10 June 2011

How to Take Your Small Business Past the Next Level

As you may know, I spend a great deal of time coaching and helping others build their virtual businesses. But the one thing that never ceases to amaze me is the lack of patience 80 into 0%. I don't know - but I am going to give it a try.



The best way to begin training people is to relate a story to them they can identify with. So here goes . . . In 2003 a person (let's call her Joan) paid me to set up an online web design business for her. I had experience in setting up the web design business named YouOnLine.Net back in 1998, plus I am on the internet 10-12 hours per day so I can keep up with new developments. Therefore, Joan knew I had the expertise to do the job right.



I spent a little over two months setting up Joan's business. From securing the domain name and SSL certificate to programming the HTML for the shopping cart â€" I did it all. In fact, on the day Joan chose to open her business, it would be fully functional and making money. Joan was happy, I was happy and I went back home feeling good about a new business being birthed and born.



But three weeks later (without warning) Joan hired an attorney who sent me a letter demanding all her money be returned. What happened?



After going through weeks of litigation (where the Complaint was finally dropped) I discovered that Joan had in her mind that she was going to make at least $5,000.00 per month. But when she only made $1,200.00 within the first three weeks she freaked out and thought the business was not going to work.



But Joan knew deep down that she was to blame for this decision. How do I know? Because Joan never contacted me about the problem. If I had done something wrong, Joan would have called me in a hot New York second. Instead, she chose to take the "sheepish" way out, regardless of who she hurt in the process.



However, this is only one example out of thousands. Yes â€" many people I work with and coach rarely understand the process of developing, building and growing a company. For some reason many people starting their business for the first time have this misconceived notion they will immediately make $1,000s of dollars without lifting a finger. I even had a customer call me on the phone and say: "I bought your book but have not made any money." I asked her if she read the book. She replied: "No. I didn't know I was supposed to read it. I just thought I had to purchase it."



Let me give you a little insider piece of wisdom: The infomercials are really giving true information. The only thing they don't tell you is that in order to make that kind of money, you must invest time, dedication and long hours building your company.



Here is a true life example of something that personally happened to me: One day I wrote a 15-page Report and converted it to PDF format. I sent out an announcement to my newsletter list and in one day, I made $6,000.00. I was shocked and overjoyed at the same time. However, I have not had that happen again. So I could go on television and say with all truthfulness "I made $6,000.00 in one day." But what I don't tell you is that I had been in the web design business for over 3 years and it took me that long to build up a newsletter list of people who would buy my Report. Hopefully my story will help you to look at infomercials for the truth they are, and the truth they are not.



What a Business Really Is



A business is similar to birthing a child. You first decide to have a business, and then you decide what type of business to start. Then you spend time researching and reading everything you can find on the topic that relates to your business.
 
Next, you obtain training in the type of business you are going to start. You need to know your product or service before you can sell it. This means joining organizations, networking with others in your field and/or working for an employer in the field so you can understand the inner workings of the business.




Next, you purchase the right computer system and internet connection to run your business, give your business a name, secure a domain name and get your entire business set up before you open.



Finally, when you do open up your business it is very rare that you will make any money within the first 4-5 months. Of course this depends on the type of business you decide to open, and if you have a customer base in place to market your product or service to. If you do not have a customer base, it can take awhile before you make any money.



Joan's Mistake



Where Joan made her mistake was in not understanding these simple rules. Although I provided Joan with URLs to organizations and other free information, she did not research them. Why? Because in all actuality, Joan was not looking for this type of business. She was simply looking for a way to make money.



Unfortunately, Joan had absolutely no idea of the gold mine she actually had. I had spent two months building her a functional business. Her first month brought in $1,200.00. That is amazing!! If you ask anyone who started a business how much they made their first month, even the best of them never made $1,200.00 the first month.



What Joan did not take into consideration was that her name was "unknown." People today are smart. They don't purchase from a company unless they trust them. Joan had spent no time building trust with her potential customers, yet she still made $1,200.00 her first month. I wondered what in the world Joan could be upset about. She should be celebrating. But Joan didn't look at it that way.



Are You Like Joan? If you are, you need to identify with your shortcomings right now. Then if you choose to continue being like Joan, it will be your own fault when you do not succeed in business.



One Last Thought



If you decided to become an Elementary Teacher, you would think nothing about spending money to attend college to obtain the degrees you needed. You also would not get upset if you had to start at the bottom and work for a lower salary when you begin your teaching career. Right?



If you decided to become a Paralegal, you would think nothing about spending money to enroll in a class to get your paralegal certificate. You also would think nothing about beginning your career working at the bottom until you received more on-the-job training. Right?



So if most people have the willingness to invest money and time into a career they enjoy â€" why do most people believe starting a business is any different? Answer this: Who do you know on the planet earth who started a business from the ground-up (with less than $500) and had a thriving enterprise making $5,000 per month within the first three weeks? Realize the truth: it is impossible!



Prayer of Relief



I pray this article helps to open your eyes to the truth about starting a business and give you the encouragement you need to build your business into a successful enterprise.