TABLE OF SECTIONS
SECTION 1 OPERATIONS
These are the moving parts of business. You might see yourself here in the examples and see a couple of tips and tricks to get past an obstacle.
Here you will find insights, tools, and the stories of people who have been battered and bruised in their quest to start up their small business.
This is where you will set up the building blocks and construct the foundation for your business venture. I help you see what it looks like and what it feels like to face fears, get around barriers, and develop that intuition.
SECTION 2 CLIENT AND CUSTOMER SERVICE
You will need to communicate with your customer using every communication device known to man. That means you must have a phone, fax, email, physical mailing address, and website.
If your customer needs something or has a question, get back to him as fast as you can. Apologize to your customer for not being immediately accessible. People want answers and they want them right now.
One-time buyers can become long-term customers simply because of responsive customer service. This might be what the customer service horizon could look like and offers solutions for your toolbox.
SECTION 3 IMPROVING YOU
Better time management. How to recognize if you are straining the budget. How to decide if you should get a power nap or knock on three more doors. If you don’t know where to improve yourself, you’ll get lost.
Stop being comfortable in your “as-is” life and get busy developing those skills and talents. Stop settling for just being good enough. If you don’t know what it is you should be trying, you will spin your wheels. Improve your mind, attitude, body, and business muscles.
This section contains a few simple steps that require little or no financial investment and can be done on your own in the privacy of your own garage. Some of the more complex improvements will need your rapt attention.
SECTION 4 RECRUITING, HIRING AND STAFFING
There will come a day when you need to hire someone to help you grow your business. It can be a long and strenuous ordeal or it can be done easily and smoothly. Hiring the wrong person can cost money, time delays, and make you tear your hair out.
This is where you focus on investing time, money, and energy in bringing someone on board. Wages, taxes, benefits, and equipment add up fast when the new man arrives. You have expectations that govern how you operate. How to recognize that “not a good fit” applicant.
This section shows you how to identify competency and who might be a good team player and producer. It also tells what certain candidate behaviors might mean and what to watch out for. You’ll learn how to avoid hiring somebody that is lacking the right skills or experiences or has deficient knowledge for the job.
SECTION 5 MARKETING OUTREACH
When you tell interested people about what you are doing in your products and services, that is called marketing outreach. Instead of the thirty-second elevator speech, you now have fifteen minutes to take someone along with you. It is not your business selling to another business; it is you making that one-on-one connection with another person.
This section helps you understand and ramp up the system of looking for individuals that have a concerted interest in your products and services. These pages will describe and lay out a roadmap for finding that target audience and the tools needed to inspire their fascination for everything you.
I hope you find tips and tricks here on how to deliver your marketing message right into the hands of your customers. Tuck these reusable strategies and tactics into your business toolbox.
SECTION 6 SALES, SALES, AND MORE SALES
Where do I find more customers? How do I sell more? Nobody is buying. What do I do? It is a never ending chant from anyone selling something.
If you are banging your head against the garage floor over prospecting, nurturing leads, and closing the sale, read on. You have finessed your product or service until it shines. Everyone smiles politely and exclaims how beautiful but nobody buys.
It might mean that it is you that has to change. Specialized sales training. An attitude shift. Strip out the fluff from your life and change your focus to the meat of making sales. Something has to give in order for you to keep moving sales and growing.
It is not what you can sell to the customer. It is how you can help the customer with his challenges, fears, problems, and goals. It starts out with fist-clenching patience, jaw-clenching sensitivity, and people skills that might not come naturally to you.
This section offers you resources to help you understand yourself, your sales, and how your business sits next to the competition. Read through it and see what you can use now. Reserve the rest for when you grow and need a new piece of help.
It is my hope that these strategies and tactics can be easily implemented without a big cash expense or time commitment and your sales fire up. I get that the budget is tight and time is non-existent. Be a trying person and try these out.
SECTION 7 YOUR BUSINESS POLICIES
Written policies and procedures describe the right way to do things in your business. They describe what it means to do things the right way. By following policies and procedures, your business will move along smoother and you will do the right things to keep your integrity in place and quality foremost.
Why do you create your product the way you do? Why do you deliver your services the way you do? Your policies and procedures demand the work be done in a certain way. Excellent customer service is in the details. Excellent customer service institutes a great service experience.
In this section you will read about how policies can provide a course of action which will guide you towards your desired business outcome. The procedures are the actions taken to put the policy into effect. Procedures are the instructions for assembling the widgets and prevent the possibility of it turning out as a blender.
It is my hope that by having a good set of policies and procedures, the burden of growing your business is lessened. Knowing what to do and when to do it can be effective management, which can lead to a streamlined business process.
SECTION 8 ENTREPRENEURSHIP RISKS TO CONSIDER
Are you brave enough to start your own business? Do you have what it takes not just to go it alone, but to step off the ledge? It can feel like a free-fall into the unknown, and while it is scary, the exhilaration and fulfillment vastly outweigh the trepidation.
Stop thinking that this will be freedom, fun and games, and sleeping in till noon every day. You are about to have a huge time and cash crunch, so prepare yourself. You are about to have one heck of a ride and become addicted to the passion that is entrepreneurship.
This section goes into several tactics you will need before you walk out of your employer’s door. Think over that business plan one more time. Make sure you have emptied out the change in the couch cushions because you are going to need it. Get a big bottle of eye drops in case you get blinded by the excitement of being your own boss.
It is my hope that you recognize the challenge ahead before you quit your main employment. I want you to do all the background stuff to explore your business idea. What comes ahead is beyond intoxicating so brace yourself and get prepared.