This subject has come up quite often at small business, marketing and entrepreneur networking events lately. As small business owners, especially when we’re just starting out, we tend to feel obligated to accept every bit of business that comes our way.
Sometimes, this ends up being more detrimental than we can ever imagine. By not having a clear plan and growing our business according to our strengths, we’ll get stressed out because we’re doing things we’d rather not, selling items we don’t believe in, and wasting time with clients who sense our newness and take advantage.
I’ve been very lucky to have some amazing coaches along the way. Here is some of their wisdom I’ve used and found extremely helpful along my own journey.
While you’re developing your business plan, consider all the things you can offer your clients. Then take time to prioritize them. Make one priority list based on which products and services will be the most profitable for you. The re-prioritize them on a second list according to which services you will enjoy providing the most or which products you believe in and will find the easiest to sell.
If you’re one of the lucky few, the same item will top both lists. But, If you’re like the rest of us, you have some tough choices to make. Which services should you offer to be profitable, yet still enable you to enjoy what you’re doing. A sad fact about the cause of entrepreneur failure is that if people don’t enjoy what they’re doing, they will not provide the proper care and feeding to grow their business to a point where it is sustainable.
Don’t be afraid to change your original business plan if you find it’s just not going to work for you. Struggling to make it work as is might not be the best use of your time and energy.
Right now I have two small businesses. I am owner of SNB Consulting Services, Simple Effective Web Design for New and Small Business, and I’m also a partner in the about to launch, PaperBox Books Publishing. In both cases, the original business plans have been tweaked several times as the businesses developed. I’m sure they will change several more time during this next year as I learn more, the businesses grow and the market changes.
If you are already in business and have existing customers don’t forget about them if you need to make changes. They can be your best ally… or your worst enemy if you don’t manage them through the transition.