If you had to choose a single skill or trait you consider essential to SME success what would it be?
What has 22 years of mentoring business owners identified as the Number One skill?
Customers are people, so are suppliers and of course, employees.
Having skills with people helps in these 3 areas enormously.
People skills show up in businesses with higher profit margins and that means more cash in the bank.
Skills with people greatly influences how you feel as a business owner too. Unhappy and stressed business owners experience these emotions due to people related challenges - i.e. employees, more than any other reason.
With great people skills - i.e. selling skills, you can sell at higher prices than competitors and win more sales with higher conversion rates.
With great people skills you can accurately identify good attitude employee candidates, in the interview before you hire them, not find out two months later they have a bad attitude.
With great people skills that include leadership skills, you know how to get employees to perform at their best, to raise them to higher levels of productivity and accountability, freeing up your time as the owner.
With clients that went from working 80 hours or 50 hours per week, without taking a break because their staff wouldn't work without their supervision, to being able to take 3 month international holidays without any stress or worry, that's the real world difference great people skills can make to a business owner.
If happiness is important to you then people skills will increase your time, freedom and enjoyment with owning a business. What value do you place on that?
Making mistakes is great. They are the learning tools of business!
Greetings Jeanette from rural Australia,
Everybody makes mistakes in business. James Packer and One-Tel. Rupert Murdoch buying MySpace and turning it into a dinosaur. Steve Job's NeXT computer company. His Apple III. And MobileMe are amongst 7 of his failures.
You can't succeed if you don't fail. That's a wisdom that shouldn't be ignored.
Failure. Mistakes. Are merely opportunities to learn how to do things better.
And what each one of us learns from them is relevant only to us. And might not be relevant to anyone else.
And much of what we learn from our mistakes is based on our own personalities. And how we want to do things.
One of the best things I've learned in running my business is not to listen to outsiders.
I operate in a very small niche market. A declining market, actually. But I'm growing as other companies drop out.
I listen to my customers. And try to engage in a dialogue with them as much as possible.
They've taught me how to run my business better. Every time they have a criticism, I listen. And change the way I do things. And so far, since 1994, every criticism. And every change. Has been for the better.
I've also learned not to be hoodwinked by hyperbole. I'm a trusting gal. And hope I always stay that way. But after discovering too many times that people exaggerate, I've learned to ask questions. And if possible, get them to justify their claims. At worst, to be cynical.
After years of advertising in magazines that are perfect for my niche market, and never breaking even, I learned that people only buy my product when their current version wears out. When paying top dollars to get my message across, I realised I couldn't wait for that to happen. And from that financial mistake, I learned to conquer the internet. And get my website to attract customers when they're looking for my solution to their problem.
Mistakes don't close doors. They open others.
When something doesn't work, it's a matter of asking yourself what else can? And undertaking the research to come up with a different answer.
When I was learning about the internet in 2001, when dialup came to my rural village where I live and work from my remote rural property, I was on SKYPE at 3AM, attending free online seminars held in the USA. The birth country of internet magic.
I did that several times a week.
And by putting in that effort, I moved from page 45 on Google. To page 1. And have never been off page 1 since for my best search terms. All without spending a penny.
Mistakes are opportunities to find solutions that are so much better than you expected.
Best wishes, Jeanette, for whatever you hope to achieve.
~Carol Jones, Ironing Diva❤
Purveyor of The Fitz Like A Glove™ Ironing Board Cover And Other Goodies
In 29 countries.
After many years in leadership, consulting and entrepreneurial roles, I've come to believe that we are all great business people. Then we employ people - that's when the headaches start for the...
I have managed some decent size teams over the last few years here are a few tips from my experience to stop problems from happening:
1. Keeping people motivated.
2. Keeping people paid market rates.
3. Keeping the team happy.
4. Keeping the team empowered with the correct responsibility.
5. Keeping the team up to date with KPI and performance reviews every 6 months.
What are the differences between the way men and women do business? Does it affect how we sell to them?
There are significant differences in between the way a female customer and a male customer approach the product or service they will be purchasing.
The woman will be highly observant of the sales person, whether they listen well, whether they really understand her needs. The female buyer will need to have many boxes crossed before she will proceed. She will be much harder to sell to, however, once she purchases, she will tell all of her network. So the rewards will be higher.
The man is a little more straightforward, easier to sell to. As long as you address his needs fairly quickly, and he feels like he has a win in the deal, then he'll buy.
I know these are general statements, however I've been in corporate software sales for a long time (in the USA) and this was primarily a male-dominated industry. In the last 10 years I have owned my own import business. Primarily female customers.
I've found that we under-estimate how difficult women are to sell to. They really need to 'buy in' to the person making the sale, as well as the product/service being purchased. Men are less attached, and therefore will buy more rapidly.