What do you want from your business?
The first question I like to ask marketing consultants when we start talking about their business is: “What do you do want your business to do for you personally?”
This question is worded very specifically. Because as a consultant you are intrinsically the business, it’s important to know what you want from the business both professionally and personally to be able to decide the type of structure, service delivery, products and price points you need to put in place to create a business that truly works for you.
When I ask this question, it’s not uncommon for the respondent to answer with strictly professional answers. From their head not their heart. They talk about how much they’d like to earn, and the type of reputation they will have or the type of services they think they should provide. However, when questioned again, from a much deeper level, they start to respond from a personal place rather than a professional place.
What’s the difference? Professional responses are based predominantly on what we’ve been conditioned to think we should do to build a business or be at the top of our career. They are generally based on what we perceive other peoples opinions or expectations to be. Personal responses come from a place that is closer to our hearts desires, and portray what we want from our personal perspectives – more of a lifestyle perspective than a professional perspective. Here are two examples to clarify the distinction:
“I’d like to work with high value clients who respect what I say and act on my instruction. I am the best at what I do and charge accordingly, earning a healthy 6-figure income. I will do whatever it takes to reach this goal.”
In reality, this person works 60-80 hours a week at the expense of living a well rounded life. Sure, they may earn a great income, but they are exhausted and potentially lack emotional or spiritual balance, which eventually leads to numbness or burn out. Notice the words are centred around actions and money.
“I have two little people at school so I want to work school hours. I want to work with clients who value my input and take action themselves or allow me to help them. Ideally I would like to build a passive income stream so I have the choice to continue consulting or not. Should I continue consulting I’d like to pick the clients I work with. Flexibility of time is paramount.”
Notice the words in this response are more emotive and centred around lifestyle choices.
The difference is pretty clear. Neither is right or wrong – they are both simply a choice. However what I’ve found in my 20+ years in marketing is that the personal response drives much better results all round than a professional one. Why? Because in our research, we’ve found that over 85% of respondents (who are marketing consultants) admitted they wanted to start their own business to have control of their time and their results = freedom. If you build a business based on the personal responses to my initial question, you are more likely to achieve this outcome. How do I know this? Because I have personally done both.
The key takeaway I’d like to share with you is get clear on what you want your business to do for you. That will define the next steps in your path to success. It will help you get clarity around the business model that suits you best, the services you provide and the target audience you ideally will work with.
So the first step in getting clarity on your business direction and structure involves some inward contemplation. Take a few moments and write down what you want your business to do for you personally.