Just admit it – you want your booking schedule filled to the rim. We all do. That’s the point we went into business in the first place.
Alas, your wish is not enough. You still need to invest a lot of work and dedication before you succeed. Or do you?
Is good work all it takes to succeed in the long run? Why don’t we go ask our friend Sisyphus here? He’s been rolling the same stone for centuries and where is he now? At the bottom. Again.
Ok, let’s set a few things straight: I am in no way implying that hard work isn’t needed to fill up a booking schedule with paying clients successfully. I’m just saying that it’s not enough on its own. This brings us to our list of three tips for running a business.
1 – Have a plan
I am surprised I have to repeat this so often, but the reality shows that a lot of fresh entrepreneurs prefer to dive heads deep into the waters of business without a decent plan. Not without a plan whatsoever, but without something that may serve as a solid foundation for long-term actions.
Why? Because project planning is intimidating and takes a lot of effort. Unless it isn’t and doesn’t;) How so, you ask? I’ll tell you. A plan isn’t some sort of an elaborate scheme that covers every corner of possibility. These kinds of things are better left where they belong – with comic book supervillains planning to take over the world.
What you need is a plan that defines some of the most complicated challenges you will be facing. Not that a plan doesn’t solve them directly. It’s just that it is not supposed to. That’s what actions are for. And actions, in turn, are based on the plan’s vision of the problem at hand.
2 – Develop business standards
The devil is in the details. A hunch that a certain customer might walk away thinking that he paid more than he should have can be an obnoxious nuisance but fall into its trap once and you will be giving the same deals to everyone. Why? Because people have voices, friends and, more importantly, social media accounts where they share this kind of stuff.
This leaves you with a few options: either treat everyone equally and earn respect or deal with the consequences of “why does he get more than me for the same money?”
Business standards do not orbit your pricing policies alone. You need to keep your whole team on the same page at all times, use the same colors in your logos on print and digital sources and stay true to every claim you’ve made, just to name a few.
Consistency is your friend – never forget that!
3 – Never fight battles you cannot win
Your niche is both your friend and your enemy as I am sure you have plenty of competitors out there. Fighting it heads on David and Goliath style is admirable, yet useless. Legends of the old are better left in the books they are found in while becoming a legend of the new will require much more than courage.
If a player or a group of players dominates your niche, perhaps it is smarter for you to shift your focus a bit? Know your enemy, discover his strengths and weaknesses and act accordingly.
Pro tip: targeting a weakness is futile in most cases as the enemy is probably aware he has one. Targeting a strength, on the other hand, might pack quite a punch. Here is an example: a company is big enough to cover 25 services at once and they offer diversity to their clients in the form of pick-and-choose combo packages. Master one of those services (the most popular one preferably) and become the go-to destination for that service and people will come knocking.