I am. Tired I mean. Of being a polite Canadian small business owner that is. Have you noticed that as Canadians we tend to be quite conservative? So conservative in fact that we are quite shy when it comes to asking for a sale. So, how do we crack the code of the conservative business person. Sometimes you need to experiment with different scenarios. For one of my clients, I wore a sandwich board sign and stood out near a freeway entrance giving away free ice cold pop and a flyer with the clients special offer on it.
We did get some traction, but certainly not as much as I would have liked to see. Several months later, the client had to close his doors. I wanted to help, and feel as if I didn’t get to him soon enough to keep his business going. Some people will tell you that small business starts have a success rate of up to 90%. After a few months or years, other experts will tel you that the survival rate goes down by 90%. I have been struggling with some of these theories for the past year now, trying to figure out what exact formula creates a winning combination, and why others flounder so quickly.
Is it lack of passion? There are allot of small biz owners that have high passion, so while it could be a part of the total equation, I doubt if its the entire reason. How about support? The Canadian government does a reasonable job of creating small business activity, and while I will reserve judgement on just how effective some government programs are, support or lack thereof can’t be the single biggest reason for a small business collapse.
If you ask me, I think one of the biggest reasons small business doesn’t survive as long as they should is because they don’t follow up and aren’t as tenacious as our United States counterparts. They give up too soon, are too casual about what they are doing and how they picture their clients. Experts tell us that, in order to secure a sale, a representative needs to make contact 7 times either by email, telephone or in person before they sign on the dotted line.
My question is this. Are you keep all of those business cards that you have collected along the way? I have. The second part to this question is: have you gone back and re-connected with those same people? I haven’t. Wait. I haven’t, and then I’m wondering why my sales are not where I want them to be. Hmmmm, I just answered my own question, and while this isn’t the ‘holy grail’ of business strategy, it may be a crucial part of cracking the code of the elusive client.
In the coming weeks, I will be creating some video’s talking about my efforts, and victories over small business defeats. Temporary small business defeats. I just interviewed technology legend Steve Dotto, and he provided me with some fantastic ideas on how to grow your YouTube business. Since I am a YouTube provider, I paid particularly close attention to his comments and suggestions. Stay tuned in the next few days as we put up the videos of his talk at the Social Media Summit held in Abbotsford on June 24th. The event had several powerful speakers, and when I break all of the video footage into separate shows, I will share some insightful tidbits that can help you ‘Tell you story so you can grow your business’.