The beauty of community is that we all have so much to share; in Virtual Visit posts we’ll share content we believe you should hear, from events you may have missed. (Contact info for the featured speaker will be at the end of each post.)
Scott Moore, Triangle NC-area personal & business development coach presented on the topic Small Business Myths at Triangle Business Breakfast on Friday, January 10, 2020.
This was my first time meeting Scott, and I found him to be a straight-shooting, approachable fella – made me and other new attendees to the meeting feel welcome. I think his messages will be helpful for all of you in the multiple-hat wearing, role juggling, let’s-avoid-burnout-this-year missioning world of small business. The content shared this day is targeted to small business owners and is especially, though not only, useful for solopreneurs.
Myth #1: Successful business owners read TONS of books. Reading is a waste of time if you’re not digesting the content and taking action on what makes sense for your business.
Wendy’s note: In addition to books, I would add podcasts, videos, articles, TED talks and any other info-gathering activities you may engage in. Your time is your most limited asset, and it’s so easy to start spinning and using info gathering as an excuse to delay action or throw yourself off course. If you love to absorb info, find a way to incorporate that into your work, otherwise, curate, curate curate!
Myth #2: Marketing should be sure not to offend anyone. Your brand needs to attract your ideal customer; bland and inauthentic isn’t a strategy for winning followers.
Wendy’s note: OMG 100%. Enough said. Of course offending for the sake of it is not branding either. Being true to your company’s heart and soul + dovetailing with your ideal customers’ is a path not just to marketing flow, but raving fandom and the associated revenue stream.
Myths #3 & #4: I need to convince people I’m the best. My customers expect excellence. Your customers aren’t and probably won’t ever be expert enough to differentiate between your A+ and B- work. Keep your promises, overdeliver, and make your expectations clear (or be prepared for them to come up with their own expectations for what you’ll deliver).
Wendy’s note: He certainly wasn’t endorsing being bad at what you do, but rather keeping it all in perspective. I can’t disagree, but for perfectionists this may require a life-long process… or possibly extra coaching with Scott, LOL!
Myth #5: I need a really good business plan. Yes, if you’re seeking funding. Otherwise you need a good 90-day action plan, annual KPIs, and quarterly assessment of your progress toward these metrics. If your business has the same challenges 90 days from now, you’re moving too slowly.
Wendy’s note: Truth! Again, agree fully. The last line, regarding upgrading your challenges every 90 days, is AWESOME. I will be adding that to the “reminders” section of my white board.
Myth #6: My business will be fine if I make slow, steady progress. Sounds nice, but it doesn’t happen. Business moves in leaps. If you’re a solopreneur or very small business, the work and concentration you do to attract new business can’t be sustained once you start servicing that new accounts. Take this into account in your planning.
Wendy’s note: Excellent point; if you want to get around that, take a hint from the Boy Scouts and be prepared.
Now TAKE ACTION! As we wrap up this Virtual Visit, the lessons above suggested to me an action item that I’d like each of you to take:
Take 5 minutes – right now! – to write down one, just 1, step you could take to help yourself maintain a level of outreach/marketing that can make your next dry season a teensy bit less dry. Couple suggestions:
- Take an hour each week for the next month or 2 to create an extra blog post so you have a stockpile you can pull from down the road, or…
- Create a lead-generating social media ad, web page and auto-responding email that you can set aside for now and pull out when your inbound contacts start to slow (a warning sign that a dry spell is on the horizon), or…
- Look at your revenue numbers for the past few years to see if there’s a pattern in your droughts; schedule an event or campaign a month or so ahead of that curve and begin taking action to implement it now.
I hope Scott’s myth busting and my add-on thoughts have been helpful. Interested in learning more about Scott? Visit ScottMooreCoaching.com. Love to hear from you – share your thoughts, questions etc in the comments below!
Great recap of an excellent talk by Scott Moore! I’ve definitely been guilty of Myth #1. I love to read, but I will speed through books (and often take notes), but I don’t actually take ACTION. That’s a big shift in mindset for me in the last 2 – 4 weeks.
Regarding Myth #5 – I tell business owners that they DO need a business plan, but to not over-engineer it, especially if they don’t need funding. But they do need to think through and document exactly who their ideal clients are (can’t be everybody), and set boundaries for when they’re open for business to clients vs. working on admin, internal tasks for themselves. Otherwise, I’ve seen business owners work 24×7, because they haven’t set out their goals and boundaries for their business.
I have a couple of blog posts on my site that share the importance of having a (basic) business plan, even if you don’t need funding.
Boundaries are so important, you’re right. This idea you raise of including items in an owner-focused plan (items that may not be included in a typical financing-focused business plan) is interesting: overall parameters like work hours, support structures/systems, rates and pro-bono caps could fall into this category. Thank you for the comment!