I literally don't know what to do next. Am I capable of being a business owner?
I'm working full time trying to get my small business to attract customers. I think I have a good social network presence, but I'm finding it difficult to continue taking action and push forward. I find myself waiting for customers. I know that ain't gonna happen unless I take action every day.
We are a private equity firm as well as financial advisor for cross border deals. We mainly focus on client in america but also europe. We have been a member of the business community in the Research Triangle area of North Carolina for over 30years. I have a degree in Business Management and Economics from North Carolina State University.
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I think all of us small business owners are always seeking new customers. There's a lot to learn and it's not all intuitive. I used a SCORE mentor who was outstanding! He helped me to develop not just a business plan, but also an action plan. It was inspiring and energizing. You might want to find an expert to coach you.
It is more difficult than many would lead you to believe to build an online business. I suggest you start local, a conversation at a time. This will keep you active and give you the chance to build real credibility and testimonials. What is your value proposition / promise to your customers? Do they care? If not, why are they not responding? What is not resonating in your presence and messaging? Whoever is on your list right now, ask them something to this effect. "What's your next level [related to your industry]?" "What's keeping you from getting what you need?" "How can I provide more value to you?" First you need to know what's on their minds. Then you need to adapt to meet what they're telling you.
Jim, your profession is both practical and lucrative. If you are a hands-on workhorse type person who prefers to stay in the shop, all you need is someone to serve as a front man/marketing agent and lead acquisition specialist. An honest, trustworthy, high energy social magnet that loves getting out there, establishing and maintaining relationships and seizing opportunities. Once you find that person, you've got gold. Test them out for six months or so. If they pass, offer a partnership deal. Next item. Get a written business plan that outlines your objectives, mission, target audience, marketing strategy, team duties, salary and benefits as well as the business process. You'll need this along with a concise partnership agreement to present to potential partners. See my profile for more information.
Hi Jim, if possible, please share more details as what are you doing and what are you looking for. I believe, you need some pro-active partner who can help you out to drive your business.
Hi Jim, May I give you a very prudent suggestion. Change your profession / business. I read all the suggestions trying to help you regain your confidence, see how nice people are they do not want you to quit for the time and money that you must have invested into your business. In my opinion there is no need to live on hope as the cost of survival becomes higher and unbearable at some stage.
My experience is to leave the opportunities behind that do not compliment your style of working, explore and move ahead with new opportunities.
In today's competitive world you have to have enthusiasm to perform and for that you must earn something, if that is not happening then it is not advisable to spend more time on speculation.
My suggestion may not be pleasing to read but I am writing from my experience as I have seen many loosing all their worth after getting into the situations like the one you described by not using their guts to quit and save whatever they have but consumed their guts till they lost everything.
Good luck and use your networking presence to explore new opportunities.
Hi Jim. You may take the assistance of a executive / business coach to help you with this.
Entrepreneurship is a tough and lonely journey and its takes some time to establish yourself. It would be great if you share a little more insights about your business. You can also connect with me via LinkedIn for a detailed discussion.
I am using this system to acquire customers. https://incomeoffer.io/results/2
Jim, Have you put together a business plan? Often, when we get started on a new business we think we know what we want, but until you make yourself a blueprint, or business plan, and put it in writing you are going to feel scattered.
What kind of marketing plan do you have? Are you using referrals and email marketing as well?
Owning a business is hard work, and especially at the beginning requires a lot of time and effort. You will need to make a plan to get the word out on a regular basis.
I am available if you want help - ToniLawrence.com.
Best wishes for your success.
What are you passionate about? Check your strategies to attract customers. But all this will happen when you introspect, believe in yourself and set your goal. Being helpless is not the solution. 'Believe that it will happen..you will see it happen. you have to work on yourself first and take action. FLORENCE MACDONALD
Hi Jim, You do have a lot of advice here. I do agree with most of it. First having a detailed and specific business plan and marketing plan is important. I deal with the same problem that you have. I am awesome at putting ideas to paper but implementing them as far as the "sales" part paralyzes me. I find myself waiting as well. What I have learned is that I have accepted that I am an introvert by nature and instead of trying to change who I am I am learning to work with that. I myself have done all the social media marketing and website marketing and am about to kick off the newsletter, blog and email part. I do agree that I am not a sales person. I do however love to help people and truely want to represent and protect them. I have found that possibly contracting out the "sales" part maybe a good thing. You do need to know who your target audience is. Not just who would buy your services but also who you feel most comfortable working with and have a passion to help. I would suggest starting with people you already know. Your past clients etc... get referrals. I believe that for introverts that are more comfortable one on one with people that we already have some kind of aquaintance with and we do so much better at building relationships than grasping out of the pond of strangers trying to hype sell them. The problem with the relationship building type of sales is that it does take longer to see results. The good thing is that you build a much loyal and return client base. I have a 360 day program that I had to create due to my own introvertedness in order to see results in my business. Then you have to self motivate by using self discipline. For me I love chocolate! So until I have made 5 phone calls a day to people I am already somewhat aquainted with I can not have my chocolate. I can not go and buy myself that cute home interior decor that I saw until I have met for lunch with 5 of my aquaintances. Not to sell them but just to build a relationship. Then at the end of each meeting I remind them what I do and why I do what I do because I care about people and if they know of anyone then to please send them my way. Other than that we discuss our life, our kids, our spouses etc... It takes the pressure and scariness of sales away. I learned this and much more through a lady that wrote a book called "Sell With Soul" Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn, GRI
www.sellwithsoul.com. It is mainly for real estate agents but the concept of building relationships can apply to anyone that needs to build their customer base. I know it can be frustrating to step outside of your character to attract clients. Look at who you are, why you want to provide this service, whom you want to provide this service for and start setting some goals then treat yourself when you show activity in reaching out for them. Also, knowing what your good at will go a long way in building confidence and confidence helps to build courage to step outside your comfort zone and reach out to people. I hope this helps. I don't consider myself an expert just someone that may understand and still struggles with it. Good luck :)
Most businesses go through what you are experiencing and many will just give up and blame it on anything and everything which is very easy to do but is most regrettable, then you have people telling you that your business or ideas are no good and are hoping you fail.
"failure is an attempt at success, the more you attempt, the more chances of success" What you have done is an attempt and from that attempt you have learnt and gain experience of what works and what does not work and so your next attempt will be modified from what you have been doing.
Most businesses are always innovating in some way and always thinking about new ideas and ways of doing things, I myself always write down things I think about either on my smartphone or on paper no matter where I am and what time it is. There are endless way to do something and so you have to try them all to see which one works out for you.
Jim, I am not going to elaborate much more than what has already been said. There are three important aspects to focus on:
1. What do you want to have as the MAIN focus of your business?
2. What is the number 1 problem you solve for your clients?
3. What is a consistent marketing plan you have to reach those clients daily?
Sounds like you need to get more clarity on what your clients want/need and then develop an action plan to have them identify you as the person who can meet those wants/needs.
A social network presence, no matter how exemplary is not enough.
Don't fret, take a vacation for couple of weeks, solution is inside you, just relax, clean up your head from garbage like your question above, allow the solution to come.
I believe there is a strong relationship aspect to your work. I know others will say this is wrong but you are good looking professional and you need to be walking into attorney practices looking for connections. I think Bonita is dead on in her assessment. To get past that you need rules to know what a day looks like, you need to set x appointments with new firms, meet 1 new person via networking, sit in on trials that could relate to your work and tell both the defense and prosecutor about yourself (as is professionally appropriate). A scoring system on activity will keep you moving and not let you get stuck.
I see this with people all the time, you didn't realize your number one job was sales when you started this did you? Leave your house (not to walk the dog) and take charge. If you want to bounce ideas around reach out to me directly. (cant post email addresses).
All the best,
Owning a business isn't hard...selling, now that's hard. I would suggest getting expert sales skills from someone who knows what you need to do (behaviors) and can give you a plan that works with your reality with an accountability element. If you think you will revert back to putting out social posts and aggressively waiting for the phone to ring...you might seriously consider getting a job instead. There is no shame in that but it's not usually a good success indicator if you aren't driven to succeed as an owner.
Hi Jim, I can hear in your post how frustrated you are. I have the same challenges over the years, but believe me it will come good.
Rather than just give general advice and offer platitudes, if you would like to arrange a Skype call to explore some concrete options and identify some actions, I would be more than happy to assist. Just let me know and we can arrange something quickly.
Dear Jim Clark
My personal opinion is yes if it's about running a business you should take action everyday. On behalf of your questions, I can't understand what type of business you have? You must have to fix how you want to improve your business by formation, it could be a company, sole propiter, joint farm etc. Then you can plan on its be half. If it helps you then we could discuss more.
1) Do you have a business plan? 2) if yes what is working and what is not working? Concentrate on the parts that are working. Are you selling or asking questions of your potential clients.... Their feedback is a guidance tool......Have you established the need fro your product or service. Go outside you social connections to get the real truth. If you Want to talk I am available.... experienced in start ups and "turn-a-round" operations.... All with successes.
Reading through some of the responses it appears some great tips have been passed along business ownership. Regardless of the business type the trigger that drives behavior is self image. When you look in the mirror do you see the person that is capable of being a business owner? Your analysis of the person you see when you looking in the mirror is what you hold as your self image. Within your self image is the intrinsic motivators needed to drive action forward.
Let me share a quote from Will Rogers "Even if you are on the right track, you will get run over if you just sit there."
Again, let me stress that the answer to your question is in the self image of the person you see when you stand in front of a mirror.