How to Build an Unstoppable Business
As a small business owner, there’s no doubt you sacrifice a lot for your business. Statistics show that in addition to the increased stress they feel in their relationships at home, 57 percent give up their free time in order to invest time in their business and 37 percent consistently abandon exercise time in order to work. And while 80 percent feel very satisfied with what they do for a living, more than half of small businesses will fail within five years of starting. Owning a small business is both challenging and rewarding; here are some tips to ensure yours beats the odds.
Do what you love.
I feel like I haven’t worked in a long time because I love what I do. The mission of our company is to impact and improve the lives of people and that’s what I get to do every single day—improve people’s lives. When you do what you love, you don’t have to love every part of it. There are certain aspects that I don’t enjoy; however, you have to ask yourself, at the end of the day, does the essence of what you do for a living float your boat?
If you’re not sure, ask yourself the following questions:
- What are you good at?
- What do you enjoy?
- What would you do if you didn’t need the money?
What makes you or your service unique?
Potential clients are asking themselves, what’s in it for me. It’s essential to match your uniqueness with the needs of your clients. Here’s how:
- List the features and benefits of your business that are unique and choose the top three.
- What emotional need is met by your service? People buy emotionally. If you meet their emotional needs, you’ll create an advocate.
- Identify the aspects of your service that others would struggle to duplicate.
PT Barnum once said, “Without promotion, something terrible happens—nothing.” You have to promote your business, but more than that, you have to promote yourself, your clients and customers and promote with the end customer in mind. Remember, people will follow the path of the strongest conviction.
Sell with enthusiasm.
Follow the lead of Estée Lauder: “I’ve never worked a day in my life without selling. When I believe in something, I sell it and I sell it hard.” You have to believe that if you do a great job for your customers, they’ll tell their friends. One of the keys to a lasting business is turning your customers into advocates and raving fans and the best way to do that is to sell with enthusiasm.
I am the son of a housepainter. My family has worked for themselves since 1769 when Henry Buffini came to Cork, Ireland. I helped my grandfather in the painting business and at the end of a job, we’d clean the windows and change the lightbulbs to highlight the paintwork. My grandfather would say, “Can you put your name to that?” One of the best ways to exceed your clients’ expectations is to notice a need and serve to the deepest needs of your clients. Take a personal interest in your clients and they’ll be touched you care and may become your biggest advocates.
Stay in touch.
French novelist, Victor Hugo said, “When a man is out of sight, it is not too long before he is out of mind.” Keeping in touch with your clients is at the core of working by referral. How do you keep in touch with your clients? Always provide value and be consistent. It helps to have a system in place to help you stay on track.
Cultivate a community of advocates.
When you have a community of advocates behind your business, you increase your chances of success. Building this community takes time, but once it has momentum, it’ll continue to grow as your advocates refer you to their connections. How can you do this?
- Reach out to your very best customers and make sure to get face-to-face and voice-to-voice with them.
- Connect your clients with each other to help them reach their personal and professional goals.
I don’t think 50 percent of businesses need to fail. There are principles and processes you can employ to build an unstoppable business. I hope you’ve signed up for the Blitz—Summertime Surge. If you have, get ready to have your most productive summer ever. If you didn’t get a chance, be sure to sign up for the Blitz this fall to help you end your year on a high note.Brian