Great new business ideas are everywhere.
When you have your idea, begin to think like a businessperson. First, write a simple description of what the idea is and why it will make a good business.
Do something that is easy for you but relatively difficult for others – then work very hard to make it easier and easier for you.
The small business owner must first be a salesperson, a rainmaker and a marketer.
Save money where you can but never stint on product quality or customer service.
Charge for the value you deliver, not for your time. Focus on your customer’s motivation for purchasing your product. Customers buy for two reasons:
Solve my problem – The customer has a problem and your product or service will solve it (hopefully). What does the problem cost the customer? If a grocer is losing business because the parking lot lights don’t work, then the cost is the lost business. The value is the extra revenue from shoppers who come after you fix the lights.
Make me feel good – The customer gets a good feeling from your product or service, so determine what that is worth. Does it improve the customer’s life? If you wonder what people will pay for a good feeling, look at the ingredients in a luxury lip-gloss.
Remember that cash is king – make sure you never run short.
Every business idea is a good idea if it’s legal and it works. Don’t hesitate to clean toilets or take the fleas off dogs if you can do it well and people will pay you.
Build your business. Don’t just work for it. Keep looking for ways to make it better.
Think 60-30-10, divide your time for various business activities based on a 60-30-10 formula.
Day-to-day business – Dedicate 60% of your time to sales and marketing, 30% to manufacturing or service delivery and 10% to administrative responsibilities.
Sales – Devote 60% of your sales time to maintaining and growing your present customers, 30% to getting new customers with great short-term potential and 10% to developing new customer relationships with great long-term potential.
Skills development – Spend 60% of your education and skills training time to build your existing strengths, 30% to develop new skills and 10% addressing weaknesses. Spend time daily teaching and learning, even if it is just 15 minutes.
Management – Dedicate 60% of your management time to your outstanding performers, 30% to those with great possibilities and only 10% to underperformers.
Don’t be afraid to make mistakes, but never make the same mistake twice.
Business & Economics
May 19, 2004
Author of How to Become CEO & How to Become a Rainmaker. Founder of Fox & Company, Inc.
Jeffrey J. Fox is the founder of Fox & Co., Inc., a premier marketing consulting company, serving over sixty companies in sixty industries. Prior to starting Fox & Co., Mr. Fox. was VP of Marketing and Corporate VP of Loctite Corporation. He was also director of marketing for the wine division of Pillsbury, and held various senior marketing posts at Heublein, Inc, including Director of New Products. Fox is the winner of Sales and Marketing Management magazine's Outstanding Marketer Award; and the National Industrial Distributors Award as the Nation's Best Industrial Marketer. He is the subject of a Harvard Business School case study that is rated one of the top 100 case studies, and is thought to be the most widely taught marketing case in the world. Fox has been a guest lecturer at The Harvard Business School (from which he has an MBA), The Amos Tuck School, The Conference Board, and numerous other organizations. He has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Business Marketing, and numerous other publications, and he is a member of the Board of Trustees at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut. He works in Avon, CT and lives in New Hampshire.