If you have been a business owner for any length of time, than like me, i am sure that you have made your share of some really dumb and stupid business mistakes. I’ve also coached a number of people to start their own businesses, and I’ve seen many of them make similar mistakes. This advice is geared towards small business owners, particularly people who are just starting (or about to start) their own business.
1. Stop selling to the wrong people.
When you start your business, people will tell you that sales are vitally, vitally important to the survival of your business. They are not wrong. But here’s the thing – the worst thing you can do is to try to push your business on everyone you meet, especially your friends and family. It really is a waste of your time and efforts to try selling to people who simply don’t need what you’re offering.
I have learned that some clients are much harder to work with than others. If a potential customer is broke and obsessively worried about every nickel they spend, then they won’t be a good client in the long run(though there are exceptions to the rule). Michael Port in his book , Book Yourself Solid advises that you should implement a Red Velvet Policy , where you should feel free to say no to customers that are more trouble than they’re worth. Let your competitors sell to them instead. You’ll save yourself many headaches, and you’ll free up more time to focus on serving the best customers.
Composer/Filmmaker/Artist Salomon Ligthelm has found the sole reason why he creates. His most authentic work comes from a place of surrender and service to others.
Reject the voice inside that says “you are what you do” and give in to The Great Abyss. Find why you create.
Having started and grown a successful retail business and also having worked for some of the largest global retailers, I have always been fascinated by what the difference is between the person who opens and runs a successful small business / retail store, and the person who opens and runs a chain of stores across the region or even the country.
For me I believe that the main difference is in the thinking process. If you think big, you can be big, but most of us get so caught up doing what we do, that we don’t allow the thought of where we are going to manifest and form.
So while I don’t see anything wrong with being a small successful business, I also don’t believe that there is anything wrong with wanting to build your business into a hugely successful big business.
I was talking to one of my mentors recently – this is someone who is a millionaire , many times over, is a brilliant entrepreneur, and has a asset and property portfolio worth close to $100 million.
Yet , he is also one of the humblest persons you are ever likely to meet.
We were talking about how so many people on social media like to label themselves as Gurus and Experts without having the real world results, or years of trial and error to back it up.
He said he was perplexed because the really great entrepreneurs , the ones who have created legacies and made a difference , never went around calling themselves gurus or experts , in fact they felt very uncomfortable when people labelled them as such.
Being an entrepreneur is amongst others things, one heck of a roller-coaster ride – Whether you are a new start-up or a established business owner, we all face the same ups and downs, the same challenges, the same trials and tribulations – and its so easy to get caught up in the ride.
The sad thing is that in the hustle and bustle of trying to make the next payroll, negotiating with vendors, managing our people, delivering stellar customer service – we often get so caught up on the roller coaster that we forget to take time to enjoy it.
One of the things that i have noticed with both entrepreneurs and people working in corporations , is that they often believe that as their talents and skill sets improve, so should their salaries and income.
The thing is, your skills and talents alone will not necessarily lead to a increase in your income.
To maximise your talents AND your income, you need to first identify the psychological reasons why clients do or don’t decide to use your services.
In this insight-packed 99U talk, best-selling author Ramit Sethi reveals how he went from practically begging his readers to pay for a $4.95 e-book, to charging thousands for online courses and consultation by putting himself in the shoes of his customers. Think of the unspoken concerns of your customers, he says, and master the language used by your clients. For example, people don’t want to “increase core strength” they want a six pack. By mastering the psychology of language and tapping into what your customers want, you can give them what they need and become indispensable.