A new community among an elite few entrepreneurs is evident, and apparently it is taking the model from Alcoholics Anonymous. Confessions are coming forth from these entrepreneurs revealing the many millions of dollars lost in their respective businesses.
Expressing the loss publicly appears to be a part of the healing and recovery process. The honesty and revelations expressed draw in listeners as well as demonstrate integrity is being repaired. This is important because knowing that the individual lost millions of dollars, it may be a very long time before anyone ventures into a new partnership with that person. Disclosing the loss and the history of how it happened are the first steps for rebuilding personal brand integrity.
Some of the valuable lessons learned from these stories include:
1. Diligently ramp up business
Prior to joining an exciting venture requiring a large investment, do your research. In particular, determine whether the project is on solid footing or if holes exist. Will it thrive only in good times, or will the need remain solid during an economic slump? If not, how can the project be tweaked so that the answer is “yes”, or, is it evident you need to walk away?
2. Avoid the “domino affect”
Does the business plan include wholesalers, distributors, and warehousing? Allow plenty of room for cash flow in case your most lucrative and steady client has a need to halt all business.
This is particularly important when you have employees along with need to meet payroll in addition to the normal expense of running a business.
3. Always seek to attract new clients
Some entrepreneurs have been known to solely depend on one or two big clients. The problem here lies in the unforeseen future whereupon one such client cannot pay bills, and on which you are almost entirely dependent. Being and remaining in business requires a continual dedication to adding to your client base to avoid such devastating circumstances.
While it may seem too time-consuming, engaging in social media 10-15 minutes per day plus making a couple of extra phone calls or visits per day, will develop a nice cushion of added clients over a year’s time. Should funds be within your means to hire a part-time person dedicated to doing this daily, you will find it a worthwhile investment.
4. Be on top of both the political and business news
Politics affect markets, and the markets affect your business. Know what the thought leaders are saying as well as the elected officials. Consider how policies are affecting your business and how you might protect yourself. Caution: Do your best to avoid discussion of politics with your clientele because that may abruptly end your relationship.
5. Deliver excellence in customer service
Work to benefit your clientele. Help them improve their business. Not only will they remain loyal to you as long as they are in business, but it may avert their need from having to withdraw from your services.
Working in this capacity and serving your community well, will lead to repeat business, referrals and testimonials – the definition of the Smooth Sale!