Are you planting in rocky soil? Have you ever heard that phrase? While it may seem that “planting in rocky soil” would thwart a farmer more than an entrepreneur the metaphor rings true. Growing your business against all odds is the same as planting in rocky soil. You may have started your business in the midst of the recession — talk about against all odds/rocky soil!
Growing Your Business Against All Odds
One reason many entrepreneurs don’t success or reach their potential is that they never stopped to truly understand who their ideal customer was, where to find them and how to properly market to that customer. Meeting a pain point for your customer is the best way in which to thrive in rocky soil. If you’re pushing a product or service to a person or group for whom it’s not a good fit you are expending energy, time and money and not seeing a return on your investment.
I urge you to stop. Take a breath. Focus.
You can’t be everything to everyone. It’s been said that “jacks of all trades are masters of none.” Find your ideal customer/s and market to that group.
There’s “riches in niches” so the saying goes. But don’t niche so small that your pool of potential clients is too small to thrive.
Don’t let a potential customer doubt you. Consider this: You go in to get your hair cut and during the appointment your hairdresser offers to change the oil in your car, clean your pool and arrange your next event. What?! Do you really want this person weilding scissors by your head when they obviously have no focus? Don’t create doubt or distrust in your ability in the minds of others.
Specialize, don’t generalize. Being a generalist does work for some people, but others find that if they specialize they can find more unique clients and make more money because they are experts in their field.
To grow your business against all odds, take some time today to draw a Venn diagram. In the three circles, write down: 1. your area(s) of expertise; 2. what people want; 3. what people will pay for (that is the intersection of where you can make money)
As an entrepreneur, chances are you know where your core strengths lie. After all, you wouldn’t open a CPA firm if you didn’t love numbers and analytics. You wouldn’t strive to be a writer if you didn’t embrace words, grammar and syntax. But do you know your core strengths and do you embrace them in your daily business dealings?
Let’s look at core strengths and see if there are areas in which you may want to focus more… or less.
Do You Know Your Core Strengths?
I believe in order to move forward you need to know where your foundation is, where you’re starting from and what resources you have available.
- Do you have focus? Are you running after every bright, shiny object that falls in your path? Focus is essential to grow your business.
- Do you have specific milestones toward which to strive? If you don’t have milestones you could easily meander off the path of growth. Define your core strengths and build from that foundation.
- Are you launching a new product? What have your customers been asking for? What skillset do you have to launch a new product or service? Are you ready for launch and do you have the support staff you need to accommodate it?
- Are you moving out of your lane? If you have built your business on a core strength are you focusing on that or do you wish to add a new competency to your entrepreneurial endeavors? It’s never a bad idea to diversify, but you do need to know whether you have the core competency to make it a success.
- Are your core strengths the bulk of your profit center? Will any diversification add to that profit center or will you be moving into a different realm than what you’re currently known for? Moving into a different area of expertise isn’t a bad idea, but if you don’t have the financial stability to support a switch, make certain you are solvent enough to support your new experiment.
Are you running on auto pilot and is your business remaining steady but not growing? If it’s the case, drop me an email and let’s talk about how to focus on your core competencies to further your business growth.
Gone are the days when you can run your business the same way that the “guy down the street” does. You need to know how to set your business apart from the competition and it has to be in a better way than racing to the bottom with the lowest price. There are many strategies that entrepreneurs can put into play to make their business “be” different from the competition even if you’re both selling the same widgets to the same base of clients.
How To Set Your Business Apart From The Competition
What are you doing to stay ahead of your business competitors? What is your differentiator? What steps can you take to truly make a difference and have an impact that will make your business soar?
Have faith in yourself and in your success and, most importantly, in the goods and services you offer. Your faith and your belief in yourself will shine in every conversation you have.
Don’t quit. Even if you try something that doesn’t work or doesn’t work the way you’d hoped it would — it is NOT a failure. It was an experiment from which you can learn, strengthen and move forward.
Be ethical. There is no “winning” if you cut down the competition to gain a customer. You and your business need to stand on its own merit. A potential client will not look fondly upon you if you’re bad mouthing the “other guy.”
Make a decision. Entrepreneurs cannot afford to sit on the fence. They need to be decisive — yes, even if that decision turns out to not offer the outcome you’d originally hoped for. You decided. Moved forward and you can course correct if necessary.
Be healthy in mind and body. Yes, entrepreneurs need to put in a lot of hours to be successful BUT if you’re not taking time for yourself and your mental and physical health you will not thrive. You need to operate at peak levels and this means you need to eat healthy. You need to get physical exercise and you need to sleep. Don’t forget your personal life and make time for friends and family.
What can you, or do you, do to set your business apart from the competition?