SCORE

It’s OK to not know everything. No one is expecting you to. Now, there are a few folks out there who think they know everything — and I’m sure we all know some — but, really, they don’t. 

You Know your Business

Whatever your business is, you are the expert. You know your product or service. You have  knowledge, skill or talent that others don’t have. It’s sellable. It’s easy for you to explain why a potential customer can benefit from what you have to offer. Or so you think. 

There are so many factors in running a business. It’s way more than just hanging up a sign or making a website. 

If you build it, will they come? 

Furthermore, you need to ask yourself…

  • Business questions to ask yourself...What’s your unique selling proposition? What makes you better, faster, cooler, more efficient, more economical, etc. than whatever else is out there? 
  • What type of business are you going to be? Corporation? LLC? Partnership? Do you need to talk to a lawyer? 
  • What's your brand going to be? Do you need a trademark? What about a logo? 
  • Where are you going to get funding? Banks? SBA loan? Friends and family? Credit cards? Mortgage your house?
  • Who is your target market? Who will benefit from your product or service? Who are they? Young, old? What are their likes and dislikes?
  • What is the best way to reach them? Social media, paid ads, email marketing, traditional print advertising or direct mail? How much should you budget for marketing, a logo or website? How much of the marketing can I do myself organically (without spending money)?
  • How are you going to attract them to your website? What kind of content are you going to use to catch their attention, educate them and/or demonstrate your product or service?
  • customersHow are you going to convert a visitor into a lead? What enticing call-to-action will you have so they’ll give you their name and email address?
  • How are you going to convert the lead into a sale? What follow-up email messages will you send them to nurture them into a sale? Will they include videos? Who will produce the videos? (Hint: You can automate all this!)
  • If you’re an ecommerce site, are your product descriptions attractive enough? How are you going to convert visitors into paying customers?
  • How are you going to collect payment? What are the best payment gateways for you?
  • How are you going to deliver on the sale? Is it a service you’re going to provide yourself or do you have employees or subcontractors? How are you going to ship a product? 
  • Is there potential for up-selling or repeat sales? 
  • Have you turned your customers into advocates who will tell their friends about you? Do you have a referral program? Have your asked your happy camper customer to recommend you on social media, Google or Yelp? 
  • Have you got the answers to all these questions written down in a business plan?

If you don’t, then you need one now. Click here for a free business plan template from SCORE. 

Now let’s go back to not knowing what you don’t know…

Right-Brain, Left-Brain

Which one are you? Right-Brain or Left-Brain Now, I’m no brain expert, but I firmly believe that there’s something to the Right-Brain, Left-Brain functions and that one usually is more dominant than the other. 

Left-Brain functions: 

  • logic
  • sequencing
  • linear thinking
  • mathematics
  • facts
  • thinking in words

When I think left-brain, I think accountant. Usually accountants are not very good at marketing, which is a right-brain function

Right-Brain functions: 

  • imaginationidea-thought-visualization
  • holistic thinking
  • intuition
  • arts
  • rhythm
  • nonverbal cues
  • feelings 
  • visualization

This is me — creative. I’m bad at math. Always have been. How I passed college accounting and calculus is beyond me. However, I do like facts and logical thinking, so the Right-Brain, Left-Brain line is sometimes blurry. 

Do business tasks give you a headache? Since I’m bad at math, doing my taxes each year, though I was capable of doing them — I learned, gave me the worst headache ever. Thus, I outsource that to a friend who’s way better at math and understanding the tax code than I could ever be. 

Now it’s time for you to admit which side of your brain is more dominant — Right or Left. 

Once you’ve determined if you’re more creative than logical or the other way around, you need to admit… 

  • What can you do? What are you good at? What comes naturally?
  • What are you capable of doing — without getting a headache? 
  • What are you able to learn
  • Do you have the time to learn? 
  • Then, do you have the time to do the task-at-hand? 

So, you’ve decided that you’re going to tackle some tasks yourself and you need to learn how to do it. Sometimes, you start learning how something works and then you realize that even though you are capable of doing it, it makes more sense to hire someone who can do it better or faster than you. 

That happened a contractor who took my social media marketing bootcamp a few years ago. About 4 sessions into the bootcamp, he realized that he didn’t have the time or “bandwidth” to market his business properly and effectively. There was more to it than just posting on Facebook. Thus, he hired me for a while, then hired an in-house person, whom I trained. 

Here’s where SCORE comes in. 

Startups: 

  1. Start with the business plan template and the SWOT analysis
  2. Schedule a free business mentoring appointment with a SCORE Mentor. SCORE Phoenix has mentor all over the Phoenix Valley.
  3. Take the ABC of Starting Your Own Business Class. It’s usually offered at least once a month. Then take any classes which will help you learn what you need to learn. Click here for the calendar of workshops. 

Established Businesses: 

  1. If you haven’t looked at your business plan in over a year, it’s time to dig it up and dust it off. 
  2. Schedule a free business mentoring appointment with a SCORE Mentor to review it and discuss what your needs, goals and problems are and how best to meet and overcome them. 
  3. Sign up for the classes that you need to fill in the areas where you lack knowledge or you need to understand how it works to be able to hire someone who knows their stuff. Never stop learning

See, it’s OK to not know what you don’t know! You just have to admit it and be willing to learn and understand what your capabilities are and when you need to outsource tasks. 

 

About the Author(s)

Giselle Aguiar, Social Media Marketing Specialist, Coach and Trainer at AZ Social Media Wiz

Giselle Aguiar, founder of AZ Social Media Wiz is a social media, inbound and content marketing consultant and trainer specializing in market research, strategic planning, social media and marketing automation setups, training and coaching. She's been doing Internet marketing since 1995.

Social Media Marketing Strategist, Trainer and Coach, AZ Social Media Wiz
Admit It! You Don't Know What You Don't Know