Business is this: Sell something for more than it costs you to make. Rinse and Repeat. Make a profit.
For me, a Thing business has a few more details to it: sell something you do that's brilliant (which is easy for you)–that solves a problem you find annoying–for more than it costs you to make or deliver, and enjoy the profits. Rinse and Repeat.
But, boy, can we over complicate things (and Things).
Here's what I see happening all the time (and–hands up–sometimes it's me!):
- Trying 100 different ways to market that Thing when 3 ways would do the same job
- Chopping and changing the offers and packages and ways you sell your Thing every 2 minutes (we don't like change much–have you not seen the furore over 'new recipes' gone wrong with famous brands ever?)
- Trying to sell via lots of different methods and media before you've nailed one of them in the first place (don't be selling online/on stage until you know what makes people buy face to face!)
- Making your product and service so detailed that it's hard to really see what it's all about... we just want to buy the 1 main result of your Thing don't you know!
- Outsourcing everything and assuming everyone has it under control. It's your business, you need to have it under control first before you hand out pieces of it... (or learn this the hard way when it all goes to pot and no-one takes responsibility for 'why it's not working').
- Know your numbers. There's really no excuse for this one–but you don't need to know every ratio, but an idea of your sales, your conversion rate and break even point in your business are pretty vital.
- Too much 'talking' and not enough 'doing'. There needs to be delivery behind what you say you do. Don't get fancy with the descriptions unless you can really do what you say you do...
- Feeling like you need to be all things to every one. Just don't. You're not.
- Wanting to do everything at once! Take one thing at a time and build on it. Master one type of marketing or media first, get good at selling one of your offers, then add more. You get the idea...
- Make sure you're making a profit. See initial description of a business...
If you are getting 'that feeling' that it's all getting a bit complicated, then it probably is. Sit back. Stop some things, and focus on what you need to do right now to make your business work. Remember it's only ever about selling something that you do brilliantly, that people want, that makes you a profit. Everything else just keeps you unnecessarily busy...
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