Entrepreneurs – Want To Start A Business But Not Sure What Type?
Many entrepreneurs get that itch to start a new business, either because they are fed up being “wage slaves” or they like the freedom that working for yourself can bring. Some even think that they will be richer or have more spare time. Many are not sure what kind of business they want.
First of all – never start a new business because you want more money or more time. Starting a new business takes both lots of time and most, if not all, of your money.
Secondly don’t fall into the trap of starting a business just for the sake of it. Make sure that someone wants what you are aiming to sell! Your fruit cakes, tattoos or begonias may be the best in the area but if no one wants them – then you are going to be going bust very soon.
So how do you find out what kind of things you are going to sell?
1) Look at the type of area that you want to set up your business. A majority of aged clients is not going to be keen to have tattoos but might love your cakes!
2) Look at the other businesses selling in your area. Whilst it is sometimes good to group some businesses together such as car sales – make sure there is enough people left who may buy from you. Similarly if there is a successful company that is not coping – maybe you can inherit some of their clients?
3) Look for gaps in the market. Are their complimentary businesses close by who you can join in with to share customers? Is the market just crying out for a particular product of service.
4) Most importantly go and ask people. Give talks at clubs about your subject and see what kind of reception you get. Hold a competition for the best ideas etc.
Good luck in obtaining a firm foundation for your new business.
What is a Blunder?
Definition of Blunder:
Main Entry: 1blun·der
1: to move unsteadily or confusedly
2: to make a mistake through stupidity, ignorance, or carelessness transitive senses
3: to utter stupidly, confusedly, or thoughtlessly
4: to make a stupid, careless, or thoughtless mistake in
- blun·der·er / noun
- blun·der·ing·ly / adverb
Source: Merriam Webster
First, why even focus on the blunders? Isn't that kind of a negative focus?
The reality is that we all make mistakes. Most of us don't like to re-live the mistake so we try our best to forget what happened. Worse yet, we sometimes blame our clients (bad client, bad, bad client).
But that same coaching blunder can be used to sharpen our coaching skills. The very thing that we worry will be the end of us (a blunder) can actually catapult us to a very different level of performance.
Learning to recognize and embrace our coaching blunders is the path to better coaching. We will continue to blunder, so let's take advantage of the opportunities that present themselves!
What are some reasons to focus on the blunders?
Here are 8 compelling reasons to embrace your mistakes and use them to your advantage:
1. Become a more (polished) (sophisticated) (evolved) coach.
2. Eliminate your rough edges while refining the sharpness with which you coach.
3. Replace repetitive blunders with a stealth form of uber-coaching.
4. Give your clients the gift of effective coaching on every call.
5. Begin to learn the real reasons your clients leave (fire) you and what to do to turn that around. Coaches often have clients for 2-3 months and then they fade away. Now you can begin to learn why clients leave you.
6. Discover how to love being rated by your clients in performance reviews.
7. Learn how to self-assess, and self-coach, with honesty and compassion.
8. Discover real time solutions for when you get stuck (and who doesn't at one time or another).
What kind of Blunders do coaches make?
In the Coaching Blunders Series, available in audio with a workbook, we discuss different types of blunders and their value to us:
1. Administrative Blunders
2. Fearful Blunders
3. Avoidance Blunders
4. Communication Blunders
5. Power and Empowerment Blunders
6. Benefits of Blunders
What are the Top 10 Blunders that you see coaches make?
Although we identified close to 100 coaching blunders I feel that the Top 10 Coaching Blunders are:
1. Waiting until you are ready to coach (new coaches) or waiting to coach the more challenging clients (experienced coaches).
Get clients now! Your coaching education will make more sense if you're coaching. You're never going to "have it" if you don't "do it". I highly recommend that you "dive in and get both feet wet".
2. Taking your client at face value.
This may sound shocking but the reality is that clients come to us because they are here, and want to get there. If they could do it on their own, they wouldn't' need us. Often, what a client says to us has to do with the client's current paradigms and attitudes. If we take their goals and ideas at face value, we may be missing huge goals that they want to tap into but don't yet know how to express. They are hiring us so we can tap into the goals with them.
3. Going into solution mode.
Most coaches, particularly new ones, will jump right away to finding solutions and solving problems. Why do we tend to go to solution mode? What's our motivation? We do this because we think it will justify our fees and prove our value as a coach. This is very limited thinking on the part of the coach.
4. Not knowing your client.
a. Do a thorough pre-hire interview. If you want to know how to do this successfully consider getting the eBook Ten Step Buying Process: Converting Prospects to Clients at http://discninja.com/products.htm.
b. Have a complete intake form for your clients to complete.
c. Use assessments. My favorite is the DISC Personal Profile System. To see a number of valuable coaching assessments visit www.InternetAssessments.com.
I prefer to have a complimentary collaborative interview with a potential new client instead of offering a complimentary free session. This way I get a clear understanding of the potential client. By using the DISC assessment, it helps me stay out of "solution mode" because I can deal with client behaviors and discover their motivations from there.
5. Avoiding difficult or touchy subjects. Allowing client to avoid issues that are "hot" (and avoid they will).
Sometimes coaches inadvertently allow clients to avoid the touchy subjects. We have to be very watchful to know what the touchy subjects are for each client. If the client keeps avoiding a certain topic, it's a blunder on the coach's part to allow that to happen. Once you notice a client avoiding a touchy subject then bring this up in session. For instance, Every time, I begin to ask you about this topic, you change the topic. I'd like us to take a few minutes and see what's here.
6. Not having a system in place for the administration of our clients.
a. Keeps us from serving our clients and growing our business.
b. Client Compass software is a great administrative environment.
i. E-Caps that can be sent to your client directly after each call.
ii. Invoicing - Failing to manage the money and/or get paid on time. Payment can be handled directly through the premium version of Client Compass.
iii. Keeping track of paid and volunteer time
iv. For more info visit http://www.clientcompass.com
c. Not having a well-written coaching policy that sets clear client expectations. If you would like to see my coaching package it is available as a part of the www.90DayMarketingMarathon.com as lesson #41. For your quick reference it is available at this link: www.90DayMarketingMarathon.com/coachingpackage.pdf.
If you set up systems, then tasks can be done automatically and you can spend more time coaching and earning a living and less time on administrivia.
7. Not building an environment that allows more people to know about you as a coach. In the www.90DayMarketingMarathon.com program, we create just such an environment for you.
a. Selling people or talking people into coaching. Once again, I recommend reviewing the Ten Step Buying Process: Converting Prospects to Clients (see #4 above)
b. Coaching any one other than your "ideal" client.
c. Not letting enough people get to know you.
A lot of coaches love to coach, but they don't love to market. If you're not marketing and people don't know about you, you won't have the business you want. Consider joining the www.90DayMarketingMarathoncom. It will help you be clear on your ideal client. And I guarantee that you will be a much better coach when you are coaching your ideal client.
8. Coaching around topics we should avoid
We know this and yet it's so easy to get sucked into it. Hold clear boundaries and coach your clients to contact the appropriate contacts such as their employee assistance program (EAP), therapist, attorney, etc. Our job as coaches is to not get sucked into it but to have strong and clear boundaries and to hold the right space for coaching our clients.
9. Constantly asking questions and/or not allowing clients to answer before asking a new question.
Silence tends to make most of us very uncomfortable. So, if the coach becomes uncomfortable we often ask new questions before the previous one was answered. This is a serious blunder. That same silence can also put your client into a certain discomfort, which can be a good thing. It teases something deeper out of them. Don't let clients "off the hook" because of your discomfort!
10. Raising fees before we are ready.
If we don't feel worthy, it will not work. Clients will sense this like dogs sense fear!
One option is to create coaching programs with a specific focus as well as a beginning, middle and end. There is less risk for the prospect or client in both time and money. And, you can often convert people who have taken one of your coaching programs into a one-on-one client.
This is because they have had a chance to get to know you and trust you. You have developed a relationship with them and they will feel more confident in working with you.
You can create your own program or purchase a license for a coaching program from a third party such as CoachVille. I am also offering several licensing programs so feel free to contact me for more information.
Parting Words of Wisdom:
The key is to embrace your own blunderella or blunderfella. Embrace them and you will learn much more quickly than when you are in resistance.
© Copyright 2005 Alicia Smith
Permission to reproduce granted if all attribution & contact information is included.
All Fortunes Begin With an Idea!
Financial advisors often find themselves consulting to successful entrepreneurs about how to continue to grow their assets after the business has been sold or taken over through a carefully planned succession strategy. But developing a small business (defined here as having less than $50 million in annual revenues) is not so simple.
After the initial burst of business success and survival in the first three years, many small businesses encounter struggles that can leave them feeling isolated. What can assist a 30-year old consulting firm whose personal presence and paper products face a changing world of electronic presence and high travel costs by helping them with development of electronic products? What can encourage a small playground equipment manufacturer to move from $1 million to $2 then $5 million in annual revenues by helping her with facility expansion issues? What can help a successful cookie baker beat the competition through strategic partners, cause marketing and high tech kitchen equipment?
Small Business Development Centers can.
According to the Small Business Administration these SBDC's gave face-to-face help to more than 247,000 clients last year. A treasury of business answers lies waiting and ready to assist at 1,100 top colleges and universities across the United States, according to the SBA. These centers are funded by a combination of federal, state and local government monies as well as with private sector dollars.
Here are just few examples from the State of Wisconsin. The University of Wisconsin at Whitewater hosts a Small Business Development Center at www.uwwsbdc.com [http://www.uwwsbdc.com/] Its email is firstname.lastname@example.org This center is also affiliated with the Wisconsin Innovation Service Center, that "takes pride in an extremely high rate of client satisfaction...nearly 75% of clients have been referred by former clients and professionals. The Wisconsin Innovation Service Center charges an "affordable fee" to provide companies with enough information for improved product and market development decisions.
A few diverse examples of this university-related treasury of successes include these:
- A local gardener gained international attention for a unique gardening tool.
- An innovative drywall finishing product offers significant benefits over competition.
- A new product helps a honey producer grow.
- A business in the electrical equipment industry finds new customer segments.
- Investors and inventors find value in a flooring company start-up.
- An environmental product company breaks past the $15 million mark with a new product.
- An ornithology hobby becomes a successful business venture.
- An outdoor equipment manufacturer finds a potential acquisition.
- Customer purchase decisions and perceptions are revealed to a manufacturer.
- An automotive aftermarket tool gains distribution outlets across the U.S.
- A "hot" tool is offered to the propane and plumbing industries.
Part of the success of these entrepreneurs and a couple of hundred thousand others is due to the one-on-one relationship of these advisors with their entrepreneurial clients. Developing business plans, wading through loan applications, securing critical market research, exploring product design options, identifying a lasting competitive edge---these are typical of the services that SBDC's can provide to the entrepreneur.
These services are nothing to be sneezed at. In another state, South Carolina, the economic impact on the state's economy in 2005 alone was $86 million, resulting in a return on investment of $121.11 for every dollar of state funding, according to Regional Director Jill Burroughs as quoted in the Greenville News. Further explaining the power of the program, Burroughs said that breaks down to $45.7 million in capital formation, 1038 jobs created, nearly $25 million in wages paid, $869,000 in additional sales taxes and $15 million in contracts awarded to 381 businesses.
SBDC's are located in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico, Samoa and the US Virgin Islands. If you conservatively cut the impact of South Carolina in half and multiplied by the 50 states, you would have a $2.1 BILLION impact.
This is a powerful treasury of real riches that spills over to the rest of the economy from the struggles of entrepreneurs who refused to let their dreams be defeated by the obstacles they encountered. They got help.
Entrepreneurial Mind Frame
Traits to Manifest Towards a Successful Entrepreneurial Venture
Do you know why a lot of entrepreneurs succeed with their businesses? Well honestly, theyve got positive traits that aid them in their success. So, do you have them too?
Almost every successful entrepreneur when asked about their acclaimed success would merit the deed to their attitude. They will surely tell you that it is all about attitude. Yes, it is all about nothing but positive traits to get an entrepreneur going in the business. The real sense of business has changed in meaning and in phase all throughout the years.
Let us credit it to the advanced technology that we are all enjoying these days. Computersthey are all around. With the computers come the internet and the power of the web so as with the email and web pages. The telephone system has likewise changed over time which includes the advantages brought about by voice mails and cell phones.
Now these technological aids are only mediums that make the flow of businesses in smooth transition. Nothing and no one can ever disregard the importance of the positive traits imbued in a person which makes a successful entrepreneurial possible by all means.
Are you then a budding entrepreneur? Do you think you will be capable of dealing with all of the advents alongside entrepreneurial ventures? Then read on so you will learn how to assess your personality and if youve got the needed traits of a potential entrepreneur.
Would-be-entrepreneurs must know how to set goals. Now the setting of these goals starts at the tender age of an individual. Ones being a youngster needs to be coupled with discipline in the setting of future goals.
The building up of these traits is usually influenced by the factors such as the parents and the educators. For people who do not belong to the upper class, they are able to realize that when they want something which they know their parents would not be able to afford, they will surely work for it in their own little ways.
When it comes to entrepreneurial, the person is aware that the decision-making lies in his own hands so he will likely turn out to be very responsible.
After the goals have been set, a thorough working out of it is needed. What are goals if they will not be materialized? In order to reach these goals, a person must strive hard and learn the craft of organization, discipline, and risk-taking.
Next, one who has the dream of venturing into entrepreneurial knows how to assess his own strengths and weaknesses. What are you good at? What can you do? What are you capable of giving out in the business? On the other hand, what are your usual failures? What shortcomings are you prone to be subjected to? When entering into any form of entrepreneurial, facing ones fears cannot be set aside. One must be open to all possibilities in the phase of the business industry.
An entrepreneur must have a nose for business opportunities. What is most likely to be appreciated by the customers? What trend is hot in the business? The truth is that newbie and oldies in line of entrepreneurial must not stop seeking for opportunities and possibilities that will work best in todays current time.
After such opportunity has been spotted, an entrepreneur must grab such chance and make the best out of it. Talk about taking advantage! There is always that competition which cannot be rid of but then ones success in business is always measured by the realization and materialization of the set up goals.
Entrepreneurial also equates with the ability of being able to efficiently manage and handle every little thing concerning finances and budgets. When one is unable to control the outflow and inflow of the finances, then the business may be up to closure in no time at all.
Entrepreneurs must know how to recognize the first best. Any opportunity is worked out to turn out to be the best in the area. Experiencing fun in whatever endeavor is always vital for a successful entrepreneur. Entrepreneurs also know the time when they need to seek for help. They are no super heroes so they also need aids from other people.
The question now is, do you have such traits? Will you also be a tailor-made entrepreneur someday?
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