I say this a lot. And mindset isn't just important, mindset is everything. It defines who you are, what ideals you're aligning yourself with and it can literally propel you in one direction over another. And just as mindset can propel you positively, it can have the adverse effect.
So, who is today's blog post for? It's for you if--you've opened (or are considering opening) a business. It could be anything from a clothing boutique, a skin care line, health and wellness to finance, coaching, education, the list goes on. You probably have the best (product/service/trade) around! I believe in you! And I love your enthusiasm. And it's because I believe in you that today I am going to share some truths about successful business building, what not to do and what TO DO in order to build relationships and customers for a long time. You see, building a business is a marathon, not a sprint, and if you're not thinking long term relationships for long term success, your mindset is not yet where it should be. So let's get it there!
If you're frustrated because you thought you'd open a business and the sales would just flood in, I hear ya. Excitement can wane when the realization of work sets in. Maybe you've cultivated a fantastic skill or product. Perhaps you've got the perfect location or target market for a boutique or store front. Maybe your business partner/coach/recruiter has had incredible success and knows the same can happen for you. Regardless of the type of business or situation, you don't have to be frustrated but you should take some of this advice if you want to get serious about your business.
Here are some basics:
1. People don't want to be sold.
When I am looking to buy something, I seek a few sources. A. Do I have someone in my network of friends and family who is in this business of the product I am looking for? I choose to do business with people I have relationships with and support what they are doing. B. Amazon Prime. If I can get it on Amazon Prime and it is not something that I can purchase from a small business, I do it. I love Amazon Prime, don't you?
2. People care More about you than what you're selling.
Your friends and family are your friends and family because they love you. They don't necessary love that you have potentially turned your entire digital and in-person existence into a product soapbox. You cannot build your business on family and friends alone. Referrals? Absolutely! But a sustainable business that will support your goals and dreams financially? No way.
3. No one is following you because of your product (unless they are your friend, family or a business partner.)
(See #2 above!) I don't want this to come off the wrong way, but how do you know I NEED your product? Oh, that's right, you don't. I just want to illustrate for a moment the point that throwing a photo up on social media isn't going to monetize your business. Pictures don't equal sales. Flooding my DM doesn't equal sales. (PSA - If you are a team builder or business builder of any kind, please stop encouraging your team to send DMs to random people that they don't know! ) Even having beautiful photography won't equal sales. Building relationships, offering above and beyond what your bottom line is, that will convert me from a follower to a customer.
Here are three things TO BUILD AND MAINTAIN as you build your business:
Get clear on the reasons you opened your business in the first place, your "why". This will be extremely helpful when the original excitement for your business starts to wane, when there are people who express doubt or objection over your business. If you can get clear on your authentic purpose, you will be able to share it with others.
How are you connecting with others? Random direct messages is not a connection. Real conversations about real topics that matter are the things that create relationships. You can definitely use social media and digital communication to do this, but it cannot be a "copy and paste" or one-size-fits-all-message. If you don't know or care about the people you are communicating with, that message will come across loud and clear.
3. Service for others
Again, why are you in business? If you are not willing to serve others, chances are your business won't last long. I remember once I followed someone on Instagram that I admired for her tenacity with health, wellness, and positive energy. Once she put a recipe on her Instagram story and it seemed like something my kids would LOVE. She told a few of the ingredients, but not all. When I asked about the remaining ingredients, she replied that she couldn't tell me, but they were in her cookbook that I could BUY. I immediately unfollowed her. That type of gatekeeper-info-practice is just not what I align with. I am in the business of giving and serving others. Free content is where it is at! We live in an age where there is tons of valuable content available for FREE to consume. Be a part of positive provision and you will not go wrong. You will actually build more relationships by giving MORE.
Do you know that you can actually leverage systems to work for you so that you can stop being frustrated in the progress of your business? Not saying it won't take hard work, but you will be able to remove some of the frustration as you build by doing the three "dos" at the end of my message today and leveraging some key systems for success. Building a profitable side business can be the best thing you've ever decided on, when you get clear on what will make you successful.
Best wishes for success in your business! Give the ideas above a try to keep focused, build relationships and serve others. Cheering you on! -- Lynne