I’ve been an entrepreneur now for over 20 years, and along the way I’ve bumped my head, scraped my knees and picked up a few things. Just because I learned these things the hard way doesn’t mean that you have to!
So here are my top 8 tips for entrepreneurs …
Never ever assume! Anything. Ever.
Why? Mostly because when you assume something, things go wrong. You assume the client will call you back, and they don’t. You assume that your vendor will show up on time, and he doesn’t. Whenever I coach a new client about their business, I will pound them with “what if” questions. For example…
“What if your vendor doesn’t show?” I’ll ask.
“That will never happen. I know this guy.” They usually answer.
“Well, what if it does? what’s your plan?”
“That won’t happen. He’s my brother’s friend … I know it will be fine.”
“Well, what if I told you that there is a 1% chance that it does, are you willing to take the risk?”
As I said, don’t assume. Have a plan. Always check, double check and have a “plan B” ready just in case.
Testimonials – Overwhelm your clients with testimonials!
Put them everywhere! On your website, in your business proposals, absolutely everywhere! They are solid and convincing proof that your services work.
Honesty – Be completely and totally honest.
Don’t lie or mislead your clients … always tell them the truth. Going above and beyond for your clients is important, especially as they can make or break you. Meaning, they can refer you out to a dozen friends or slam you on Twitter and Yelp.
Meeting The Client’s Needs – Meet your client’s objections right from the beginning!
You know what they’re thinking right? They’re thinking that they don’t have enough money to use your services, or they don’t have the time, don’t need it … the list goes on and on. Answer these questions first.
Customer Service – Always, and I do mean ALWAYS give them over the top customer service.
It is the number one way you can grow your business … treat them like you wish to be treated and it will come back to you tenfold. People might not remember what you said, but they’ll never ever forget how you made them feel.
You can have a thriving business as long as you stay positive and ignore the doubters. Trust your intuition and follow its guidance. It knows where the clients are! Don’t ignore it, don’t over-think it, and most of all don’t talk yourself out of it!
Persistence, Determination and Patience
To be a successful entrepreneur, you need to be persistent, patient and determined. It’s that “I’m not going to give up” attitude that will keep you going in spite of setbacks.
So what if you do fail? You keep going. I’ve failed hundreds of times and yes IT HURT! The key is that I got up again because I knew that if I kept trying, I would get there. That’s where patience comes in. Look at it this way … if you are driving from your house to the mall, you know you’ll get there eventually. You might run into traffic along the way, or possibly need to take a different route, or you might get into an accident … but you will get to the mall. Perhaps not when you wanted to, but you’ll get there! That’s what running a business is like. You need to have the confidence and the mental fortitude to know that you’ll create a successful business, and yes …. YOU DESERVE IT! I can’t tell you how many women I’ve coached who believe that deep down inside they don’t deserve to be prosperous and happy. Yes you do!
Lastly, you’ll need an extremely HIGH tolerance to pain!
For the exact reasons I just listed above. Not every month will be profitable, nor will the road be without bumps, hills, mountains and potholes. It happens. Life happens! Just don’t give up. When something (or someone) knocks you flat on your “you know what” … get up! Don’t stay down there. Instead, look at what is working in your company and toss out what is not. Change your direction, company name, services, pricing and try again.
So how do you become a successful entrepreneur?
You do whatever it takes.
Thomas Edison once said “I haven’t failed 1000 times, I’ve successfully discovered 1000 ways that don’t work.”
copyright 2016 by Katharine C. Giovanni. All rights reserved.