I was talking to an aspiring business owner a few weeks ago, and his business is in the professional services area. He told me that his plan was to use Craig’s List to build his business. Another person who sells business-to-business at the corporate level wanted to use Facebook to sell her services. Still another business owner told me she uses speaking, but her method is just to go out and give a collection of unrelated but useful tips and hope people call.
What do all these efforts have in common? They are not the low hanging fruit for these business owners. I can’t say they won’t ever get a client from these efforts, but there are efforts they can take that are much more likely to succeed and that’s where they should start.
Imagine you are trying to shoot a bow and arrow and hit a target, but you’ve never used a bow and arrow before. Would you take your time and attempt to aim your arrow the way you’ve seen it done, or would you blindfold yourself and hand toss the arrow and see if it hit? Which is more likely to hit the target? If you at least try to aim for the target, it’s likely you’ll get close. If you just toss the arrow on a whim, you may get close but there’s a much bigger chance you won’t.
Many solopreneurs complain of being overworked and overwhelmed, and this random approach is a big reason for that. Picking a technique out of a hat means there’s a lot of possibilities to pick a technique that is not a good choice for your business. When it doesn’t work, many solopreneurs think they aren’t working hard enough so they do even more of the first technique and then add a second, third or even more techniques.
The problem with this approach is that it will almost never work. It requires the solopreneur business owner to keep doing more and more, and it requires some darn good guesses!
So what’s a better way? For starters, do some homework and make an educated guess on what will be the single best tactic to promote your business and start there. Will everyone always make the best choice? Of course not, but it’s likely to be a much better choice than a randomly chosen one. Second, set some goals about what you want to happen from your technique of choice. If you want people to call, set a goal for how many per week. If you want people to buy, set a numeric goal. Third, measure your results. See how many people are calling, buying, etc. Fourth, assess and revise. It’s possible you do need to do more work on the technique you are using, and it’s also possible you need to ditch that technique and do something else.
Always start with your best guess of what will bring you business not just a random idea.
How do you figure out what to try to promote your business? Tell me about it in the comments.