Posted by PointA_PointB on October 24, 2011
Selling as a solopreneur or small business owner can trip up even the most experienced business development professional – much less the person who is relatively new to sales. I see this all the time with my clients.
Most of the people I work with are newer in their business. The ones who come out of big corporations with established global brands have an additional layer of blocks, which I discuss in The Big Brand Trap Or How To Take Your Skills With You (Please check out this guest post on BarryMoltz.com for quick and easy ways to feel like you have a “real” company.)
One way to feel like more of an expert or to get past the emotional blocks of selling “me” is to partner with someone who provides complementary services to your same target market. If you are an acupuncturist you could maybe connect with a chiropractor or massage therapist or yoga instructor. If you coach small business owners and specialize in strategy and motivation, you could connect with someone who can help with the financial issues of running a business such as setting up the books and the financial pieces of the business plan. These are things that you may not want to do or may not even be qualified to do. When you fill in the missing pieces of your skill sets or service offerings, you look even more valuable to your prospective clients and start to feel like the professional you are (or want to be).
You may even want to connect with people who provide very similar services to yours. If you offer a service like coaching, there are many people out there who provide similar services and may even have similar backgrounds and experience – but a client will pick you for reasons that can be hard to quantify such as connection and affinity. It is hard to force that so even if someone else is a small business coach or consultant, a prospect may be drawn to them or to you for reasons that they can’t really explain with logic.
Collaborating with people doing similar work can enable you to share knowledge, best practices, and leads. If a prospect isn’t a good fit for you and you can refer them to someone who can help them, they will remember you as a valuable resource and may even refer others to you.
If you are very new in your business and are looking to get experience and testimonials, partnering with someone who is more established for a one-time event like a teleclass or webinar can be a great strategy for your business. Here are some reasons why:
- You will feel more comfortable because all the pressure won’t be on you.
- You will feel more credible because someone else (maybe with more experience) is there with you.
- You may provide more value because two heads can be better than one.
- You will get more publicity because both people will be promoting.
- Selling “we” is easier because it doesn’t set off those alarms around not bragging, not being self-centered, etc.
- You won’t want to disappoint your partner so even if you are scared to death or hate selling, you will actually get out there and do it.
You want to make sure that you partner with someone who is ethical and has a similar business philosophy. You want to be confident that they will be as committed to the project as you are. This isn’t a marriage but it is definitely a date. It is a great way to test someone out to see if you want to do business with them in the future. Here are some things to keep in mind when you are looking for a potential partner:
- Have a relationship with them for some period of time. This could be on social media or at in-person networking events.
- Follow their business and make sure that their business practices and values match yours.
- If they are doing some joint events with others, sign up and attend to gauge their ability and commitment.
I love doing teleclasses with other small business coaches and consultants. In fact, I will be doing one with my friend Cathy Presland on this topic of partnerships. “Growing Your Business Through Partnerships” will be held on November 29 at 11 Eastern. Sign-ups will handled on Cathy’s site. Follow her on Twitter or Facebook.
How do you feel about doing teleclasses and events with other professionals? Do you like to work with complementary or similar service providers? I would love to hear what you have done in the comments below!
Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: entrepreneur, partnering, selling, solopreneur | 1 Comment »
Posted by PointA_PointB on September 17, 2011
Catching up on everything that happened over the last six weeks. Road trips, guest posts, and lots more. Check it out here.
Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: entrepreneur, small business, solopreneur, starting your own business, startup, work life balance | Leave a Comment »
Posted by PointA_PointB on September 8, 2011
Over the recent holiday weekend I tried to follow my own advice and take some time away from my business. Since I work for myself, I figured I could take a little road trip, clear my head, and visit some friends and family. I didn’t count on some of the things that happened and it became clear to me that my business is like a two-year-old.
Needs constant attention
I figured it was safe to “go dark” regarding e-mails and social media during a major U.S. holiday weekend, but in fact I had a prospect looking to talk to me and wanting more information about my services, and one looking to finalize a project and pay me. (Actually, I was happy to take those calls!)
Wakes you up in the middle of the night
I found myself obsessing over some things that I hadn’t done for a business partner. While I was pretty sure they would not look at anything over the weekend, I had stress dreams about not having sent the documents and finally sent an e-mail explaining when I would send them, which they probably didn’t read until Tuesday…but it made me feel better to follow up.
Throws tantrums when I turn my attention elsewhere
I was completely exhausted and needed to recharge after a very long drive. Subsequently, I failed to follow up on an important opportunity, which I may have lost. Not logging into Facebook to see a message that somehow didn’t show up on my BlackBerry = #fail.
Refuses to do what I ask it to do
Two-year-olds do everything at their own pace – toddlers speak, eat, and potty train only when they are ready. My business seems to have a mind of its own and grows at its own pace, not always exactly in the way or according to the timing that I hope it will.
Is very sweet, cute, and appealing on the outside but can be a little monster
Owning my own business is my pride and joy some days. I can’t imagine doing anything else and I am completely engaged in my work and in serving my amazing clients. Other days I wish I could give it back. Show me one parent who hasn’t felt like that!
Rejects ideas that I thought were perfectly appropriate
Like taking more than one day off in a row. Much more difficult than I thought it would be. Does a parent ever really get a day off?
The thing is, you’ll make yourself insane raising a two-year-old but it’s all worth it for the two blinks and the toothy smile you get, or the sweet cuddles before bed. You may do the same for your business and it’s definitely worth it when you exceed a client’s (or your own) expectations.
Does your business ever feel like a misbehaving toddler? I would love to hear your stories. Please share in the comments below!
Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: entrepreneur, small business, solopreneur, startup, work life balance | 13 Comments »
Posted by PointA_PointB on August 29, 2011
Many of my clients want to discuss work/life balance and how they might possibly be able to achieve that. They feel stretched too thin. They think they should be able to “have it all.” They get stressed out trying to fit relaxation into their schedule! They feel guilty that somehow their life should be different or that things would be better if they could…
If this sounds like you, I think I may have figured out what the problem is. Work/Life Balance is the wrong paradigm and sets you up to feel like you are failing. I want you to consider for a minute the word “balance.” Actual balance can be measured in seconds and sometimes minutes but never over the longer term.
Maybe you remember the first time you tried to walk the length of the balance beam with your arms out, catching yourself as your weight shifted too far to the left or too far to the right. Or maybe you have done a yoga pose on one foot or some agility exercise and thought to yourself, “Balancing is hard!” Balance might also imply that you should be giving equal weight to everything, which is often impossible.
Instead, I would like to ask you to consider Work/Life Allocation. This is not a fleeting instant that you struggle to hold onto or recapture. Allocation is deliberate and done with forethought and planning. Allocation puts you firmly in control of how you choose to spend your time. You can go through a process and decide what your top priorities are and how you will spend your valuable time. Your allocations will change over time depending on your priorities.
When you are launching a product, friends and even family may take a backseat temporarily – and that is OK. You made a conscious choice to allocate more time to certain priorities for a specific timeframe. You allocated your time appropriately given what was going on in your life. After your product is launched, taking care of yourself and recharging may become your top priority, and some other aspects of your life may have to wait. How you choose to allocate your time is much different now.
I like the concept of allocation because it is fluid and will change over time, will be different for everyone, and puts you firmly in control.
What do you think? Does that feel more doable? I would love to hear your thoughts about balance vs. allocation. Please leave a comment below!
Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: entrepreneur, lifestyle design, solopreneur, startup, work life balance | 18 Comments »
Posted by PointA_PointB on August 1, 2011
Excited to share some of the fun stuff that has been going on. A big teaming opportunity and a new speaking topic. Read all about it here.
Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: career transition, ChicagoNow.com, coaching, entrepreneur, solopreneur, starting your own business, work life balance | Leave a Comment »
Posted by PointA_PointB on July 11, 2011
Stephanie Goetsch is a journalist and founder of HerExchange.com, the modern woman’s e-magazine. Motivated by the desire to positively impact the lives of women locally and globally, Stephanie spotlights successful and inspirational women in an effort to empower every woman to lead her fullest, whole life. With daily updates, HerExchange entertains and informs readers with refreshing wit and style, while encouraging women to find their own voice in the midst of it all. Raised in Wisconsin, Stephanie now interviews, writes and multi-tasks from the Washington, D.C. area.
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Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: career transition, entrepreneur, small business, solopreneur, starting your own business, startup, work life balance | Leave a Comment »
Posted by PointA_PointB on July 8, 2011
My guest post on Carol Roth’s Top 10 small business blog Getting Past Entrepreneurial Overwhelm: Guest Post by Catherine Morgan. Carol Roth is the New York Times bestselling author of The Entrepreneur Equation.
Overwhelm is something that I personally wrestle with and coach my clients around. It’s part of the path we picked when we became entrepreneurs but there are strategies that can help.
Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: entrepreneur, solopreneur, startup, work life balance | Leave a Comment »
Posted by PointA_PointB on July 4, 2011
Summer slowdown? Ummm…not so much. Big things are happening here at Point A to Point B Transitions Inc. New blog on ChicagoNow.com, speaking to the entrepreneur class at Truman College, and an unannounced thing that is going to be B I G! Check out the details here.
Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: Chicago, ChicagoNow.com, coaching, entrepreneur, solopreneur, starting your own business, startup | Leave a Comment »
Posted by PointA_PointB on June 27, 2011
Yes, it’s true. Kelly McCormick has owned three successful businesses – the first at age 21. How’d she do it? It was through personal determination and a desire to perpetually improve. In the process, Kelly reinvented business and sales models that sorely needed to change.
If you hit the fast forward button, you’ll quickly discover that, for almost two decades, Kelly has been on a mission to share her insights with others. Today Kelly speaks, writes, consults, and coaches, on how to OutSell Yourself®. http://www.outsellyourself.com/
Kelly is also a member of the National Speakers Association (NSA), International Speakers Federation and the Association for Personality Type.
Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: career transition, entrepreneur, small business, solopreneur, starting your own business, startup | Leave a Comment »