January 2015

What’s in a business name?

A good business names sums up who you are not just what you call yourself

I was having a conversation the other day with a customer about their business name. They were frustrated that they couldn’t come up with a good name. They’d spent ages looking at website domains and twitter handles but couldn’t find a business name that they liked.

Now I don’t how long you’ve been running your business or how long it took you come up with your business name but for so many business owners it can take ages to come up with one that they feel happy with.

I started running my own business five years ago and have used a couple of business names and various job titles in that time.

This business name took me five years to come up with not because the words are particularly difficult to come up with, after all, they’re both everyday words. What took the time was working out what I really wanted to do and being able to articulate my vision. The strange thing is that if I had spent more time focussing on my vision and values I probably would have come up with the business name ages ago.

When you really understand what it is that you want to do, how you want to work and the things that you really value within your business then it becomes really easy to communicate your vision and your values to others. When you can do both of these, coming up with a business name is much easier and at the same time a little bit less important. In most cases people don’t care what your business name is, they care about what you do and how you do it, after all, a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.

Why people fail?

Why people fail? Well failure is like darkness, it just doesn't exist.

I was having a conversation with someone the other day and they were asking me why people fail. Now you could come up with lots of reasons for this but in the end, for me there is only really one reason why people fail and that is because they themselves decide that they have failed.

I know this sounds ridiculous but until you make the decision to give up then you’ve not really failed.

It a bit like running a marathon, while you’re still running and still moving forward you’ve not failed. It may take you longer than you expected, it may be harder than you thought it would be but whilst you continue to still have a chance of succeeding.

Failure doesn’t really exist it’s just the absence of success. So as soon as you achieve your goal all past failure disappears. It’s a bit like darkness, as soon as you turn the light on it’s like it never existed.

So as long as you don’t give up then you’ll never fail.

Can’t have it all?

Who says you can't have it all

Think that you can’t have it all. I was having a conversation the other day with someone at a networking meeting and they were frustrated that whatever they tried to do they couldn’t have it all. I asked them what they meant and they told me that of they tried to have a good work-life balance or be flexible about how much they worked then their business suffered. If they just focussed on their business then their personal life suffered. They even sighed and said, “I suppose you can’t have it all”.

For many people this can be a real problem, we start a business in order to have more but so often end up with less.

Well, I think you can have it all.

The problem often comes when we try to run our businesses just like we were an employee and not and entrepreneur. If you look at the most successful business owners then they definitely have it all. It often starts with having the mindset that not only can you have it all that in fact you deserve it as well. Until you get passed this point it’s only you who is stopping you.

In many cases, it is because we don’t value what we do. Each of us has a unique set of talents, skills and abilities but because we are good at them we can easily forget how valuable they are. We forget that what may be easy for us is often quite difficult for other people. Truly understanding your worth in the market you are working in is one of the first steps of having the business you want. Not only that it can help you achieve the life that you want as well. It can be the first step in having it all.

So who says you can’t have it all? Not me.

Sales tricks, conversations from hell

Sales tricks are what people use to sell something to someone who doesn't want it

I was having a conversation with someone the other day and they were asking me if I knew any good sales tricks. Now I don’t know about you but sales tricks or techniques generally get my back up, partly because I fall for them too often but mainly because I just don’t think they’re the way run a business.

In fact, in my opinion, sales tricks are what people use when they are trying to sell you stuff that you don’t want.

Now you might feel that as long as people are buying then who cares, and for some people maybe it doesn’t matter.

For me though I want my business to be about more than just making sales at any cost. For me, I only want people to buy from me things that they actually want. Not just so I don’t have to use dodgy sales tricks but also so they are delighted with what they buy, come back to buy more and recommend me to others. Surely this is a better way to run a business.

How to get everyone to like you

Why people like you? It is our uniqueness that us valuable to our clients.

I was having a conversation the other day with a customer, I’d just given a talk about why you should only work with people you like and who like you, and they asked me “how do I get everyone to like me?”.

So many of us want to be able to do business with everyone, that we try and make products and services that all would want and worse than that, ones that all can afford. The problem with this is that in trying to appeal to everyone we end up appealing to no one.

It is our uniqueness that makes us valuable to our clients. Whether it is our unique point of view, our personal connections with our networks, or some other aspect of our business that sets us apart from everyone else. It is because of these things that we can and should charge a premium to those who really relate to what we do, those who like you.

More importantly, if everyone did want to do business with us then we couldn’t cope with the amount of work that we would have. So rather than fighting over prices with the masses, be more select and charge a premium to the few. The few yo really like you.

Funnily enough, not only will your clients thank you for it, they’ll also pay you for it too.

(Also, you’ll be happier as well)