your hot mess: No you can’t serve all clients.  I’m just want you to STOP believing you can market to everyone. You are spending your too precious time and resources to prove it is possible. www.mallaharidat.com

No you can’t serve all clients. I’m just want you to STOP believing you can market to everyone. Here’s what you can do instead.

I’ve heard it a thousand times – “Malla, my service is perfect for E.V.E.R.Y.B.O.D.Y”.

No it’s not. You can’t sell to everyone.

But I get it. You need cash flow. You want to establish your business name. So you’ll sell to anyone who is willing to buy.

Let me recommend you try it this way: Pick one market. That you know and enjoy working with. And serve them well.

Is your business ready for 2014?

This year I'm gonna(fill in the blank)

Or are you still wondering…what the heck happened to last year’s wish list? Here’s what you do to change your biz…

Don’t look up at the calendar.  But in a few days, it’s going to be 2014.

Are you ready for your business to earn more revenue, take on more clients and be able to give more value away?

Or are you still wondering…what the heck happened to your 2013 wish list?

Well have no fear!  You’ve got a few days  to end the year with a bang.

So here’s what I want you to do – go back to the resolutions that you had for your business in early 2013.  You know the list of things that you said “This year ….I’m gonna do _________________”

(And no judgment here if you can’t even find the list!)

Get out of your head and sell!

Get out of your head and sell!

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.
And how do you do that?

No money and I need to find a location for my business!

Do you really need a location when you are still hustlin' hard?

You see the location is not really the problem. Sure, for many start-ups or entrepreneurs in the making it would beyond ideal to FINALLY have a place to hang your shingle.

A friend of a friend reached out to me recently for help on finding a location for her business.   She has her Masters in Education and wants to start a childcare center in her community.

As we started talking I realized that she had a challenge that many start-up entrepreneurs face:

How do I find the location when I don’t have any money?

Happily there is a solution!  But it requires some serious elbow grease and shift in mindset in order to make it happen.

You see the location is not really the problem.  Sure, for many start-ups or entrepreneurs in the making it would beyond ideal to FINALLY have a place to hang your shingle.

Are you REALLY ready to start a business?

Do you really got the skills, 'y'all?

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:

  1. Where did you get funding? Self? Family? Friends?
  2. How did you first start marketing your business?
  3. What was your first big sale? How did you get it?
  4. How did you learn about finances?
  5. How did you figure out how to set your sales #s, your expenses, etc?
  6. What would you do differently?

Grade yourself on a scale of #1-10 on the following subject areas:

  • Marketing
  • Sales
  • Technology
  • Finances
  • Operations

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.