Don't drop the cash 'til you figure out the full impact
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:
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:
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.
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:
“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…
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