Selling is one of the most important skills when it comes to running a business. Without sales your “business” is not much more than an idea. In order to be successful, to generate revenue and make profit, you need to be able to get others to buy your product. But, selling is also used in many other areas of a business. It’s used to get the right people on your team, it’s used to get others to buy into your vision, and it’s used often through leading your team through their job performance. In fact, selling may be the most important skill in leading a successful business.
Unfortunately, there are many misconceptions when it comes to performing the skill at a high level, and many people tend to take the wrong approach to the skill. It’s commonly believed that the best sellers are outgoing, confident, personable, well-spoken, and know their products and can describe all the great benefits of their products. And although all of these attributes can help with sales, the most important attribute when it comes to selling is a great listener. If you want to sell like a champion, you need to be able to find out what your customers want and deliver that. Here’s how:
Step 1 – Do a Needs Analysis
What are Needs?
Needs are things that are most important to a customer; things that will ultimately play into whether or not they buy. When discussed, needs typically bring intense emotions because they are the things that matter most to the person. Someone buying a house, for example, would have things that are ‘must haves’; maybe it’s having finished basement for their kids to play in, or maybe it’s having a large backyard with privacy that they can lounge in, or maybe it’s having extra rooms and space for entertaining. If these were your customer’s needs, discussing them would elicit positive emotions in your customer and would make them more apt to buy.
Not only is it important to find the needs of your customer, but also to find the ‘why’ behind them. By understanding their needs and why they’re important, you’ll be in a better position to help them find what they’re looking for. Most people will happily tell you what’s important, though often what they share will be their surface needs. Rarely do people just tell you what’s most important, and very rarely will they share the ‘why’. In order to find those out you’ll need to complete an effective needs analysis, by asking them open-ended questions to pull out their needs. Here are a couple of techniques to pull out needs:
1. Ask about past experiences with the product – Do they have any previous experience
with the product or a similar product? What did they like? What did they dislike? Why?
2. Ask them directly – What are they looking for? What’s most important to them? Why?
The most important part to finding out needs is listening. Effective listening goes beyond listening with just your ears. Watch their body language, listen and watch for emotional tone. These are things that can help you determine what is really important to someone and what’s not. Once you think you understand their needs validate with them to make sure you’re on the right track. “It sounds like ____ is really important to you.” You can then sell them the appropriate product that matches what they’re looking for.
Step 2 – Match Features & Benefits to Needs
What are Features and Benefits?
Features are statements that tell a customer about the product, whereas benefits are statements that show the value of the feature to the customer. For example, a car may have a number of features such as air conditioning, a sunroof, a GPS, auto-breaking, etc. Sharing these features with a customer tells them about the vehicle. But features are not what entice someone to buy; benefits entice someone to buy. Features tell. Benefits sell. Each feature has corresponding benefits, the value to the customer. Air conditioning means keeping cool on those hot summer days. A sunroof means enjoying the sun and breeze. GPS means easy navigation and never getting lost, etc. It’s the benefit that a customer buys. So not only is it important to know all the features of your product, but even more important to know the corresponding benefits.
Matching the Appropriate Feature & Benefit to Needs
Now that you know the customer’s needs you can now share the features and benefits that correspond with what they’re looking for. If you understand their needs and share the appropriate features and benefits that match those needs, you will elicit emotion in the customer which will lead them to buy. People tend to make buying decisions based 80% on emotion and 20% on logic, so if you want to stand a better chance at closing a deal you need to appeal to their emotional side. This is not to say sell them something they don’t need by appealing to their emotions; knowing their true needs allows you to help them find products that solve their problems. A common mistake of many sales people is ‘feature dumping’. Feature dumping is selling every feature (and benefit) to the customer. Understanding now that different people have different needs, you can understand that talking about features and benefits that don’t matter to a customer will not elicit emotion and not lead to them buying. Imagine a customer that’s looking for a big back yard that they can play in with their kids, and the sales person is talking to them about the great layout and functionality of the kitchen and how it will allow them to host and entertain as many as they want. Although this may be a need, feature and benefit that gets some customers excited, it’s not going to get the customer that cares most about a big back yard excited. But, if you talked about how amazing the back yard is, and all the things they could do out there, it would have a much bigger impact. This is why knowing the customer’s specific needs is so important.
Being able to sell is critical in virtually all businesses. Even if you have a great product with great features, the key to selling is being able to pull out a customer’s needs. By learning what’s most important to them, you can help them solve their problems, and show them the features and benefits that are most important to them. This will lead to more sales and more customers that are truly excited to buy what you’re selling.
Launch365 specializes in training, coaching and mentoring entrepreneurs through business startup and on core business skills. We provide training and coaching on selling, including finding needs and pitching using features and benefits. If you would like to discuss how we could help you with your business or on these skills, contact us at: www.launch365.ca/contact-us. To download our guide to starting a business successfully “Startup Success Blueprint” for free go to: www.launch365.ca/startup-success.
Often, salespeople are looked at very negatively, and in many cases it’s for good reason. Many salespeople fail to truly understand what selling is all about and therefore put buyers in uncomfortable buying situations. These typically result in sales falling through, or even worse, sales that occur to buyers left feeling bad about their purchase and experience. Here are 5 myths about selling that can help lead to a better understanding of the skill, and how to close deals that leave the buyer feeling good.
Myth #1 – When Selling It’s Important to Thoroughly Explain All Features of a Product
You’ve probably heard the saying selling is telling. You may have even experienced it. You go into a store, you’re looking at a product, and the salesperson starts ‘feature dumping’: telling you everything good they know about the product. While they’re doing this, you’re thinking, “I don’t really care, I just want to know…”, and you end up walking away having not bought the item and feeling like your time has been wasted. Selling is definitely not telling. Selling is about listening to the buyer and helping them get what they need. A good salesperson should ask their buyer enough questions to fully understand exactly what the person is looking for, and why it’s important to them. This step in selling is called a ‘Needs Analysis’. By knowing what matters to the customer, you can focus only on that, and ensure you’re selling them the right product that will truly help them. So before you start telling a buyer a bunch of random features about a product, ensure you know what matters to them and why.
Myth #2 – Price is Often the Biggest Factor in Buying Decisions
This myth is one of the most costly. First, a salesperson that believes price was the biggest reason someone didn’t buy results in lost sales for the wrong reason. Second, salespeople that believe this myth often offer unnecessary discounts in order to get a sale. Both cost the business money. Although price can be a factor, it’s rarely the biggest factor in a buying decision. Let’s look at an example: ‘Product A’ costs $20 and is exactly what you are looking for. ‘Product B’ costs $15 and is mostly what you’re looking for. Which do you buy? Does the fact that ‘Product A’ costs $5 more matter? The answer is probably, “It depends.” Usually it depends on what you’re giving up for the savings of $5. If what you’re giving up doesn’t really matter to you, then you might go with the cheaper product. But, if the features missing in ‘Product B’ are ones that are really important to you, you’re likely going to spend the extra money with little thought. That is unless you can only afford the $15. This example shows that price is only an objection when it’s out of the range of what they buyer can afford. If they can afford the price, it is more about the value and how it meshes with what they need. So, when a customer says that the price is too high, what they are really saying is that they don’t see the value. So, rather than offering a lower price, or walking away thinking there’s nothing you could do, instead show them the value and how it aligns with what they need.
Myth #3 – When a Customer Says No the Sale is Dead
Many salespeople dread the “no”. Many more move on as quickly as possible when they get a one. Although it’s not the ideal response you want from a buyer, getting a “no” doesn’t mean that the deal is dead. Those that think a “no” is the end are leaving sales on the table. Instead, take “no” as “not now”. They’re not going to buy at this moment, but they may in the future. Shifting your thinking call allow you to shift your focus with the buyer. Rather than focusing your energy on trying to close the deal, instead focus on trying to understand why they’re not buying. Ask them questions to figure out what’s holding them back. This can be very challenging to do without coming off as pushy and someone just trying to close the sale. Here are a couple of ways you can avoid this:
Myth #4 – The Goal of a Salesperson is to Make the Sale No Matter What it Takes
There are many salespeople that believe the goal is to get the sale no matter what. This is a big reason that sales is often looked at negatively. Part of the issue is that for many sales positions compensation is directly tied to sales results and most sales positions are evaluated and rewarded on sales numbers. This is why many salespeople do whatever it takes, and numerous sales trainings teach high pressur and aggressive sales tactics. Although these tactics can work, the best salespeople understand that longer term success in sales comes from creating loyal buyers that keep coming back. You only do this by making the right sales to the right people, not by selling something to someone that they don’t really need or that doesn’t solve a problem for them; this only typically leaves the buyer with buyer’s remorse. And although they may not return the item, if they’re even able to, they’re unlikely to return. In sales, it’s important to think beyond the quick sale and instead try to really understand what will help your buyer. If you do this, you may make fewer sales immediately in that moment, but you will make many more sales over the longer term.
Myth #5 – People Buy Based on the Product Not the Salesperson
Although the product obviously impacts sales, many sales are made, or not made because of the salesperson. Most people have experienced this with either a good or bad salesperson. You go to a store with the intention of only looking around, but end up speaking to a salesperson and ultimately end up buying something. Or maybe you’ve experienced the opposite; you went to a store with a clear intention of buying something, but after speaking with a salesperson ended up not buying it. Although we may not have made the connection at the time, the salesperson played a significant role in our decision to buy or not buy. Think about salespeople you’ve experienced, good and bad; you probably bought from those that were ‘good’ and didn’t from those that were ‘bad’. So what makes a salesperson ‘good’ or ‘bad’? It all comes down to like and trust. People buy from people they like and people they trust. If they like you and trust you, they’ll probably buy; if they don’t like you or don’t trust you, they probably won’t. More times than not, it’s not the product that led to the sale or non-sale, it’s the buyer’s like and trust of you. So, if you want to make more sales, it’s important to know how to get a buyer to like and trust you.
Building Like & Trust
If you want people to buy from you, the most important skill to learn is how to get people to like you and trust you. So how do you build like and trust when you have very limited time to do so in a selling situation?
How to Build Like
Like is a gut feeling that typically comes from a first impression. Most people make a
judgement about someone else within the first few seconds of meeting them. So
everything that impacts their first perceptions of you affects their like. Here are some
keys to giving off a positive first impression and building like:
Be Friendly – when you first meet someone smile, shake their hand, and ask them how
they are doing.
Be Polite – display manners and use appropriate language.
Dress Appropriately – dress well for the situation. Your attire will impact their
perception before you even have a chance to speak to them.
Carry Yourself Well – stand up straight, speak clearly, and look people in the eyes when
you speak to them.
Show Interest in Them – ask them questions to build rapport. People like talking about
themselves and what’s going on in their world. People feel good when others show
interest in them.
Be Genuine – it’s important to be yourself. If you try to fake some of these things at
some point it will come across as fake.
How to Build Trust
Trust comes down to 3 things: character, competence, and common sense of purpose.
Displaying these 3 elements to a buyer will build trust with them.
Character – refers to what they think of you as a person. Many of the elements above in
‘building like’ will impact what someone thinks of your character.
Competence – refers to whether or not they feel you are skilled and knowledgeable.
You can display competence by being able to answer questions effectively and by
showing knowledge of the product. You can also increase your competence by sharing
your background and experience in the field with someone.
Common Sense of Purpose – refers to the fact that you both have the same goals in
mind. The buyer believes you want to help them find what they are looking for and
not sell them something they don’t need. You can show you have common sense of
purpose with a buyer by asking questions to understand what is important to them
and help guide them towards products that fit their needs and away from products
that don’t fit their needs.
The biggest challenge to building like and trust is that you have very limited time to do it. It’s definitely a skill that takes practice. It’s important that as you work on your ability to build like and trust that you self-evaluate each interaction with a buyer. Did they buy from you? Do you think they liked you? Why or why not? Do you think they trusted you? Why or why not? If not, was it an issue with your character, your competence, or your common sense of purpose? Evaluating in this way can help you become an expert in building like and trust quickly.
Selling is one of the most challenging skills, but one of the most important in business. It’s a skill that is used in many areas of a business, not just marketing and sales, but also in hiring and recruiting, and even the leading of the business. The above 5 myths should show that selling is not about completing transactions, but rather about helping others find what they need. It’s about helping people find things that solve problems for them. It should also show that the salesperson has a big impact on whether or not a sale occurs. Even, when the product is right, it’s often the salesperson that will ultimately determine whether or not the buyer ends up with the product they need. Does the buyer like you? Does the buyer trust you? If you work on developing your skill in building like and trust, and go out there and help people solve their problems, you will sell more than you ever have before!
Launch365 specializes in training, coaching and mentoring entrepreneurs through business startup and on core business skills. We provide training and coaching on selling, including building like and trust with people. If you would like to discuss how we could help you with your business or on these skills, contact us at: www.launch365.ca/contact-us. To download our guide to starting a business successfully “Startup Success Blueprint” for free go to: www.launch365.ca/startup-success.
Do you find completing reference checks a waste of time? Do most of the references you call provide glowing reviews and add very little additional substance to what you already know? If you answered yes to these questions, you’re not alone; many people find completing reference checks a formality in the hiring process that has little impact on hiring decisions. But, when a failed hire can be so costly to an organization (sometimes 3 to 4 times as costly as hiring them), it’s critical to be able to maximize the value of all resources available to you in making the best possible people decisions. If conducted effectively, reference checks are one of the most valuable resources available to you in selecting the right people for your organization. They allow you to validate everything that you’ve learned about a candidate from someone that has seen it and experienced it directly. So, here are some ways to ensure your reference checks are valuable and lead you to good hiring decisions.
Let Them Choose and Find Out Why
Allow your candidate to choose which references they give you. Letting them generate their own list can give you further insight into the candidate and their past. Look at who they chose as references. Ask them how they came to choosing the references they did. Is there anyone they left off, that you feel should be on there, such as a recent supervisor? If so, ask them why they left this person off the list. Discussing how they came to their list, can provide further insight into the candidate, and at times be very telling.
Add the References You Want
Once you’ve received your candidate’s list of chosen references, don’t be afraid to ask for additional references that you feel may be valuable. In most cases, the interviewee will give you a list of references that they know will speak highly of them, which makes sense, but it’s your job to get the full picture of the candidate. Look for references that may provide different or alternate viewpoints, such as supervisors they left off, direct reports they’ve had, colleagues they’ve worked closely with, and any others that will allow you to get a fuller picture. Simply say to the candidate, “We’d like to speak to a few other references as well, is it possible to speak to….?”
Conduct Multiple Calls
If you have your interviewee submit references, it’s important that you take the time to call them. Not calling is disrespectful to the candidate as they’ve probably spent some time getting permission from references and putting together their list. Although it’s not necessary to call all references, you should call at least a few to give you enough info to get a full sense of the person. Ensure all reference checks are done verbally, as email reference checks typically illicit general statements and add little value. The more references you speak with, the more confident you can be that you have a real and full understanding of the person.
Plan Your Questions in Advance
Before making your reference calls, plan out the questions you want to ask each reference. Ask questions that:
*Validate past details such as relationship with the candidate, job title, timelines,
*Allow the reference to give you insight into their experience, good and bad, with
*Give you good and bad examples of the competencies needed for the job they’re
Questions should be specific to the person you’re speaking to, and they should illicit specific examples rather than generic responses.
Ensure It Is a Good Time for Them
When conducting your reference calls, ensure that you’ve reached the reference at a time when they’re able to speak; if not reschedule at their convenience. It’s important that they have time and you have their undivided attention or you’re likely to get quick answers that may not be all that valuable. A good reference check should be about 15 minutes.
Put Them in Your Shoes
During your introduction let them know who you are, why you’re calling, and the position that the person is applying for. Once you’ve asked them your list of questions, ask them if they’d hire the candidate for the role, if they were in your shoes. It may be valuable to share some of the responsibilities they’d have in the role. Listen carefully as to how they respond. A long pause before answering compared to quick response can be very telling. Follow up by asking why, as well as what they think they’d do well in the role, and where they feel they’d be challenged in the role. Their responses will give you valuable information to compare to thoughts pre-reference check.
Listen and Take Detailed Notes
It’s important to keep your own biases out of the call. Refrain from putting words in their mouth or trying to interpret what they are saying. If you’re unclear, ask a follow up question, listen and take notes. The more you remain neutral and listen to what they tell you, the more valuable and unbiased the information will be. At the end of the call, review your notes and summarize your key learning from the call. Keep your notes and summary, as you never know when you may want to come back to them.
Thank Them and Get Their Email
Close the call, by thanking them and asking if you’d be able to email them should you have any quick follow up questions. This can validate that you are speaking to the right person. You’d be surprised how many candidates use others to fake a reference. By asking them for their email at the end you figure this out as fakes will likely be caught off guard not knowing the proper email. To further validate, look up the person online (on a platform such as LinkedIn), and send a quick follow up thanking them for the reference and their time. First, it’s a nice thing to do; and second, it will further ensure you spoke to the right person.
Reference checks will not give you the full picture alone and are just another resource to help you make the right decisions in conjunction with good interviewing. That being said, if done effectively, reference checks can validate what you’ve learned through your interviews, as well as give you new information good and bad from someone that has had direct experience with the person. They are a critical tool in building the fullest picture of a candidate and in helping ensure you’re bringing the right people onto your team.
Launch365 specializes in training, coaching and mentoring entrepreneurs through business startup and on core business skills. We provide training and coaching on all aspects of the hiring process including how to complete effective reference checks. If you would like to discuss how we could help you with your business or on these skills, contact us at: www.launch365.ca/contact-us. To download our guide to starting a business “Startup Success Blueprint” for free go to: www.launch365.ca/startup-success.
Although I’d always been entrepreneurial growing up, I wouldn’t call any of my small ventures a business. The first real business I started was when I was 19. It was a small home services business in my hometown. Although it was nothing really special, I ran the business for four years profitably, servicing over 2000 customers. Not bad for someone that had never run a business before, didn’t know how to run a business, and had never even taken a single business class. So, how was I able to do it successfully at 19? Here are the top 10 reasons:
1) I Got a Business Coach/Mentor
By far, this was the most critical reason for my success. I had the drive and desire to run a business, but had no experience or know-how to do it. Looking back, it was the smartest decision I could have made. Even to this day, I continue to work with a business coach, despite having started 4 different businesses successfully, and having coached 100’s of entrepreneurs to success. A business coach/mentor can provide valuable experience, different perspective and help you with your own blind spots. They can hold you accountable as needed, and ensure you make it through challenges successfully. A business coach can add a tonne of value and save you an immense amount of time. It was especially critical in my first business when I had very little experience. I had the willingness and the drive, my coach made sure they were pointed on the right things.
2) I Listened to Other Entrepreneurs
I actively sought input from other entrepreneurs, most of which were in the same or similar type business; though I was always happy to listen to any entrepreneur willing to share experience. You’d be surprised at how many entrepreneurs are willing to help you, even competitors. By hearing others' lessons and experience, I learned many things to do, and many things not to do. I remember one business owner telling me, “The best entrepreneurs are thieves – they steal others' experience to help them achieve even faster and greater success.” It was as simple as asking. The worst thing that happened is I got a no, but if you don’t ask, you'll never know.
3) I Built a Detailed and Solid Plan
This was very important to my success and one of the areas my business coach really helped me. I started with my end goals and worked backwards laying out the road map to get there. There were a few things that were key to my plan: smart numbers, backup, and details.
Smart Numbers – All numbers used in the plan were smart. For example, I
planned to land 50% of customer pitches versus planning to land 90%,
which could be possible, but not realistic. It was important my plan was
Backup – I ensured there was a lot of backup time and space built into the
plan to ensure I could stay on track. This allowed me to stay on track,
even when things went wrong, which they did a number of times.
Details – Most importantly my plan was detailed. I included everything
I felt was important and built it as if I was handing it off to someone else.
I wanted to be detailed enough that someone else could read it, understand
it, and follow it to success. I included plans for marketing, sales, financial,
operations, hiring, my own development and learning. Having this much
detail in the plan made it much easier to focus on the execution of the
business, and made it much easier to adjust when needed.
In my experience, getting the plan right is more than half the battle.
4) I Got Ahead and Consistently Overshot My Plan
I quickly learned that things don’t always go as planned, and even when they do, there’s probably a challenge coming right around the corner. A key for me was getting ahead of my plan. Going into a week, I typically tried to achieve 20-25% more than what my plan called for. If things went well, it was a great week, but when things didn’t go well I often found myself still achieving the original goal. On the few occasions that I came up short, I only missed my goals by a very little margin, which had little effect because I had beaten many other times. Hitting and beating goals not only feels amazing, but also put me in a position to not have to worry about every little thing that went wrong. It saved lots of stress and tension that many entrepreneurs go through when just getting by. I definitely had to dig in to beat my goals, as my goals weren’t easy, but digging in was well worth it.
5) I Worked Hard on Skill Development
One of the many things my business coach taught me was that having a good fundamental skill base would lead to much more consistent and longer term success. When I was 19, I had very little skill in most areas needed to run my business, so I studied hard. I made a list of the skills I felt I needed to be successful, and I worked to start getting better in each of them. I read books, read articles, took some online courses, attended conferences, talked to others that had the skill, and got direct feedback and coaching from my business coach. This was critical to my success. There were a number of skills I struggled in at first, but the more I worked at them, the better the results became. I remember only closing one deal on the first 15 or 20 proposals. I worked on the skill, had my coach come out to observe me and give me feedback, and by the end of the year my close rate was about 60%.
6) I Worked My Butt Off
Most entrepreneurs will tell you running a business is not easy, and very few entrepreneurs get lucky and achieve easy success. I’ve always felt that hard work is pre-requisite to success. This was especially true for me when I lacked the skill and experience. I was able to make up a lot of my gap just by working hard. There were times that things took me twice as long as it would an experienced person, but regardless of how long it was going to take, if it was important I was getting it done. At the beginning I was working 80-90 hours per week consistently. Working that hard played a big part in my success that first year, but also the rest of my life. When you experience working that hard, the work ethic carries forward in future things you do. Also, they say that it takes about 1000 hours to be an expert at something; you get there a lot quicker when putting in 80-90 hours per week!
7) I Pushed Through Challenges Rather Than Giving Up
Although I had a great plan, there were definitely a number of unplanned challenges that came my way. There were a number of times that I could have given up on my goals, or given up entirely. Instead, I took each challenge as an opportunity to learn and gain experience. Every problem can be solved; some are just more complex than others or take more time to solve. But, by sitting down and generating options, and getting input from my coach and from others, I was always able to make it through. These are often the times I feel that I learned and grew the most. The more challenges you face and overcome the more experience you gain and the more confidence you build. The key to getting through was to stick with it and not give up.
8) I Didn’t Accept “No” From Customers
Not accepting a “No” from a customer doesn’t mean that I was pushy or annoying in trying to make sales, nor does it mean I landed all sales. When I did get a “no”, I always looked at it as a “not now”. This pushed me to really listen to the customer to understand why they weren’t buying, and to figure out what they would say “yes” to. If I was able to deliver what they were looking for, I adjusted my offer to that. I didn’t lower price. I didn’t do services that weren’t in our model. I listened to the customer and did my best to give them what they wanted. This led to many happy customers that felt listened to, which led to more customers, and so on. It also didn’t hurt that I stood behind my work with a guarantee.
9) I Built a Great Team
My philosophy when hiring was to look at the person more than whether or not they could do the job they were applying for. I felt that if I got good people on the team, they could help us achieve our goals. More importantly, I looked for people that strived for more than the job they were applying for; people that wanted my job. This had a big impact on the success of my first business. I ended up with a number of great people that wanted to learn, wanted to move up, were willing to take on more, and that cared about the quality of work they were doing. This ultimately led to us overachieving on many goals and growing much faster than I ever could have planned for. It also forced me to have to change my role constantly to give them space to grow and take on more – which in turn helped everyone grow more.
10) I Had a Great Support Network
I was very lucky that I had friends and family that supported me in my entrepreneurial pursuit. Living with an entrepreneur is not easy, especially when they’re working 80-90 hours per week. I didn’t have a lot of money at the time, as I was paying my own way through university, and am very grateful my parents helped me with a small loan to get me off the ground. They also provided both support and space as I needed it. My friends, the true friends, were there when I popped my head up, even though I disappeared at times for weeks (if not months) to work on the business. My coach helped guide me through the good and the bad, and was there every step of the way. It was such a blessing to have someone that had been there before, with me to help me move along my entrepreneurial journey. This support network helped me immensely through my first entrepreneurial experience.
Starting a business at any age is a great accomplishment, but doing it at such a young age with very little experience is something that I’ll always be proud of. The above top 10 reasons are the biggest reasons of many that I was successful. Work on your skills, learn from others, stay open, plan diligently, work hard, don’t give up, and surround yourself with the right people and you will be successful. It worked for me.
Launch365 specializes in training, coaching and mentoring entrepreneurs through business startup and on core business skills. We work with entrepreneurs of all levels to help them achieve their business goals and dreams. If you would like to discuss how we could help you, contact us at: www.launch365.ca/contact-us. Click below to join our growing list of entrepreneurs that receive our FREE startup resources: www.launch365.ca/startup-resources.
“I have a great idea, but I don’t have any money to start up”, is one of the most common things heard in the entrepreneurial world. If that’s you, don’t worry, you’re not alone, many entrepreneurs have been in that position, especially when first starting out. Unfortunately, it does take money to start a business and it does take money to make it grow. The good news: if you don’t have very much, or none at all, it’s not a deal breaker. There are many ways you can start a business with very little to no money.
Get a Loan
Many startups begin with a loan. There are a number of different options out there for small business loans including banks, your network, and other agencies.
Banks – Banks typically require a complete business plan, good credit, and some sort of
security like a co-signor to ensure the loan will get paid back. They may also want to see
some proof of results.
Personal Network – Don’t be afraid to go to your personal network, you never know if
there is someone there that would be willing to help, even if you have to put
together a number of small loans from multiple people.
Other Agencies - There are also a number of agencies and organizations that offer
business loans, such as the Small Business Administration in the U.S. These
agencies are great options for small businesses that have trouble getting a loan
from a bank. Each typically has its own requirements.
Most loans require that you’ve done the work to prepare a good business plan, and some kind of backing that you’ll be able to pay the loan back. The great thing about loans is that you maintain complete ownership over your business.
Search for Business Grants
There are a number of programs, non-profit organizations and other business groups that offer grants to entrepreneurs starting a business. They are usually offered regionally and often geared at specific fields and industries. Each typically has its own specific set of requirements in order to qualify, with many requiring a business plan or raising capital to match the amount of the grant. Some grants require you to submit ongoing updates and results as you start out. The great thing about grants is that you don’t have to pay them back and you retain full ownership of your business. It may take some research to find some business grants in your area, but could be well worth it.
Platforms like Kickstarter and Indiegogo allow someone to source funds from others in exchange for some kind of reward, usually related to your product or business. All you really need is a good idea or product and some things to get people excited like a good video and pictures. Crowdfunding is usually all or nothing, so if you don’t raise your target amount, you get nothing. On the plus side, with crowdfunding you can start to build some excitement behind your business and product, and like a loan, you maintain full ownership.
If you’re willing to part with some ownership of your business, it could be a good option to seek out angel investors or venture capitalists. Angel investors are wealthy individuals (need to have minimum net worth of $1M and an annual income of $200,000), that invest in startups, typically with their own money. Venture capitalists are similar to angel investors, but typically use a pool of money from multiple investors rather than just their own. In both cases they would receive a percentage of ownership of the business in exchange for the investment. You would need a good business plan, and may need some proof of results or proof of concept. With investors, although you are giving up a percentage of your business, the trade off is capital behind your business, and often access to more resources that can help you.
Get a Business Partner
Another way to get investment would be to look for a business partner. Unlike investors, a business partner would typically be a lot more involved in the day-to-day operations of the business. You could require the partner to bring capital in exchange for a percentage of the business. A business partner can be an asset in a startup as there is often a lot that needs to get done early on, and typically no one will work as hard as a person that has ownership. On the flip side partnerships can be challenging to manage at times, and if you don’t have the right partner and a very clear agreement, may cause more problems than it’s worth.
Apply to an Incubator/Accelerator
Incubators and accelerators, like Launch365’s Business Partnership Program, provide investment to startups through grants and seed money. The advantage of being accepted to such a program is that many offer additional resources, direct coaching, and mentorship to ensure a successful start. Most incubators/accelerators require some equity in your business, though some, like Launch365, are based on royalty which means you only pay if you’re getting results and allows you to retain full ownership. Regardless, if you are able to get into an accelerator or incubator, the equity or royalty is well worth the additional help and support you from experienced startup professionals. Accelerators and incubators are often competitive, so ensure you read their application requirements and provide your best work.
Generate and Use Revenue
If you’re unable to secure any significant investment, you can always try to generate some revenue and use that revenue to cover future costs. There are a few different ways you could do this.
Slow and Steady – Start with as much product as you can afford, and sell that, then
use that revenue to buy more product, and so on. Because you’re only buying
a limited amount of product at a time your costs should be minimal, and
each time you should have a bit more money to buy even more product and
generate more revenue.
Advanced Sales – Sell your product before a launch date. Put your initial money into
marketing so that you can generate as many advanced sales as possible, and use that
revenue to pay for your product and fund the rest of your business.
Sell a Non-Core Product – Find other products or services you could sell that could
generate revenue for the business outside your core product. Although this can
distract from your core product and business, many businesses start with a
small product before moving towards their core product.
Although this method of organic growth is typically not the fastest, when you’re unable to secure needed investment, it’s still a great option to get your business going.
Grind It Out on a Budget
Another option, when having trouble securing investment is to grind it out on a budget. If you need to take this approach, your budget should only include what’s absolutely needed to get your business started. Some key things when working with a small budget:
Use low cost services – take as much time as needed to find low cost services that
provide what you need. Though these services may not always be the best option
long-term, they can be great when first starting.
Negotiate everything – don’t be afraid to ask for a discount/lower price. The worst that
could happen is you may get a “no”. If there are parts of the service that you don’t
need, see if you can remove those things for a better price.
Barter for what you need – try offering something other than money in exchange for
the things you need. Maybe there is something that that business needs that
you could provide in exchange for what you need.
Although working on a small budget can also take more time to get going and grow, many successful businesses have started this way.
If you have a great idea for a business, don’t let a lack of money be the restrainer to getting started. Many great businesses have started out with very little to no money. If you’re in the same position use the ways above to get your business off to the races.
Launch365 specializes in training, coaching and mentoring entrepreneurs through business startup and on core business skills. We help many entrepreneurs secure needed funding and startups accepted to our Business Partnership Program can receive up to $10,000 in grants and seed money. If you would like to discuss how we could help you with your business, contact us at: www.launch365.ca/contact-us. To download our business startup guide titled “Startup Success Blueprint” for free go to: www.launch365.ca/startup-success.
In today’s world, the customer matters more than ever. Great companies understand that happy customers will continue to buy from them, buy more, and tell others. Focusing on customer satisfaction and building brand loyalty can be a sales strategy in itself that can lead to long-time success. So, how do you determine your customer’s loyalty? More than two thirds of Fortune 1000 companies are now turning to Net Promoter Score (NPS), developed by Fred Reichold, Bain & Company. NPS is an alternative to traditional customer satisfaction research that can give you a real sense of how your customer’s feel about your brand.
Calculating NPS to Measure Customer Satisfaction and Brand Loyalty
To determine NPS customers are surveyed on one single question: “On a scale of 0 to 10, how likely are you to recommend this company’s product or service to a friend or colleague?” The customer’s response will then classify them into 3 different categories: promoters, passives, and detractors.
Promoters are customers that gave a 9 or 10 rating. They love the company and its
products, and are likely to tell other potential buyers about their great experience.
Passives are customers that gave a 7 or 8 rating. They are somewhat satisfied, but
would very likely switch to a competitor if they were given a reason to switch.
Passives are not saying anything negative, but also not promoting to others.
Detractors are customers that gave a 0 to 6 rating. These customers are not happy
with their experience with the business or product. They are the customers that
won’t be buying again, and will likely tell others about their negative experience.
The Net Promoter Score is calculated by subtracting the percentage of detractors from the percentage of promoters. Let’s look at an example calculation:
“Example Company” surveys 300 customers
Ratings Returned: 10/10 = 39 4/10 = 4
9/10 = 54 3/10 = 4
8/10 = 68 2/10 = 2
7/10 = 58 1/10 = 11
6/10 = 25 0/10 = 17
5/10 = 15
Total Promoters (9 or 10 ratings): 39 + 54 = 93
Promoter % = 93 / 300 = 31%
Total Passives (7 or 8 ratings): 68 + 58 = 126
Passive % = 126 / 300 = 42%
Total Detractors (0 to 6 ratings): 25 + 15 + 4 + 4 + 2 + 14 + 17 = 81
Detractor % = 81 / 300 = 27%
Net Promoter = 31% - 27% = 4%
Deciphering Your Results
Net Promoter Score can generate a score between +100% (everyone is a promoter) to -100% (everyone is a detractor. So, what’s a good score? Typically, a score that is positive (above 0%) is considered good, and a score of 50% or more is considered excellent, though scores are highly variant on many factors including the type of business, country, culture, what you’re using NPS for, and even where you ask your customers in your survey. For example telecommunications services are much more likely to generate lower scores than travel services, and mobile services in Europe have a much greater NPS than mobile services in Australia. So, although it’s nice to have something external to bump up against, using external benchmarks is not a good idea. The best use of your NPS is as an internal measure to understand where your customer’s loyalty is with your business. Be consistent in when you ask your customers, how you ask your customers, and the survey you use. The more consistent you are the more accurate and valuable your score will be. Once you have your NPS, work to move it up and increase your brand loyalty.
Understanding the Truth in the Results
Although 50% is generally considered excellent, don’t get too wrapped up in the number, and don’t get caught patting yourself on the back too quickly. Let’s look at what 50% really means. For a score of 50% NPS there are only so many ways you can get this score. Let’s look at these scenarios.
Scenario A Scenario B Scenario C
100 customers surveyed 100 customers surveyed In between options A and B
50% give 9 or 10 rating 75% give a 9 or 10 rating
50% give a 7 or 8 rating 0% give a 7 or 8 rating
0% give a 0 to 6 rating 25% give a 0 to 6 rating
NPS = 50% - 0% = 50% NPS = 75% - 25% = 50%
Which scenario is better? Although in Scenario B you have more highly loyal customers, you also have more highly dissatisfied customers. If you use a the general rule that highly satisfied customers tell 1-2 other people and highly unsatisfied customers tell 5-10 others, in this scenario you have 75-150 others being told how great you are, and 125-250 others being told how bad you are. That doesn’t sound so great. On the flip side, in Scenario A, you have 50-100 people being told how great you are and no one being told you are bad. Sounds much better, and definitely the better scenario, but if you really think about it, even in Scenario A you only have 50% of your customers truly excited about you. That doesn’t seem like the ultimate goal to be striving for. So, before you go jumping up and down for the number you get, think about what it really means and what your opportunity is moving forward. Keep your celebrations and high fives for improving on your previous result.
Making NPS Work
In order for Net Promoter Score to really help you improve your brand loyalty follow these guidelines:
Company Adoption – ensure that everyone understands NPS, what it means, and how
to calculate it. From senior management through the entire organization it’s important
to eat, sleep, and breathe NPS and its importance.
Analyse the Data and Why – as stated above, don’t just focus on the number but dig
deeper to what’s really going on and why you’re getting the scores you’re getting.
Follow up with customers from all ends of the ratings to understand why they gave the
rating they did.
Empower Action – employees need to be given the power to act on NPS feedback
received. Give all employees the ability to make it right. Empower them to do what’s
needed to turn the detractors into passives and the passives into promoters.
Rewards and Recognition – recognize employees that generate high NPS scores and
those that turn customer’s experiences around. Reward them as much as you’d reward
sales and other areas of your business for high performance (or maybe even more so).
Be Consistent – be consistent in your commitment to NPS, how you speak about NPS,
and how you use NPS (when, where, how). The more consistent you are the more
accurate results you will get and the more impact it will have on your business.
Other Applications of NPS
NPS can be used to measure satisfaction and loyalty beyond customers that have bought your product or service. It could be used to better understand the experience of your non-buying customers, for example those that came to your store but didn’t buy. This could give you a better understanding of how those customers feel about you, and maybe even some indicators as to why they’re not buying. NPS could also be used to measure satisfaction and loyalty of employees, by asking them the same question as the customer NPS question: “On a scale of 0 to 10 how likely are you to recommend this job to a friend or colleague?” There are a number of different areas that NPS can be used to increase satisfaction and loyalty to your business.
Understanding and achieving brand loyalty is not easy, but in today’s business is central to success. High customer loyalty and satisfaction means customers that buy again, buy more, and tell others, and ultimately continued results and growth year after year. Net Promoter Score is the secret management tool that many great businesses are using to measure and increase their customer’s loyalty, why not do the same?
Launch365 specializes in training, coaching and mentoring entrepreneurs through business startup and on core business skills. We provide training and coaching on using Net Promoter Score to build brand loyalty. If you would like to discuss how we could help you with your business or on these skills, contact us at: www.launch365.ca/contact-us. To download our startup guide titled “Startup Success Blueprint” for free go to: www.launch365.ca/startup-success.
Finding the right people is one of the most important, but most challenging things to do. Many entrepreneurs have at one point or another hired the wrong person. Determining who is right for a particular position and your business as a whole, and who is not, is tough. Not only are candidates more prepared for interviews than they have ever been before, but it’s also the one place that you can guarantee they will be putting their absolute best foot forward. So, how do you get through all of that and determine if they are the right fit? Here are some keys that can help you hire the right people and avoid the wrong ones.
Avoid Situational and Future-Oriented Interview Questions
A common mistake for many interviewers is to ask situational and future-oriented questions. A situational question is one where you give a candidate a particular situation and ask them how they’d respond in that situation. These types of questions lead to hypothetical answers, which rarely give any real insight into a candidate. Their answer will tell you whether or not they know how they should handle a particular situation, but it won’t tell you whether or not they’ll actually handle it that way. For example, if you ask a retail applicant how they would handle a disgruntled customer, most would give you an answer that would lead you to believe they’d handle it professionally and gracefully, though we know that’s not always the case. Asking candidates future-oriented questions is asking them to tell you what you want to hear. You will gain very little information that will help you make strong hiring decisions. Instead of asking situational and future-oriented questions, focus your questions on the past.
Focus on Past Behaviour
Although many interviewers ask what someone has done in their past, few really dig into past behaviour; there’s a big difference between the two. For example, knowing that someone has experience working with children does not tell you anything about how they’d perform in such a role. In order to determine how they’d perform, dig into their behaviour while they were in a similar role in the past. Past behaviour is the best predictor of future performance. If they acted in a specific way in the past, it’s highly likely they will act the same way in a similar situation in the future. This is called behavioural interviewing. Here are some examples of behavioural questions you could ask a candidate applying for a role working with children:
Use Real Tests and Exercises
Even better than asking questions to try to determine how someone will perform, is seeing it directly. Although sometimes not practical, real tests will provide the most accurate information about a candidate. Imagine that instead of interviewing candidates you could have them all do the job for a couple of weeks. You’d be able to see how they’d actually perform in each of the job responsibilities, which would probably lead to great hiring decisions. Unfortunately doing that is typically not practical. What you could do instead though is provide real tests and exercises that align with some of the responsibilities of the job. For example, if an important requirement of the position is that they need to hit deadlines, through the interview process you could give them a few different tasks with deadlines. This will give you a real picture of when they complete things in respect to a deadline. As another example, if the job required strong writing skills, you could incorporate a writing component into your interview. By finding ways to really test what you are looking for, you will get information that is much more reliable than you will by asking questions.
Get the References You Want and the Answers You Need
It’s quite common for many interviewers to get references but to not bother calling them. This is probably because most find references to be relatively useless, which makes sense, as a candidate’s likely only going to provide references that would be good for them. That doesn’t mean that references are useless, and in fact they can be a very valuable tool in helping you select the right people. First, don’t be afraid to ask for references that you’d like to talk to rather than just getting references that the candidate provides. “As part of our interview process I’d like to connect with a few references, would it be possible to speak to….?” Second, when doing the reference check, don’t just ask what they think of the candidate or whether or not they’d recommend them, instead, use the reference to validate specific details you’ve learned and to give deeper insight into their character and behaviour. References are a great tool to validate details you’ve been given in an interview, such as specific job responsibilities, their behaviour in specific situations, and awards or recognitions received. Don’t just take their word that they were captain of the team and won the MVP award, instead ask their coach. References are also a great way to get further insight into character and behaviour. Prepare a list of specific questions that you’d like the reference to answer about the candidate. Here are some examples of questions that could provide valuable info on a candidate:
Use a Hiring Assessment Test
Another valuable tool for helping you select the right people is hiring assessment test. Hiring assessments can provide 3rd party insight into a candidate’s ability to perform a particular task or skill, and their personality make-up. These tests are commonly referred to as aptitude tests or personality tests, and there are many options readily available, including free options online and ones that you can have custom built for your roles and positions. Hiring assessments are not tools to replace interviewing a candidate, but can be used to get more information and information that you can match up to what you have learned directly to help you make better hiring decisions.
Ensure It’s a Two-Way Street
When selecting someone it’s important to make sure that both sides believe it is a great fit. Although it’s easy to assume that a candidate applying for a job inherently believes it’s a good fit, that’s not always the case. There could be outside pressure, or maybe a couple of aspects of the job that really appeal to them, but not the entire job. It’s important to make sure that through your interviews you give candidates enough time to ask as many questions as they need about the company and role to make the best decision for them. Often interviews can be too focused on getting the info needed to make the best decision for the company. On the flip side, it’s very easy to get caught up in the excitement of a candidate that really wants the position. Many interviewers have let this excitement mask finding out if the candidate is really a good fit. It’s always great when you have an excited candidate, but be sure to not let that stop you from really digging into their fit. By ensuring that both sides believe it is a great fit, you are much more likely to get the right people.
Finding and hiring the right people is one of the most challenging things to do for many entrepreneurs. It’s also one of the most important, as the people you select will have a direct impact on the results of your business. The above keys will lead you to more info on a candidate than before, more valuable info on a candidate, and better input from references, the candidates themselves, and other resources such as hiring assessments, which ultimately will lead to hiring more of the right people and avoiding the wrong ones.
Launch365 specializes in training, coaching and mentoring entrepreneurs through business startup and on core business skills. We provide training and coaching on all aspects of interviewing and selection. We also build custom solutions for all hiring needs. If you would like to discuss how we could help you with your business or on these skills, contact us at: www.launch365.ca/contact-us. To download our startup guide titled “Startup Success Blueprint” for free go to: www.launch365.ca/startup-success.
Doesn't Everyone Hate Cold Calling? Secrets to Changing Your Perspective and Increasing Your Results
You’re not alone. Many entrepreneurs dislike cold calling. Check that, many entrepreneurs hate cold calling. Why? It’s partly because of the belief that cold calls are unwanted and bothersome, but mostly because of the dislike and fear of social rejection. That being said, cold calling is a proven method that gets results. For a startup, it’s a method that can lead you to faster results than inbound options that require you to wait for interested parties to find you and then come to you. It’s a sure-fire way to get your business off to a quick and successful start. So, here are some secrets to changing your perspective and increasing your cold calling results.
Rejection is Good
Although cold calling does work, inevitably there will be a lot more rejection than immediate success. In fact, many businesses report cold call success at less than 10%. So, you should go in expecting that or worse. 90% or more rejection probably sounds terrible, unless you flip your thinking. Instead, think of if this way: every “No” is one step closer to a “Yes”. Cold calling is really a numbers game. The more “Noes” you get, the more “Yeses” you will end up at. In fact, instead of setting your goals on number of “Yeses”, try setting your goals on the number of “Noes” you want. It will feel very different, when you get a “No” and that “No” is moving you towards your goal.
It’s Not Just About the Yes
What is the purpose of a cold call? Most would say it’s to generate a lead, to get a “Yes”. If that is true, only a small percentage of your cold calls are achieving the goal, which can’t feel very successful. Instead, think of getting a lead as one of the potential positive outcomes from a cold call, but not the entire purpose of the call. The purpose of the cold call is to introduce your business and your products to your market. So the goal is not getting 10 leads, but rather telling 100 people about your business and products. By changing the purpose of your call, you will still achieve the leads you desire, but every call will feel like you are moving the needle. This isn’t just semantics, because every cold call does impact your business. The call may not result in an immediate lead, but it’s a touch from your business and could result in a lead down the line. If you just share your story and your products to the right people, the leads will come.
Attitude is Everything
One of the most important rules when it comes to cold calling is the “Sidewalk Rule”. The sidewalk rule means that you leave everything going on, good and bad, at the sidewalk before making the cold call.
Whether you just lost a big lead, the cold call before was rude, your best employee just quit, or you just lost your tenth deal in a row, ensure you leave it at the sidewalk. No matter what is going on, always bring a friendly and positive attitude to your cold calls. A negative attitude or negative feelings can always be perceived and will result in negative results. On the other hand, friendliness and positivity rub off and tend to lead to better results.
Your Authentic Self
There is definitely a negative perception in the marketplace about cold calling, which typically stems from people feeling like they are just being sold to. You can have an impact on how you are received and perceived by others by bringing your authentic self to your calls. Be real and make it your goal to tell them about your business, not to sell them. When cold calling, don’t read from a script, instead be conversational. This doesn’t mean just wing it. Ensure you know what you want to share and practice it as many times as you need to be comfortable, just don’t read what you want to say, know it instead. If you are genuine and authentic more people will listen, which will impact your results.
Mini-Goals and Breaks
Cold calling can be tough, especially when doing it often, or in big chunks. When you’re cold calling for long periods or have a big goal, rather than doing it all in one or two chunks, break it up by setting mini-goals and taking breaks when you achieve them. This can be an opportunity to recharge and make any adjustments needed to your calls. Having more personal energy and space to make little adjustments as needed can make all the difference in how it feels and the results you get.
Many entrepreneurs dread the idea of cold calling and some even avoid it like the plague. But, there is a reason that many successful businesses use it as a major lead generation tactic: it works. So, rather than carrying that negative feeling when cold calling, or avoiding it all together, trying using these secrets to change your perspective. 1) Shift your purpose to telling others about your business 2) Expect rejection and understand it’s just one step closer to results 3) Maintain a positive and friendly attitude no matter what 4) Bring your authentic self to your calls and be conversation; and 5) Set mini-goals and take breaks to keep your personal energy up and make needed adjustments. These 5 secrets will not only change how you feel about cold calling, but dramatically impact your cold calling results.
Launch365 specializes in training, coaching and mentoring entrepreneurs through business startup and on core business skills. We provide training and coaching on marketing, selling, and leadership of yourself and others. If you would like to discuss how we could help you with your business or on these skills, contact us at: www.launch365.ca/contact-us. Download our FREE guide to starting a business titled “Startup Success Blueprint”: www.launch365.ca/startup-success.
Whether you’re running a business or just working hard to try to get ahead, it’s really easy to let work take over your life. Many people find themselves giving up numerous evening weekends, just to stay afloat, when in reality there’s nothing more you’d like to do than to have that time to spend with your family, do things you enjoy outside of work, and to live your life. So when you find yourself staying late at the office, or having to give up that precious weekend time, here are a few things you can do to take that time back.
Don’t Schedule Too Much
When you schedule and plan your upcoming week, don’t try to be a hero. Be smart and realistic with what you can actually get done each day and through the week. One of the biggest reasons people end up working into their own time is because they were too ambitious with what they planned to get done.
Schedule in Slush and Backup Time
Each day it is important to schedule additional time that you keep open for tasks that go overtime or when something pops up. Your role and your skill level will typically determine how much slush time you need to schedule, but a good starting point would be 10-20%. You could either do it by adding an additional 10-20% of time to each task you have to complete, or by adding 10-20% additional open time throughout the day or at the end of the day.
Prioritize Your Tasks in a Week
It’s important to determine which tasks are “A” priorities and which tasks are “B” priorities. An “A” priority is one that must get done that week. A “B” priority is a task you would like to get done that week, but if needed could be moved to the following week. Schedule your A’s first, followed by your B’s. If something takes longer than expected, or another “A” comes up, it will allow you to easily recognize what should get done, and what can be moved.
Set Firm Deadlines
As you schedule your week or day, it’s important to set firm deadlines for tasks and for the end of your work day. Although it’s admirable to say you’ll work on it for as long as it takes, by setting a firm deadline it teaches you to problem solve how to hit deadlines. Imagine I told you to run to the end of your block. Now, imagine I told you have 1 minute to get to the end of your block. The result for each case would be different. By setting a deadline it forces different behaviour.
Learn How to Say No
Many people find themselves working evenings and weekends because they just have too much work to get done during reasonable hours. Often this excess work is a result of saying ‘yes’ to too many things. It’s up to you to manage the promises you make and what you take on. And although it may seem noble to always say yes to extra work, it’s not good if it affects either your quality of work, or your feeling about the job or company. I’d much rather an employee that says they currently have too much to get done and cannot taken on additional work, than an employee that takes on too much, doesn’t get it done or does it poorly and is unhappy because they feel overworked. Taking on extra work is valuable, but be honest with what you can really handle and be at your best.
Working evenings and weekends is something that many have experienced on the journey to success, and there are definitely times when doing it is needed and makes sense; but that doesn’t mean you have to do it all the time in order to be successful. By developing your skill in priority management and scheduling, and by implementing the keys above, you can start to take some of your precious evenings and weekends back!
Launch365 specializes in coaching and mentoring entrepreneurs through business startup and on core business skills. We provide training and coaching on priority management and scheduling, with a focus on improving both business results and lifestyle. If you would like to discuss how we could help you with your business or on these skills, contact us at: www.launch365.ca/contact-us. To download our startup guide “Startup Success Blueprint” for free go to: www.launch365.ca/startup-success .
As an entrepreneur, when you don’t get the results you were hoping for it is easy to give up. Coming up short on your expectations can be disappointing, and maybe even frustrating, especially if you’re not sure why. The reality is, the moment that you want to give up, is the worst possible time to actually give up. Usually at times we’re thinking about giving up, we are making the decision based on our emotion, and it’s always a good idea to make big decisions only when the emotion has been diffused.
Here are 4 things you can do instead of giving up:
Sometimes when something is not working we’re so focused on trying to make it work that we forget to think about why it’s not working. Spend some time figuring out the root issues that are restraining your results. This will give you more clarity as to what problems need to be solved in order for you to get to where you want to be.
Try Something Else
Move off what’s not working and try a different approach. Sometimes you may need to try a number of different approaches before you land on one that works. Even when you are getting the results you want, it can be beneficial to try different things, as you may find a better approach, or learn things that help refine the way you are doing it.
There is no shame in getting someone else to help solve a problem. Having a fresh set of eyes can potentially lead to something that you’re not seeing. Help can come from a family member, a friend, a peer or even competitor in the business, though for the best results seek out a business coach or business mentor that has experience in the problem you’re trying to solve. There is so much experience out there, why not use it to your advantage.
Take a Break
Sometimes it may be best to just put it on the side for a bit. Instead, work on another part of the business, or take a break from it entirely. Stepping away and coming back can allow you to get your head clear, so that when you come back you do so with a different mindset, which can often lead to better results.
Starting up a business is challenging, and there are many times when most entrepreneurs feel like giving up. Results typically don’t come easy, and often it can take a number of attempts before finding an approach that leads to the results you want. The one option that guarantees you won’t get there is giving up; every other option may or may not get you there. If you keep at it and do the above, eventually you’ll succeed. So, keep going, and whatever you do, don’t give up!
Launch365 specializes in coaching and mentoring entrepreneurs through the planning and startup of their business. If you are interested in discussing how we could help you, contact us at: www.launch365.ca/contact-us. To download our startup guide “Startup Success Blueprint” for free go to: www.launch365.ca/startup-success .