Welcome to Over The Hump Q & A Wednesday, on today’s episode I will share part two on how creative entrepreneurs can create a simple business plan that supports their passions.
During part one of this podcast series I challenged the role of the traditional model of a business plan and shared how creative entrepreneurs must think differently if they want to create a plan that’s allows them to not only fully express, but thrive.
There are five components to this plan and in part one I shared for the first three:
1.) A true roll up your sleeves kind of passion, 2.) The development of a product or service that you truly love creating, something based on sweat equity and passion and, 3.) A way to share your passion with others that will entice them to want to work with you now and in the future.
On today’s show I elaborate further on the third point from episode one of the podcast series – Share your passion with others and entice them to want to work with you.
The best way to accomplish this is by getting clear on how you’re different from your competition and highlighting your point of differentiation so potential customers see you as an added asset – not a “me too” type of business.
Notes for defining your point of differentiation:
1. For example if you’re baker, designer or artist do you use unusual flavor or material combinations?
2. Unique preparation styles?
3. What niche markets do you specialize in? Women entrepreneurs, stay-at-home-moms, artists, golfers, specific ethnic groups, adventurers, lifestyle entrepreneurs? Speakers, authors, coaches?, Chocolate?, Bacon? Even your personality or personal style.
All of these examples are a part of what makes you different.
Never has there been a better time in history where differences are celebrated, celebrate yours because your audience is not only waiting for you, they’re looking for you!
Ask people close to you (preferably customers) to name your top three qualities. Make special note of similar comments. The top three comments are the foundation of your branding message.
Bottom line: there’s nothing new under the sun, so defining your point of differentiation is the secret sauce to your competitive advantage. Defining how you’re different will help you design your free taste offer and future products/services.
Moving on to point four of the five part passion based business plan.
Once you decide what you’re going to sell and define your point of differentiation, create your free taste. Make it something you can proudly put your name on. It must be high quality, your best stuff, but it must not overwhelm.
Think like a drug dealer. (To learn more listen to today’s episode) What are you going to give me to get me hooked? Reach out to pre-qualified people you feel will appreciate your free taste. Make it valuable, put as much time and attention to your free offer as you would a paid offer.
Treat your customers with as much care and attention as if they paid for your product or service. In other words, provide excellent customer service.
Explore MeetUp groups to find your targeted audience. Don’t try to sell anything straightaway, in the beginning focus your time on meeting and connecting with people. Make sure they are your target audience.
To find groups in your area visit: http://meetup.com
Another option is create personal connections with brick and mortar businesses and explore one time or recurring event options. The goal: Get connected to face-to-face with targeted customers by letting them try your samples. For example, a cake decorator specializing in wedding cakes could arrange a tasting at a bridal shop.
What are you going to give me to get me hooked? Reach out to pre-qualified people you feel will appreciate your free taste. Make it valuable, put as much time and attention to your free offer as you would a paid offer.
A life coach could consider offering a talk on life balance at a spa, or a wardrobe consultant may want to offer a talk at a local health club, maybe even hand out free chapters of a book in progress.
Finally step five. Survey Strategically. Meaning asking the right questions to the right audience. Once you get your product or service in front of the right audience ask them to engage with it and you. Don’t try sell, just listen, take notes. Use the data you collect to create the beta (first) version of your product or service.
Revise as necessary and re-introduce your offering. If you present the right offering to the right audience you will have no trouble selling your products and services.
So let’s review The Passion Based Business Plan:
- Get clear about your passions
- Decide what you’re going to sell
- Define how you’re different
- Create your enticing free or low entry point offer to a hungry audience
- Release your beta version to your pre-qualified audience, survey strategically, revise then sell
Additional Resources From Today’s Episode:
Read Tribes by Seth Godin
To find local MeetUps in your area go to MeetUp.com
To connect with local business owners consider joining your local Chamber of Commerce and attending a mixer, look for opportunities to create potentially profitable joint ventures.
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