SERIES: Lessons Learned While Starting A Small Business – Part 2

Welcome to the latest series on – “Lessons Learned While Starting A Small Business”.   Starting a small business can be tremendously exciting and frightening at the same time.   One of the most common trends that we see among small business owners is that they are very good at providing their product or service, but they are not so skilled at the “business side” of doing business.   This series will focus on some of the key lessons we have learned from meeting with many small business owners as well as truths we have learned as we have built a small business.

Part Two – You have a much greater chance of success if you have a great product/service.

This seems almost too fundamental to even write, but you would be surprised at the number of people who forget this.   You can do great construction work, but it is worthless if you fail to show up when you say you will.   If you are selling a new computer device (one that calls your cell phone and also sends a text message when your freezer has stopped working), you will not receive repeat orders if it does not send the message when the freezer actually fails.   Great products and services generate one key thing that we can not generate on our own – positive word-of-mouth press.   When others tell others about their awesome experience with your product, you have a great chance at succeeding.

Here are some good questions to ask about your product/service:

  • What makes our product/service better than our competitors?
  • How are customers finding out about our product/service?
  • How can we leverage positive customer feedback to reach more potential customers?
  • What is one thing we can do right away to take our product/service to the next level?

Bottom-Line: Great products/services vastly improve the chances for business success.

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  1. Terri Mcdoandl on April 14, 2010 at 2:26 pm

    I am loving this series and just to add a little note to the above, I cannot begin to emphasize how importan customer service is to the customer. As a consumer, I would rather have great customer service with an okay product than a superior product with so so customer service. Just think of the possibilities when you provide a superior product or service with superb customer service. That is the WOW factor!!

  2. Marion Karr on April 14, 2010 at 7:15 pm

    Great series Joe. I would agree with Terri that providing customer service is a key to success. I also think that it is critically important that the owner/business operator/founder of the company be very focused on evaluating every daily task as to how critical it is to the company’s success. As someone who has been self-employed in my own businesses for many years I know how easy it is to get spread out, very task focused, and caught up in the daily grind. When I am most successful I clear out any tasks/duties that 1. Do not impact my company’s success that day or in the future. and 2. Delegate as much as possible those tasks that can be done by someone else and allows me to focus on mission critical efforts.

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