Every day, I bring you one actionable shot of business knowledge that you can implement right away on the 7 Minute Mentor podcast. Here are 7 actionable business tips to help you with growing your business from the ground up.
- Just start! Whether you're starting your first business or looking to add a new product to your product range, it's vital to take the first steps today and capitalise on your enthusiasm before another idea takes over.
- Validate. Before diving in to build your product or launch your business you MUST validate the idea, specifically you must make sure that people are willing to pay you for the solution that you're offering. It's vital to focus on the problem you're trying to solve, and NOT the version of your solution that you have right now. If you become too close to your solution, you may find yourself with a “dud” – but by researching and having solid customer research conversations that focus on understanding the problem deeply, you will create an even better solution that you thought possible.
- Find your sneezers. Seth Godin talks heavily about the concept of sneezers – those customers who simply adore and advocate for your product day in/day out. These sneezers are the people who go the extra mile to tell someone about your business or product, and these sneezers are your biggest allies when marketing your product. Find them through customer conversations and include them in your business/product development.
- Lead with an empathetic ear. Building something that YOU want is fine, in the really early days. But once your product or business begins to serve the wider public, then it is your responsibility to listen more than you do anything else. Let your customers and prospects feed back to you honestly and openly, without fear of you becoming defensive about “your baby”. Long-term, this strategy will allow you to form a tribe of engaged and vital users.
- Be bold! To quote a good friend of mine, Rick Clemons, “It's simple. Be Bold!” – Focus on creating the remarkable and do go the extra mile to make customer service the very biggest focus within your business. Master the art of the pleasant surprise and allow your team the chance to spend that little extra time on the one-to-one service that many businesses simply forget, these days.
- Accept that you don't know, what you don't know. You lead your business. You develop your product. But you don't have all of the answers. In fact, you don't even have all of the questions! Create as much content as you can to support the goals of your end users and/or customers, and listen to the comments and responses that flow in from that content in order to learn what you need to be asking next. Developing your business should never stop, and by creating pieces that help your users/customers achieve their goals, you naturally engage them in a dialogue of forward motion – be there to give them the next step and you'll quickly understand what the next developments/opportunities for your business/product are.
- If it's not right, stop. Don't be afraid to pivot, or even walk away, if your business/product doesn't fulfil you or gain the traction you'd hoped. But don't jump too quickly. Sadly, I see so many fledgling businesses quit after just a year, because it's hard, really hard, to build something from scratch. Only persist whilst listening, improving and testing new things. Never stand still!
If you're interested in solving a problem I offer free business coaching every week.