As the economy sputters along and business owners struggle for ways to reinvent themselves, I pose a question to everyone out there who owns or supports a small business: who’s on your team? Reminded that it takes a village to raise a child, is small or even large business any different? When was the last time you as the business owner asked yourself this question?
Some thoughts for you to ponder: Who are my regular customers and clients, and more importantly, why? What is it is about my product or service that keeps them coming back? Have you ever asked? Is this a market base that can sustain and support the growth or expansion you want? Lots of questions in my comments today are really designed to shift your paradigm, awaken the entrepreneurial spirit that got you here in the first place and maybe spark some new sales or certainly new ideas.
Using the sports metaphors we have all come to know and love, are you “playing up?” Hanging out and around with those as good or preferably better then you? Who’s on your team? Who has a vested interest in your success? Look around and see whom you can ask to play on your team. Perhaps your second baseman is nearing retirement and just does not have the fighting spirit he or she once had. Time to go the farm system, at least the bench. Give that second string player a chance to step up to the plate and show you their stuff. Put me in the game, Coach! Starting to see a pattern here?
I challenge you today and every day to ask one new person a day to be on your team. Call, have breakfast or lunch with somebody new who can bring business to you, directly or indirectly. Maybe they don’t need your services but know someone who does. When was the last time you looked someone in the eye and said, “I would love to do business with you, is that possible?”
What’s your fear, rejection? In fact, if you don’t ask, isn’t the answer always no? Stretch out of your comfort zone and ask those who may not even be obvious to you, for their help. Evaluate your players, your customers, your prospects. Maybe it’s time to cut some less then stellar performers. Time to give away some gold watches and say ‘thanks for the memories!’
I challenge you today! Who’s on your team? Who will make a difference in your business tomorrow? Later on, we’ll talk about how you play on other teams. Let’s knock it out of the park. After all, it’s good for everyone if you succeed!