How, we can make sure that we are among the winners rather than the losers in these high stakes game? The answer is within us. We must ask ourselves four key questions to determine whether our small business can survive and thrive.
business, starting a business, small business, entrepreneur, SME, SME Startup, Startpreneur, Startuppper
Every year lakhs of people answer “Yes” to the BOOM – (Being Oné Own Man/Woman) calling and make it their SOP – (Statement of Purpose) and every year that answer comes with Risk Staruppers ( I call them Startpreneurs) take which costs them money, time, efforts, confidence, goodwill and heartbreak as 9 out of 10 Startup businesses fail ! Even where their is a single soul as sole employee, it happens. I was a Startup and I tasted failure 16 times. In couple of cases, I fired myself as CEO/ Founder with impunity :). Funny, but True! It happens to many of the new entrepreneurs.
As per an estimate, two-thirds of new businesses survive at least two years and 44 percent of Startups survive at least four years.
Two of the key factors in the businesses survival and ability to thrive evident are:
- the owner’s education level and
- the owner’s reason for starting the firm in the first place.
Let us examine from an Investor’s point of view as to what they judge us as Startpreneurs:
- A Top Angel investor looks at 5 things in Startups before investing
- People 2. Product/ Service 3. Process 4. Traction 5. Profitability.
- Some investors focus on the Founders and look at Vital Qualitites such as:
- Passion 2. Ambivert 3. Erudite 4. Calculated Risk Taker 5. Dedicated All-in
(But more about these in another article I shall share here)
So how d we make sure that we are among the winners rather than the losers in this high-stakes game? The answer is within us. We must ask ourselves four key questions to determine whether our own small business will survive and thrive.
- What is our STATE of Readiness?
How mentally prepared are we, for the switch from employee (or student or whatever label fits we currently) to boss? as we are going to be the ones making decisions now about everything from office products to product line.
This total control is one of the driving forces behind many people who take the plunge into starting their own business, but it is also one of the elements that drives new entrepreneurs crazy. When we start out there is an endless list of decisions that need to be made and new questions crop up every day.
Even more important we will need to remember that in a small business we will have to wear many hats. Even if we manage to start out with one or more employees we will each fulfill more than one role in our new business. And if we are running a one-man or one-woman show then we serve in every capacity from file clerk to maintenance crew to salesman to CEO.
Can we handle switching from task to task and role to role like that? Are we willing to make those switches?
Similarly, have we prepared our family and friends for this switch in attitude. Our life is going to change — pretty drastically — and that change can have a positive or negative impact on our family life and social interactions. It will make things much easier if our friends and family are supportive going into the process.
- Where O’ where does lie My Niche’? Does it REALLY exist?
Have we identified our niche yet? One of the reasons many businesses fail is that they fail to focus on a target audience. Yes, if we are a major discount store then we can sell everything from peanuts to wallpaper, but this type of business requires vast resources that just aren’t available to the small business. But small businesses dominate the marketplace by finding a different approach — a niche’.
Knowing our niche’ means we are better able to find, target, and maintain our customers as well as provide the best possible goods and services to that customer base. That focus is one of our best chances to not only survive but to thrive in a very competitive marketplace.
- Do you have a Plan of Action? With Who, What and When ?
Another key factor in the survival and ultimate success of our business is how much planning we do before we open our electronic or physical doors. We need to decide if our business will be based on the internet or include more traditional models.
Are we going to work full-time or part-time at our new business? Are we going to hire help or go solo? Have we written (or at least outlined) our business plan? Dreaming, thinking and planning can save we much trouble and waste later when things are hectic and problems strike.
Planning can also help keep we focused and to balance our spending and time.
- Who is / Are my Back-up Cushion/s? Just in case, we FALL?
At some point, no matter how experienced a business person we are, we will need help. We will need support, advice, tools, or information — or all of the above. One of the beautiful, and most frightening, aspects of growth is that it can lead us to places we never imagined. No matter how much planning and experience we bring to our new position as CEO the unexpected will arise.
How will we cope with this? It is important to recognize that no business is an island. It is not failure to seek help. Failure is when our business shuts down because we didn’t get the help we needed.
The best way to get timely help is to work on our support system while we work on building our business. That way we will already have a ready list of resources available that we can quickly tap into when emergencies strike. In today’s world there are many marvelous resources available to we no matter what our business model may be. These include, which I define as the 4 M’s
- Media (newsletters, magazines, books)
- Mentors (professional advisors, mentors, teachers, consultants)
- Memberships (organizations and forums in our niche as well as general business and marketing)
- Mental Stimulation : Education and training (tutorials, courses, and seminars)
After we have answered these four key questions we are now ready to ask ourrselves that one big question again — are we ready to start our own business?
Two Down, One to Go Meaning: Two things have been completed, but there is one more that has yet to be finished. I finished two article writing and two presentations now one more to go. Going is tough but it gets going.
Easy As Pie Meaning: Something that is easy. Parting was so damned easy, why did I drag my feet and procrastinate? I should have listened to my Theta brainwave and the Gut feel the very first time.
Throw In the Towel Meaning: Giving up; to surrender. Even the worst of urban commie brainwashed bran-heads give up in surrender, the worst of the masks can be unpeeled and the already Red Inside faces can be made bloody – it is a skill, a technique, a hard De-mentoring and exposing the pseudos – the Freeloaders who like a pest/ Leech suck your time, efforts, money and peace of mind. Good riddance!
Right Out of the Gate Meaning: Right from the beginning; to do something from the start. Someone said about hindsight and my polite response was – I have foresight and farsight. I drive with a backview mirror – I don’t need a mirror to see driving in the fore. The hindsight is reserve of the stray horses and mares with broken or absent shoes with hurting nail which makes them kick at everything – not in sight and ignore what is in sight. That is where the ‘Saddle point’ of negotiations arrive and the Best Jockeys – Mentors put nose rings and blinkers ON so that they can convert the strays into Race horses. Best trainers, jockeys have a different approach to deal with them. Branding them is the first step 🙂
Jack of All Trades Master of None Meaning: Having suitable skill in multiple things, but not being an expert in any of them. Yes. For too long I have been that. 45 specific online courses (on Udemy) later – i am still searching for the right niche’ to be an expert. Otherwise, I am sure, I shall get an Honorary D.Litt. from a friendly University one day 🙂 🙂 🙂
To reach our business goals we need right resources and/or the insights to help our business reach the success it’s capable of. Following four insights will help us generate the business we’ve always dreamed of.
1. Experiment with New Advertising Methods
A sharp decline in the effectiveness of our advertising campaign is usually the the first sign that we might need to explore new marketing strategies We shell out and ( as critics say – BURN) hard earned cash to advertise, and pubic turns its nose up! Procrastinating till our profits are plunging to start hunting for new marketing strategies is futile.
What could possibly be these foolproof selling techniques? Yeah, no more customers walking out with empty hands… no more profits disappearing into thin air! Share below, are 4 secrets that will help you put money in your pocket, and enhance your current customer list and augment, hyperscale your business.
1. Make It Easy
While the old adage – variety is the spice of life is true; giving customers too many choices can lead them into indecision or procrastination. We know, very well; when customers procrastinate … we lose sale!
Imagine a customer walks into shop / the point of purchase, your business premises; and is ready to purchase, and suddenly sees several options he didn’t know existed, he’ll stop, and then decide… which one? If he’s uncertain… well, you lose a sale that was already in your pocket.
Make it easy for your customers to decide… yes, I’ll buy it… no I won’t buy it. Yes and no decisions are a lot easier to make, and are more likely to put cash in the drawer.
2. Offer Several Ways To Buy
Too many choices can overwhelm customers and can cost you sales. These options of how to buy may open up avenues for customers to purchase the product they’ve decided they need. They say there are different strokes for different folks… your customers don’t all use same methods to buy. It just makes sense that if the method they prefer is available, they’ll be more likely to take advantage of it.
Convenience it the key to attracting buyers in today’s fast paced society. What will be the fastest and easiest for them… credit card, phone, fax, Internet, or cold hard cash?
3. Keep it Simple
Do you remember the frustration of spending 10 minutes pushing buttons on the phone just to get through a pain-in-the-neck automated ordering service. Heck, you just wanted to buy that one item! Maybe it was the time you had to click your finger raw, just to jump through the hoops of an online shopping cart. Yeah, the temptation to just forget it is right there!
Don’t frustrate your customers with intricate ordering processes. Most likely, they just want to place the order in a few minutes and be done. Let them get frustrated, and they’ll go elsewhere, or just abandon the idea altogether.
4. Follow Up
One of my favorite catalog companies always closes out the sale with a special buy that is available only at the time of purchase. I’m an impulsive shopper by but it stops me in my tracks every time. I know it’s a one-time shot, and I really consider whether I want or need it before I hang up the phone.
How many items would your customers buy if you were to follow up every sale with a special offer? Internet marketers have a world of options at their fingertips. The products you offer don’t even have to be yours… and you can still make a profit!
Affiliate marketing is sweeping the Web. Think about it… would your customers benefit from an ebook that deals with the product they are purchasing? You can offer it to them, and let the owner handle ordering process while you collect the commission. It’s as easy as 1, 2, and 3 and profitable too!
Boosting your sales numbers and profits isn’t as tough as it sounds. Implement these 4 simple selling techniques, and watch your sales steadily climb… and just think… they didn’t cost you a penny!
I was reading this commercial from Tony Robbins’ Newsletter ”
When someone asks you for help, how do you respond?
The naive coach tends to “over-commit.”
They feel this heartfelt pressure to help the person, so the say, “Yes! Let me share my solutions with you. I’m committed to your change. Let’s make it happen!”
Why is this naive? Because if you rush in too much as a coach, you might scare the client away!
Or worse yet, you are seen as a “nagging” friend giving them unwanted advice. Ever experience that?
The wise coach knows better. They say, “Great. I’d love to help you.”
Then the wise coach thinks to themselves, “Let’s figure out what kind of client this is.”
You see, there are four different client types. The four types have different goals. They work at different speeds.
And they have completely different expectations for their coach.
When the naive coach “rushes in” to help, they miss out on the client’s type.
They miss what’s really going on.
The wise coach first understands the client’s type, and proceeds accordingly.
Which coach do you think is more effective?
If you ever find yourself giving advice to someone who doesn’t seem to benefit… I have something for you.
Today we will be sharing one of our top strategies for bringing faster, more profound change to coaching clients.
It will also work on anyone in your life who needs your help.”
I come into the later category of coaches – the Naive Coach! I tend to commit fast, stay committed for long and rarely have I failed.
I believe that Flirting Mentor is an Oxymoron just as a term like Naive Coach is, IMHO. A TRUE coach or mentor is neither naive nor a Flirt ! Serious coaches are Committed people and whether they commit early or later is a matter of their mind’s processes and early or late decision making capabilities/ habits – nothing else!