The Business Edge Blog

December 7, 2010

1 Hour to Better Clarity

What can you accomplish in an hour?  Clarity! 

I met with a prospective client over her lunch hour.  She’s working for someone else at a “regular job” while striving to get her small business to become big enough so that she can exit her employment situation.  She has had her small business for a number of years, but it just never seems to get off the ground enough to allow her to make it her full time business.  Sound familiar?  I meet with a lot of people who are in a similar situation.

So we talked.  I asked a lot of questions and she had good answers for many of them.  She really does have a passion for what her own business is and it showed.  In the meantime the “job” pays the mortgage.  I asked her what dollar value of business she would need to book in her own business to feel comfortable leaving her employer.  She thought a while then answered the question.  It’s a little over 75% of what her current pay is.  So, she has a measurable goal.  Great!  Clarity discovered!

I asked who her competition is.  She knew the local competition, and knew how she differs from them.  She has scoped out competitors in the surrounding area and knows what she needs to do to be different from them, and has checked out their websites to know what they charge.  She’s been doing her research.

She knows roughly how much she can make with each project.  It’s a big range from helping out for a day all the way to being involved for months, and her income can be 5 times as much.  So she has a start on developing packages.  People like to have options, and developing packages helps them to quickly determine what you have that fits their needs. 

She has done some marketing – having a booth in trade shows.  She has some materials for those shows – brochures and giveaways.  What I gleaned is that there is nothing that makes her booth stand out from any other booth at the show.  Need work here.  She has gathered names and needs at these trade shows.  What has happened to them?  Follow-up is the issue, and doing so without feeling “salesey”.  We talked about how she can ask permission to check back in with her prospects and not feel like a used car salesperson.

She has a website, but no blog.  Having a website without attracting people to it is not the most effective use of that resource.  Need some work here.  She agreed to find something in her professional experience that would help her prospective clients even if they did not choose to work with her.  She agreed to find a Top 10 list to share – for free- with anyone who visited her website.

I noticed it was almost time to end the meeting.  She needed to get back to her job.  I asked her what the top 3 things were that would help her to move forward in her business and what she would commit to do in each of the areas.  She named the areas; a follow-up system to deal with the names and information she collects at trade shows, improving the look of her trade show booth so that people would be attracted to her booth and the visit would be memorable, and developing strategic alliances with other professionals who serve the same clients.  She stated her commitments; develop a spreadsheet to track the information from the trade shows, improve the look of the booth with the ideas we talked about and commit to being in a trade show with the new look by year end, and meeting wtih 8 strategic alliance partners before the trade show where they might also be.  We talked about cross-marketing with those alliances at the show – they have her card in their booth and she has theirs in hers to show that they work well together as a team.

Whew!  That’s what we accomplished in the first hour.  And, the first hour is complimentary.  She was kind enough to pay for my lunch.  Thank you.

I asked her if she found value in our meeting.  What do you think she said?  And at our next meeting as a paying client we’ll work on her 2011 Marketing Calendar! 

She is phyched!  The next few steps to reach her dream in her own business and eventually replace her current “job” are clearer.  Ah clarity!

Ready to move forward with your business?  Let’s talk!

Advertisements

Leave a Comment »

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: