15 Mar 2010

Giving Your Business A Reality Check

No Comments Guest Posts, local advertising

This is a guest post from David Kenward, the Mental Coach.  I’ve chatted with him a few times and see how his services can add amazing value to help folks perform under pressure, whether sports or business.  Watch the videos on his site to see…

In the film Chocolat, the protagonist (who made chocolates and owned a small retail chocolate store) had a specialty of finding each person’s favorite chocolate treat.  She was doing what she was best at and worked with people who came in because they wanted what she provided.

I wonder what would have happened if someone would have come into her store and said they didn’t like chocolate, or didn’t know if they did or didn’t have enough money to buy, but wanted her to spend her valuable time and resources on them while good customers (who like chocolate, have money and want to buy) would be forced to wait and might leave the store in frustration without making a purchase.

Does this happen in your business?  Do you know what you are best at, but waste your time with potential customers who really aren’t a good fit?  I used to do this because I know the specialized service I provide (helping people overcome mental blocks holding them back) is what I’m best at and can help nearly everyone.

But, what I discovered is that many potential customers either don’t think they have a problem or don’t really want to fix it.  Also, like the great article on the “Five Magic Words to Grow Your Business” pointed out, a lot of people don’t have the resources to fix it, don’t want to invest in themselves to fix it or discount the value of the service.

I would feel bad because I know how helpful my service is and so I’d reduce my fees and try to convert every customer (even those who were just a bad fit).  The result was I didn’t have many good customers, my profit didn’t reflect the value of my service, the business was stagnant and I felt really frustrated.

Then I gave myself a business reality check, revisited the phrase: “I don’t have to hit my head against the wall to know it’s going to hurt” and embraced the concept of those “Five Magic Words.”  I increased my fees to reflect the value of my service, created a screening process to find the potential customers who would be a good fit and spent my time and effort on them.

The result is happy customers, increased profit and my business continues to grow.

Take a step back and look at your business – are you doing what you are best at and spending your time and resources on the right customers, the ones you really want, the ones that will help your business grow?  If not, give yourself a reality check and re-tool if you need to.  This is the road to consistently staying focused, motivated and on-track and enjoying your business.

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Dennis Yu is the Chief Technology Officer of Portage. He is an internationally recognized lecturer in Facebook marketing, having been featured in The Wall Street Journal, New York Times, LA Times, National Public Radio, TechCrunch, Fox News, and CBS Evening News. He is also an author at InsideFacebook and AllFacebook. Dennis has held leadership positions at Yahoo! and American Airlines. He studied Finance and Economics from Southern Methodist University and London School of Economics. Besides being a Facebook data and ad geek, you can find him eating chicken wings or playing Ultimate Frisbee in a city near you. You can contact him at dennis@portage.co, his blog, or on Facebook.
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