It will take longer to get profitable business than even your most pessimistic forecast.
You'll be too worried about the correct Pantone colour for your business logo to notice cash is running out.
You'll not discover what kind of business you really are for 28 months.
None of the people you used to work with who 'promised to put business your way' will do so after all.
Things will start getting really out of control when you start hiring people.
You won't be able to afford the coffee capsules for your fancy new espresso machine.
But it'll be the biggest buzz of your Life. Bigger than the first time you landed at JFK and visited NY, NY. Better than that night on the town in Madrid with the cute girl you met at the art gallery. And far, far better than 97% of the corporate tread-mill you left behind.
1. Give the same presentation twice. Pitch or work-shop. Key-note or lecture. There is always something you can try and improve. It's good for them and it's good for you.
2. Micro-schedule your day. You'll have to rely on reptile brain to survive. And you know what happens then.
3. Do 'very special' deals just in order to close the quarter or close the year. The subsequent quarter or start of new year will be particularly painful. No-address the deeper problem. ASAP.
4. Assume a relationship can't be fixed. If you want it to be, try to.
5. Blame the economy. A good entrepreneur uses plan B; you do have one of those, don't you?
6. Say never.
Lean, mean and to the point. They are rapid to cause effect. They are no-nonsense businesses. They are not necessarily cheap when considered in terms of hit/time, but they are good value and they don’t waste your time.
You may well want to be an espresso business. But you will need to be good. You can’t hide a bad espresso. Is the crema authentic? Has the cup been pre-warmed? Attention to detail is critical. Especially as espresso drinkers know what they want.
Of course you could be a latté business. Not quite so powerful in one go as an espresso business, but the effect is there and it’s a little gentler on the stomach. It’s good value. And most people trust a latte; they’ve had one before and they will have one again. Unlike an espresso, it’s more difficult to make a bad latte.
This business certainly looks good: flowers in reception area and expensive furniture. First taste is great. Afterwards though you are sometime unsure as to whether you made the right choice: it all went so quickly. But funnily enough people will want you again, because of that very effect
Only trouble is do your customers know what they really want? Will they be loyal? And do you know what you are trying to provide? You’ll probably always be a smaller share of the market. But that’s OK because your margin is surprisingly high if you get it right.
You are cool, there is no doubt about that. Flexible. An amazing array of flavours. But a little seasonal and sometime slow to deliver. And quality control can go wrong. It’s a high risk business you have decide to run, but when you are on a roll, the margin is delirious.
It’s best to know what business you are in. It’s no longer coffee; black or white, sugar or not (except, that is, in one or two Northern England seaside towns, and don’t we love Scarborough?).
Know your market segment. Love your market segment.
starting that business
ending the aggression from your manager
taking a 6-month sabbatical
writing your novel
starting that relationship
ending that relationship
radically changing your lifestyle
recording an album
Of what exactly? Because you have never actually written it down and really rationalised it, it has been able to grow and grow in your mind. You can overcome this fear just as you have with so much in your Life to date. Write it down and decide how to manage it.
LACK of TIME or
You'll never have enough time. You need to get focused. Drop a few things (yes-you can) and start giving this more attention.
The ADVICE of your PARTNER or FRIEND or
Something to consider: are they encouraging you to grow? To become the best version of you? Or are they trying to hold you back and curtail your dreams? Which kind of relationship do you want?
a concern about what OTHERS MAY THINK or
Listen to them. Take feed-back. Stay polite. But then ignore them. It's your Life; get on with it.
a LACK of ENERGY or
Get energy by practising what you know to be essential for you personal motivation: MEDS. MEDS is meditation (take time out)/exercise (use it to gain it)/diet (eat for energy not just calories)/sleep (clear sleep debt).
is it just YOU?
That's easy. You're not going to block your own growth? Your own dreams? Are you? So: start now. Do something about it. Now.
I get a lot of questions about the business of blogging. A good summary of best-case thinking on what it is, why you should do it...comes from Kathy Sierra. She has a fantastic blog which should be standard reading if you are serious about the subject and she has a nice down-loadable pdf on the 7 virtues of blogging.
Small is the New Big. Clients increasingly want immediacy, a feeling of being important...which is why many of them prefer to deal with smaller organisations. So whatever your size of orgainsation, think small. Get close. Make it easy for the client. Give them confidence.
Magic Bullet is a new organisation with this kind of enlightened thinking. We're using them for some important work with a key client. Magic Bullet understands Small is the New Big. They have a simple message: in the field of video, they'll offer outstanding creativity plus bottom-line project management. Check them out!