Top Tips to Not Sink Your Biz

Do one business development activity every day.  Now by this I am not suggesting that you go on Facebook and announce to the whole world you are having a glass of orange juice and a side of rye toast. Two words for you: Who cares? I send out a proposal, post an article on Linked In, blog, or follow up on business cards that I have received from a networking event. The biggest mistake perpetrated by business owners is when they fail to do daily business development, get distracted by email, or decide to apply zero time management skills and elect to spa it all day. Now, when I take a spa day, I do make up for it … for example, work on a Saturday.

biz picTake time out to do business on the business. Take a hard look at your own marketing materials – is your brochure up-to-date? Does your website have current events? There is nothing worse for a potential customer to go to your website and find it is not updated. Even worse is when this visitor is exposed to broken links or text that says “this website was last updated on May 2006.” Um. Very bad. You actually look like you’ve gone out of business, which is not good for business. Take time out every month to do a little housekeeping, because it will go a long way toward maintaining that proverbial open sign that “welcomes” comers versus repels them off to the nearest competitor who updates their websites – and hey, here’s one: writes a current blog too.

Network, Network, and Network. Another reason why many entrepreneurs fail is that they decided to sit back and wait for the phone to ring. Unless you are Donald Trump or Brad Pitt, you don’t have the name or brand recognition to get away with your feet shoved up on your desk, while your personal assistant takes your calls, and tells them, “She’s not at her desk right now. Can I take a message?” As you ask who it is, groan and shake your head, which really means go away. Small business owners don’t have the luxury of this feet-up position chosen over networking and building name recognition – especially not in this economic climate. And when I say “networking,” it’s not secret code for spring break (e.g., tequila shots and dancing on tables).  I usually pick two to three events to attend each month, and show up in a big way – get a table and follow up afterwards.

Relationship building versus lazy-ass seat sitting. Also, building quality relationships is important, and you should never expect instant gratification – although that sometimes happens. Most people do not bring their checkbooks to events and hire you on the spot. When was the last time Lois whipped out her checkbook and said, “You’re hired! Here’s $30,000 to start.” That would be never! So, build it and they will come … eventually with checkbooks in hand.

No, it’s not all about you! Last, provide something valuable and lose the “what’s-in-it-for me attitude” and focus on how you can actually help others – your business will reap the rewards in the end. And hey, people will not think you’re a selfish, egomaniacal jackass who cares about no one else but a good old Franklin in the wallet.

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