Do you really need a business phone if you are 1 person service business?

Don't drop the cash 'til you figure out the full impact

Yes, you look professional and it's a tax write off. But you might want to dig deeper. How does it affect your business model, your brand, and your leadership?

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.

Like:

  • 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:

Why service professionals struggle when they start a business

There are so many things to learn when you hang out your shingle. Start first by speaking so that your prospects understand why you

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
  • Conferences
  • 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”.

Why?

Because the biggest thing that many service professionals miss is:

Why it’s so freaking hard to find your future customers

 

Because it doesn't have to be so hard to find your peeps if you make this one mental shift

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.

If you build it, they WON’T come

Before you spend a dime on your website, do this

Try these 3 steps before you spend a dime on building your website. 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? 

Yeahhhh. But.

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:

How to get over your fear of writing your business plan

Smart entrepreneurs use measuring to blast through their failures.

 

  • 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?

Good!

Then you’ll be all ears when I reveal a secret about writing your business plan.

1 Page Biz Plan

CLICK THE GRAPHIC TO DOWNLOAD

The 1 Page Biz Plan

“It’s Time For You To RE-THINK The Typical Business Plan…”

When you think of a business plan, what’s the very first image that comes to your mind or the feeling you get? It not only feels dreadful and difficult, but when you envision just how many in-depth pages it can be…it can be downright scary.

I’m here to tell you today that you can no longer fear the dreaded business plan.
In fact, what I’m about to reveal to you is a powerful 1-page business plan that’s going to completely change the way you not only think of business plans…but how you get business done!

Imagine if you could strip out the very core and most essential elements of a typical multi-page business plan and put all the “good stuff” that actually will motivate you, keep you on track with the right goals and more, into a single page plan…

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