The Consultants’ Community knows that it takes a community to build a business because no one person, or organisation, has all the answers. Knowing what you don’t know is crucial to business success.

They are two states of knowledge: know it & don’t know it and there are two camps: us & them (we & they).

This then becomes the matrix shown here:

The key to making sense of this and finding out what you don’t know is questions. Questions everything in this matrix. Question common sense to make sure you are not just doing it because that is how it was always done. Question your selling point to make sure it is the right thing to focus on. Question why it can’t be done to uncover true innovation. Ask the people who know it already, they may well be willing to help.

Sometimes the question is more important than the answer so don’t be afraid to ask.

If you want to start asking the right questions then get in touch today at info@theconsultantscommunity.com.au

The definition of marketing is: “the action or business of promoting and selling products or services”. If you look it up in the dictionary you will find this or something similar. You won’t find anything about SEO, hashtags, social media strategy or digital content creation and there is a good reason for this.

The reason is that while these things are all part of a marketing strategy they are not where we need to start and not where you as a business owner need to focus your efforts to start with. They are delivery channels, they are ways to get your message out to a wider audience and we live and work in a period of time where the opportunities to get your message out are verging on limitless. But what does that mean for your business?

Well, it means you can get your message out to an astounding number of people in a very short period of time. It means that what you choose to shout about is heard by more people now than it ever could have been in the past and it means your marketing must never start with digital.

The more people with access to your content the more important that content becomes. If you have a shop window and put up a poster with a typo in it, a customer will probably point it out and you can fix it, no one else needs to know. You make the same mistake on social media and there is no taking it back. If the mistake is big enough you can quickly become a viral sensation for all the wrong reasons – check out this article from Inc. if you don’t believe me – These Are the Biggest Social Media Fails of 2017 – https://www.inc.com/zoe-henry/social-media-fails-2017.html

If you want to talk about how you can get started with your marketing then contact The Consultants’ Community today at info@theconsultantscommunity.com.au

You only have to watch a few episodes of Shark Tank to see what an idea that is not yet a business looks like. You will also notice that unless the idea has a solid business case around it the Sharks tend to dismiss it pretty quickly.

So if you have a great idea and want to turn it into a business you need to plan. You need to work out the right steps, you need to tick all the necessary boxes and make sure every t is crossed and every i is dotted. How well you plan the transition from idea to business will have a lot to do with if it succeeds.

It may be that when you start planning you find out the idea won’t work or that you weren’t the first, or even the second, to think of it, but that is ok. Putting the brakes on an idea before it is a business will cost you a lot less than closing down a business because the idea was not what you thought it was.

Find people you can trust to help you. Put non-disclosure agreements in place to protect your intellectual property if you have concerns and don’t be shy about paying a lawyer if you really want to protect yourself. To make your idea into a business make sure you do your research and have a plan in place, there are no guarantees in the world of business but you can greatly increase your chances of success by doing your homework and getting a solid plan in place.

Want to hear more about turning an idea into a business? Why not attend The Consultants’ Community next event at 7am on Tuesday 13th March at Hemingway’s in Manly?

Get your tickets here:

As a small business owner, you are already used to doing everything yourself. It is just the way it is. You gave up the corporate job to do this on your own terms, so having to work out a few things along the way is just part of the process, right?

To some extent, yes, we have to learn by doing and developing your skills this way can be incredibly rewarding when you achieve the desired end result. There are, however, times when we just need to admit to ourselves that we need help.

Some of us have a natural eye for design or a gift for writing. Others can stand up in front of a room of people and have everyone hanging off their every word with seconds. Some can look at a page of numbers and see where to cut costs and increase profits. It is very rare that one small business owner can do all of this equally well.

Becoming self-aware when it comes to your strengths and weaknesses is an essential skill for any small business owner and knowing you can do something if you have to, but would get a better result if you got someone to help can be the difference between success and failure.

If you know what you are good at and can be honest enough to admit what you are not so good at then getting help when you need it could be the key to take your business to the next level.

If you want to have a conversation about the help your business needs get in touch with The Consultants’ Community today at info@theconsultantscommunity.com.au

1. Who are you as a business?

2. What do you sell?

3. How can people buy it from you?

These questions are the most important factors when it comes to deciding how you operate as a business. Who you are as a business is your story. How did you get here? What drove you to start the company? Why should your customers want to know more about you and do business with? Once you know the answer to this and give the same answer consistently you have gone a long way to truly defining your business.

Next, you need to work out what you sell. Many businesses when they start out try to be all things to all possible customers. They will use phrases like “tailored to your needs” and “bespoke” but what they are actually doing is asking their customers to tell them what to sell to them. This is not always the best approach. If you can define what it is you sell and it resonates with existing pain points your customers have you are already ahead. If your customers see a solution to a problem they have in your offering they already feel you get them and where they are coming from. If they have to tell you what they, you already look like you are asking for their advice rather than the other way round.

The final questions, how do buy it from you, comes down to price. You know what you need to sell you services for to stay in business. You feel you are competitive in the market and you charge pretty much the same rates to all your customers. So, why don’t you tell people what it costs? Why do they always have to ask for a quote or an hourly rate? Be proud of your pricing.

If you want to talk about how you can best answer these questions then contact The Consultants’ Community today at info@theconsultantscommunity.com.au