9 Tips for Beginners to Avoid Bombing in Business
Being mentored by the founder of one of the largest marketing firms in the world does not mean success is guaranteed. Dream-seeking entrepreneurs become part of an exclusive pseudo-masochistic club where gratification and passion is spooning with risk and ignorance. The truth is, national statistics state most businesses fail within the first five years. That means something is missing. The magic of intelligence, strategy, and the power of will is one combination. However, there are axioms learned the hard way that can be avoided. With that, here are nine tips to help beginners avoid bombing in business.
1. Know the Objective
Like the movie, Hitch, with Will Smith and Kevin James. Smith is seen driving the question, “What is the objective” into James as part of the training. Business owners are in the same situation. With appointments, meetings, calls, and decisions to be made, losing focus is easy. Know what you are doing with your product or service, and avoid broad answers. If you’re trying to promote a knit hat, then covering all heads is not the objective. It depends on size, amount of time it takes to make, and what audience will be the popular buyer.
2. Less is More and Quality is Best
Business owners usually aim to be all things to all people. As an individual, this can put a company onto a dangerous path. Marketing, for example, is so massive that attempting to secure all facets is unwise. Consider specializing in a single marketing discipline like public relations rather than trying to include commercial creation, ad work, and policy advocacy as well. Becoming well known for successfully placing stories in the media will take a new business farther than trying to split the duties with average performance.
3. Target a Short List
Instead of targeting more than you can manage, make a list of 20. Go through and create a select list of people and do something really clever to get an audience with them. One company creates clever invitations to exclusive mixers and targets a short list. The positive attendance comes from feeling special and appreciated.
4. Say it in 25 Seconds or Don’t Say It
It’s the 30-second elevator pitch condensed because it always runs over. By accident or deliberately, you will meet people who want to know. If you’re in business, you want to tell people about your business. So instead of torturing the other party with time consuming stories, know your short story. Practice your 25-second elevator pitch…and bomb. Then pick yourself up and do it again.
5. If You Aren’t Interesting They Aren’t Interested
Watching and listening to introductions in networking meetings is like listening to finger nails comb a chalkboard. Make sure to deliver the passion for the work. Those who lack the driven personality style, consider creating a snappy introduction or a gimmick to offer. Sometimes, if done well, that can be just as interesting and dynamic.
6. Connect with Real Experts
Business owners lose more money on hobbyists and network junkies. One woman at a recent networking meeting in Boise, Idaho claimed to be a marketer. It wasn’t until further questions that it was revealed she was a self-proclaimed marketer and her experience was having a blog that captured 1,000 visitors. She wasn’t aware of Alexa rankings, top blog practices, or marketing plans. It could be an unfortunate loss of cash for the unsuspecting business owner hoping to strike gold. Ask questions about success, training, and experience. Once those questions have been answered, dig a little deeper into specific tasks perhaps.
7. Don’t Be Your Company Victim – It Doesn’t Matter
It’s a cold reality. Nothing matters unless you do the job. All the excuses that are invented, rationalizations attempted, and blame passed. To succeed, the work must be done. Be prepared to do everything if necessary so the expectation never disappoints.
8. Bootstrap is More Attractive Than Bankruptcy
If you can read and research, plan to learn more and spend less. One college graduate looked at the owner while holding up an ink cartridge and said, “How do you change the ink?” As a business owner, avoid at all costs being so dependent on another that you can’t do simple tasks in the office. Seeing a business that began in the basement and grew to 10 employees and then 20 is sexy.
9. Make Yourself Matter
It’s all the rage: work-life balance. People seek it and business owners shun it. Health can be affected when the life is forgotten. Use five minute breaks to listen to a song, journal, make a quick phone call, or fix a shake or cup of herb tea. Begin the client customer service by applying it to the boss too.