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Friday, April 12, 2013

The 4 M’s Behind Every Successful Small Business

Over the years I have discovered there are four keys to building a successful small business. They all start with the letter “M”, thus the title “The 4 M’s.”
They are:
  1. Mindset
  2. Multiple Streams
  3. Marketing
  4. Mentors
#1 Mindset
Did you know that the amount of money you’re earning right now, whether in a job or in a business, is a direct reflection of the value you place on yourself and your services? Your “mindset” around money is what determines how much you earn, much more than your skills, talents, work ethic, or any other criteria. 

Many people don’t place a high enough value on their services. They don’t ask to be paid, or charge what they’re really worth. Many are even uncomfortable when it comes to asking for money in exchange for their services. 

There is a reason this is the first of the four M’s. It’s because you can follow the other 3 M’s, but if you don’t have this first one conquered, you will probably still struggle to make money in your business. Yes, your mindset is THAT important. 

How do I know this?I have studied a lot about money mindset over the past six years and I suffered from some major money mindset problems myself in the early years of my business. Once I became aware of my limiting beliefs, and worked to overcome them, my business revenue doubled, and reached the six-figure mark in less than six months, after being unable to do so for the previous six years. 

#2 Multiple Streams
Very few small business owners can generate six-figure or seven-figure businesses with just one stream of income. Unless you offer a highly specialized service that allows you to command a very high fee, it’s tough to do. 

If you’re currently offering a service, take a look at your business and determine what other income streams you can add, and start taking steps to add them. 

This might mean creating information products or selling other people’s products. It might mean doing group work, such as group coaching or group teleclasses. It might mean adding coaching services or teleclasses to a consulting business. 

Be creative and think about new and different ways you can package and offer your expertise. This will help you increase your revenue and serve more people. 

#3 Marketing
Most business owners make the mistake of believing they’re in the business of offering the service they offer. They believe they’re a coach or a consultant, or an accountant or a lawyer.
In reality, you need to realize you’re in the business of marketing first and in the business of your profession, second. 

Look around. I’m sure you can find others who do what you do, who you know are not as qualified or effective as you are, yet have built successful businesses.Why is that? Very likely it’s because they’re great marketers. 

To be successful in business, you must embrace the idea of marketing and plan to spend at least half of your time marketing your business. 

#4 Mentors
There are two ways to build a successful business: the hard way and the easy way. Unfortunately many people choose the hard way. They try to figure it all out on their own and they don’t seek out help from others who have already done what they’re trying to do. 

Many people mistakenly believe they cannot afford to hire mentors. The reality is it will probably cost you more in mistakes, lost time and lost revenue, trying to figure it all out on your own than it will to hire a mentor. 

Mentors can show you the way, they can tell you what steps to take, they can hold you accountable, they can even help you muster up the courage to do things you’re afraid to do.
Mentors don’t always have to be paid. They can also come in many forms. The idea is to seek out the knowledge and expertise you need to successfully build your small business. I have sought mentoring in many forms including good friends, mastermind group members, paid coaches, information products, books and seminars. 

So before you think you can’t afford a mentor, consider if you can afford NOT to have a mentor.
How long can you wait until your business is profitable? 

How much frustration can you handle before you give up?

These are some important questions to ask yourself before making a snap decision that a mentor is out of your budgetary reach. 

These 4 “M’s” are simple, but very effective when you put them to work in your small business. 

(C) 2009 Debbie LaChusa

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