Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Compelling Reason #1 that Being a New Business is an Asset: You

Your main advantage over your competitors—an asset they can never offer—is YOU. You’re not starting a company because you want to be second best. You're doing it because of something that distinguishes you from any other venture in your industry. Maybe you have a great idea. Or maybe you know how to provide a particular product or service in a way no one else is. It may be that your experience or level of expertise is unique. Perhaps you have a knack for finding solutions to tough problems.

Was your previous employer getting the job done the way you knew it should be? Perhaps you were the reason your previous employer was successful. Maybe you left your former company just so you could build a better mousetrap. And now here you are, ready to show your future customers how to catch mice. Perhaps you have lots of great ideas about how to better serve customers, ideas that languished at your old company because they had to be filtered through too many levels of bureaucracy filled with people who lacked your vision. Unless you have a lot of split personalities, your ideas will get implemented in warp time at your new company. Whatever your reason for going into business, it should make a compelling story for your prospects. One of your first jobs is to identify that story to help you turn a prospect into your first customer.

Even when your business is 20 years old and you are able to take three-week vacations to Acapulco, one thing will never change: Your new customers will buy you more than they will buy the thing you're selling. All the gadgets and gizmos in the world will not make them want to do business with you if they don't think they can count on you. You will convince them that you can listen and react to their needs in a timely fashion. They know you will pay attention.
You are selling them a relationship with you. Sure, it sounds like a cliché, but it’s true. Even if you are the sum total of your company, you amount to a lot. You are the most important part of your company. Embrace that fact even if you set up shop in your utility shed and use the riding lawn mower as your conference table.

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