Components of a Successful Business
In order to be truly objective and to succeed, solopreneurs and consultants absolutely need systems that run their business. Without systems solo entrepreneurs or consultant will engage in haphazard, irregular, and nonproductive behaviors, activities, and processes. The end result of this helter-skelter approach to business results in, at best, a mediocre business and, at worst, a short-lived business experience.
To be successful the entrepreneur must build their business around systems and processes not personality or personal skills.
In this article we will take a look at the various systems such as: marketing, sales, customer contact, accounting, and time management systems that are necessary for success.
Marketing: There is absolutely no more important activity for success in business than marketing. Regardless of the product or service that a solopreneur or consultant offers they will not succeed without an effective marketing plan that brings them a constant flow of high quality prospects and new customers, clients or patients. The fact of the matter is, all solopreneurs and consultants, as well as businesses of all kinds are in the ‘marketing’ of their business not the ‘doing’ of their business. This concept of marketing first and the understanding and acceptance of the importance of marketing is crucial to the success of any business. The solopreneur or business consultant who thinks that their knowledge, skill or product offering is sufficient to attract a high number of new clients, patients or customers is operating in a fairy tale world and will labor in mediocrity. The solopreneur or consultant who is willing to accept this fact and who refuses to invest the time, energy, and money to become an astute marketer will most likely have a short lived career.
Effective Sales Process: Most entrepreneurs and consultants are lousy salespeople. They think that their job is to educate their potential customers, clients or patients. They mistakenly believe that in so doing their prospects will be so impressed with their level of knowledge and expertise that they will be salivating to become clients. This critical flaw in the entrepreneur or consultants thought process results in providing huge amounts of education to people who never become customers. This behavioral approach to customer acquisition is deeply rooted in a false belief that one must display their technical and professional expertise in order to extract money from patients, clients or customers. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Developing an effective sales process and becoming an effective sales professional is a prerequisite to successful customer acquisition. If one is to succeed as a consultant, they must master the art of selling. Those who thumb their nose at the idea of selling or who are turned off by the entire concept of sales and somehow thinks selling is a dirty word will labor in obscurity forever.
One of the great selling truths in selling is “sell the prospect and educate the client”. Only when one becomes a client customer or patient should you give away valuable professional advice.
Money Management Systems: Entrepreneurs and consultants must ruthlessly guard their precious financial resources by investing wisely in systems, software, tools and advice. Far too often, entrepreneurs and consultants launch their businesses by squandering precious resources on products and services that are unnecessary. Unless you have unlimited financial resources, you must resist the urge to invest in the latest and greatest technology or shiny object. The wise consultant will seek professional advice and coaching before investing any significant sum of money. Bottom line: you should resist the urge to spend or invest money and jealously guard your resources as well as manage and control your expenses.
Time Management Systems: Entrepreneurs and business consultants, like everyone in business, are paid in direct proportion to how well they use their time. It has been estimated and validated in study after study that less than 20% of an individual’s business day is productive. To become highly successful the entrepreneur or consultant must clearly differentiate and understand that there is a difference between being productive and being busy. Revenue generation comes only from doing productive behaviors that lead to acquiring and keeping clients, customers or patients. All other activities, while they may be important, are secondary to the acquisition and retention of clients, customers and patients. As such, it is important for the consultant to jealously guard their time and to outsource, delegate or hire others to do nonproductive but important tasks. Failure to do so will result in solopreneur or consultant squandering valuable resources that could be more productively used.
The key to success in all businesses and the accumulation of all great wealth can be credited to the development and implementation of effective systems. When properly implemented, systems provide structure, focus, and accountability for the individual to produce more effective results.
In our next article we will discuss the third component of business success. Communication skills………