Business startup (from now to selling) / Investment to do so
When I get the opportunity to consult with businesses like these…I ask them all the same question: “What service are you providing the customer?” That usually gets blank stares as they either do not know what I mean, or they believe the “product” is the service…it is not.
So, let me take a minute to explain what I mean (don’t get lost here, the remaining points you are looking for will build on this premise).
- If you open a store and fill it gorgeous product, amazing lighting and immaculate displays (which all of these have, mainly because of the cost they have to pay to have a lot in this flea market), if you only sell to those interested by what they see, you will undershoot your expected revenue, and never gain the number of customers you need to be successful. (this concept translates 1-to-1 with on-line businesses also)
- If you “touch” every customer that walks in and try to apply “salesmanship to each customer, that makes your situation worse. The fact today is people do not want to be sold anything. They want all the information up front to help them make the decision for themselves. They do not want your “help” as they always feel your input/perspective is slanted to your own benefit…and the modern customer is not interested in helping you. They want the full benefit of the transaction.
So…how do you overcome this. We are in the attention business. The way we gain / maintain attention is to provide a service that the customer wants and prove to them that we want to help them succeed by providing that service.
The reality is that any concept for selling can/will have a market if it is organized and developed in a way that helps the customer feel unique and “delivered to” a service that they prioritize.
The next step is now based on a direct question. What is your why? What is the core component or concept that is central to your joy and passion…and after finding that, existing your business and effort to focus on this will be the key.
It is my belief that truly successful entrepreneurs find their core pursuit and…pursue it. Pursuing anything based on simply gaining more money or stature is extremely hard to maintain. It creates issues in staying motivated and engaged. I am not going to dive into how to determine your why here as it is not a core question you are trying to get answered, but I would suggest finding this answer sooner rather than later to help in your pursuit.
You can take many ways to determine your why, but I would take a moment now to figure that component out before you continue (even in this document).
This is where the process starts…a concept that drives successful business today…provide value first, then monetize.
Once you have your why, your next step is to create a brand / awareness the people will now associate you with this determined “why”. I believe you have a small following as you have “sold” product to friends and have received feedback that your website is effective. We now need to increase this “circle of influence” to more and more people that see you as someone that is helping them accomplish something they want through your skill and desire to help (your why).
In order to maximize your customers, you will need to be active participants in each customer experience when they come in your “store” (access your website or connect with any of your material). Have a conversation with them. Do not immediately try to sell something or tell them what is for sale. Just be present and let them see you as someone that wants to help them enjoy their experience.
Remove pressure if they seem to feel any. Let them know you are available for any questions they have. Let them know of any “free event/product/presentation/class” you are planning to have (via YouTube or Facebook or any other venue), and most importantly thank them for “stopping by” (and if possible, give them something when they walk away…a pamphlet, a gift card, a link to a website…anything tangible that did not cost the customer anything).
This maximizes your internet business and makes it different as you need something to interact with the customer and engage with them in a manner that gives value without cost. This gets customers to give things to you (like email addresses) and return to see what it new (even if they do not buy on that first visit.)
Once you have solid following / population, it is important to then set a goal for what you are trying to accomplish, breaking down to digestible chunks what you are trying to accomplish. A basic plan many of my customers use is the following:
1,000 loyal customers that will each buy $100 of product from me each year. This is $100,000 a year and would be solid by any stretch of the imagination. If this sounds like a solid goal, keep it in front of you and work daily to:
- Communicate your why
- Develop your brand (by providing service before monetizing)
- Increase your following
- Incorporate sales into your most loyal followers
- Obtain 1,000 loyal customers buying $100/year
The above is a lot of information that you may need to take in “digestive chunks” to truly get the impact you want. Read and re-read pieces as you implement, but most importantly do not wait…ACT NOW. Go get the results you are looking for.