Monday, March 4, 2013
7 Steps for Generating New Business Opportunities Pt. 1
Entrepreneurs often live with the hope that if they build it, customers will come. But in today's economy, it takes a lot more than hope to get people to purchase your products or services: New business-building practices are a must if you want to expand.
Another necessary element is a clear-cut plan for growth. But many entrepreneurs get obsessed with creating the perfect plan. Or they never get around to putting one together. Crafting a plan is necessary, quick and effective. And we can show you how to do it. The following seven steps should take you no more than four hours to complete-a small price to pay for a tremendous upside. The result? A road map that will infuse new energy, enthusiasm and vision into your company's growth plans. So let's get started.
Step 1: Focus on your core product. A very successful e-newsletter entrepreneur has built his business around this mantra: "Prospects buy when they trust your value is applicable to them and believe your company is stable." This strong position allows him to constantly check up on the services and value he's providing his customers. Keep this statement in mind as we go through the rest of the seven steps, because internalizing this mantra is the key to a solid plan.
It's common in small, service businesses that the entrepreneur feels he or she must do everything the "big guys" do to compete. The truth is, small-business owners can really never compete in the same way. So it's essential for small businesses to differentiate themselves by focusing on the unique capabilities and core products they bring to prospects. Specialization is the entrepreneur's greatest asset.
Step 2: Keep your pitch simple. The last time you asked someone at a party what their company does, did you get a clear, concise response? Or did your eyes glaze over by the time they got to the end of their explanation? My guess is, it was probably the latter. Now imagine that same pitch being presented to prospects who don't have a glass of wine in their hands to distract them! It's not a pretty picture.
What every company needs is a simple "elevator pitch." That's a short, concise message that can communicate your message to a prospect in 30 seconds or less. It explains the value your product or service provides so the prospect understands why it's applicable to them.
Try this little exercise to test your pitch clarity quotient. Ask someone who doesn't know what you do to listen to your pitch. Explain what your company does, and watch for signs of fatigue-eyes watering, lids getting heavy, and so on. Of course, you may have the perfect pitch. But if you don't, you'll recognize it right away from verbal and physical responses.
Step 3: Stay true to who you are. Knowing who you are and what gets you excited (and bores you to tears) will help you reach your goals. Nothing can derail a growth plan more than discomfort and procrastination-it's simply human nature to procrastinate over things that cause discomfort. And there are dozens of daily business requirements that every business owner detests. If you're finding yourself putting things off, it's time to start delegating.
Stay true to who you are and what you do best: Hand off those tasks that will blow you off course because you don't like doing them, so you don't! Stretch and grow your capabilities in alignment with your interests and expertise. If accounting is your nemesis, hire a bookkeeper. If your personal organization is out of control, hire a temp to set up a new filing system. Always make sure that you're focused on your priority "A" tasks and delegate your Bs and Cs.
Stay tuned for more....