Small Business Owners: Do This, Don’t Do That

prohibitedI feel strongly that business owners, especially solopreneurs, should spend their time on those things only they can do for their businesses – and only those things. It’s tempting for the coaches, consultants, healers, and others I work with to try to do everything themselves. Sometimes it’s an effort to save money. Sometimes it’s about not wanting to give up control. Sometimes they think it will take too much time to train someone else to help them.

Even though it might be challenging for any of the reasons I’ve listed for you to consider getting help in your business, I urge you to do just that.

Below are the only tasks you should be doing personally.

Identify Your Genius

The most important thing you need to do as a business owner is to clarify what talents, skills, intuition, knowledge, and experience you have that others would benefit from and be willing to pay for. Some combination of these factors will make you unique and allow you to position yourself as ‘special’ in the marketplace.

In my case, I have a technical background along with business experience and coach training. Over the years I’ve been in business, I have learned I thrive when supporting other business owners in the strategic and technical aspects of their businesses. I enjoy not only coaching, but actually getting things done for my clients.

Define Your Target Market

Once you know your genius, you need to identify those people who will value it. These are the ones who will see what you offer and want it. A key point here is that they need to be able to pay for it. A high priced coaching program for the unemployed may be quite valuable to them, but many may not be able to pay for it.

I enjoy working with small businesses, usually solopreneurs. They are most in need of the services and experience I offer, and don’t generally have employees to help them.

Decide on Your Portfolio

How will you offer your genius to your target market? Will it be coaching or consulting? Will you create tools to sell? Will you create artistic works? Will you offer services or products, or both?

Right now, I serve all my clients one to one, on an hourly or custom project basis. I’m currently creating service packages that will still be one on one, and am looking ahead to creating programs to help small business owners in larger numbers.

Market Your Genius

Notice I didn’t say “market your services/products”. Your services and products are the way you package your genius. Your genius produces the benefits your customers will pay for.

Now that you know what to sell to whom, you need to focus on how to become visible to them and attract them to your business. Also known as marketing. 🙂

Sell Your Genius

Yes, you will need to sell. I know many of you cringe at the thought, and “sell” doesn’t mean you have to be pushy or hype-y or sales-y. But if you want people to pay you for something, you’re going to have to sell it to them, whether one on one, in a teleseminar or webinar, or via a sales letter on your website.

Deliver Your Genius

Once people have expressed interest by coming to your site, subscribing to your list, registering for your webinar, or paying you, you now must deliver. It’s up to you to create content that captures your genius and delivers its benefits to your audience. Some of this content will be free and some will be paid, but this is where the rubber hits the road. Delight your audience and some will become customers. You’ll also be able to attract a bigger audience.

OK, that’s it. Everything else can be outsourced – and should be. You shouldn’t be spending time on creating web pages or formatting ezines. Why? Because others can do that as well or better than you, and no one else can identify, package, market, and sell your genius better than you. So you do that bit and get help for all the other bits.