Tips and stories to add value to you and your organisation
I was prompted to think about this question by a client who was setting up in business. She talked about her ambitions for her business and the reasons for switching from full time PAYE employment to full time PWYGAC employment.*
She talked about the recent course she had completed and she talked about her desire to be free from the classic 9-to-5 office routine. She talked about a lot of things and yet she was vague when I asked her about some more business focussed items.
This is to be expected when people follow their heart (good for them) and have to peddle at double speed to simultaneously graft on some business skills. As our conversation flowed she stopped talking and I started. I talked about my three favourite essential items for business success:
1. Cashflow forecast.
2. Clear sense of differentiation.
3. Networking mindset.
Without cash we have no business and so it makes sense to have a simple spreadsheet that maps the flow of money-in and money-out over the next two years. Profit and Loss spreadsheets can be misleading as we can run out of cash before the profit is fully realised. Also, the amount of cash that gets tied up in the business is our working capital. Working capital is like bath water – we need enough for a happy soak…too little and bits of us get cold! How warm/cold are you at the moment?
We can differentiate products or services by pointing out the combination of factors which make them, or us, unique. This gives clients a clear choice and in turn means some of them will choose us. What makes you unique? A good tip is to list 3 or more things….For example, I’m the only business coach I know who combines Lean thinking with Transactional Analysis and has written 6 business books.
Sales success is about engaging with people. People buy from people and networking enables us to meet new people, maintain existing relationships and expand our business sphere. Time spent with people is never wasted. We can network at business clubs, on Twitter, with LinkedIn, at reunion events and within professional organisations and trade bodies. How many people know what you’re looking for?
Whatever line of business you work in, networking, differentiation and cashflow affect all of us. Choose one of them this week and have fun thinking about it.
Next week: Mindful minutes
*Paid When You Get A Client …working for your yourself is still a proper, full time job….just a bit more risky sometimes, that’s all.
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Brilliant ways to increase performance, stay employed and keep the money rolling in
Published 2011 Marshall Cavendish
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