[Legacy post: Small Business Talent] Contrary to popular belief, market research for solo entrepreneurs can be a simple process. Done correctly, basic research can help you unearth powerful new insights, create the kind of value that your ideal clients crave most, and market your services more effectively.
My special guest on the podcast today is Jana Sedivy. Jana is the Founder and Principal of Authentic Insight, a consulting firm specializing in market research and strategy. Jana is a recognized expert in market research — over the past 17 years, she has served a wide variety of organizations ranging from the famed Xerox PARC (where she worked on technology which was a precursor to today’s “Internet of things”) to Fortune 500 companies and high-stakes technology startups.
Many solo professionals are finding it difficult to land new business and grow their sales. A major cause of their struggles? A lack of basic market research.
Today, Jana will introduce you to some simple and cost-effective ways to address this problem. In the course of this interview, she reveals how you can:
- Gain crucial market insights from ordinary client conversations
- Discover your potential clients’ true business priorities and sell to them
- Leverage a research platform that you have probably never considered
- Access her free guide to finding top notch market research participants
Effective sales and marketing strategies are rooted in understanding customer needs. But how do your prospects and customers think about and prioritize their needs? Today you’ll learn how to pull back the curtain and reveal the surprising truth. Scroll down to the Podcast Player now and enjoy this powerful interview!
John R. Bell on ‘Do Less Better: The Power of Strategic Sacrifice in a Complex World’
[Legacy post: Small Business Talent] My guest on the podcast today, John Bell, spent 19 years as a self-employed global strategy consultant to some of the world’s most respected corporations. Before launching his consulting practice in 1994, John also served as CEO for a major consumer products company in Canada.
John is a prolific writer. His excellent articles on strategy, leadership, and branding have appeared in various marketing journals and business publications, including Fortune and Forbes.
John’s new book, Do Less Better: The Power of Strategic Sacrifice in a Complex World, has its roots in his early career. At that time, John and a young leadership team faced the daunting task of resurrecting a struggling company with a complex range of products. He and his team took steps that few business leaders do, setting aside their own egos and trimming down the product portfolio. The business that remained grew rapidly because they had fewer distractions and were able to focus on running it far more effectively.
The lessons John learned by facing down this kind of adversity served him well throughout his career as a CEO and then as a solo consultant. The bottom-line? He learned that “smart sacrifice” is the surprising secret to success.
So, are you ready for some no nonsense advice on how to take your business to the next level of achievement and personal fulfillment? If you said yes, then get ready to take some notes – this is a fascinating interview. Scroll down to the Podcast Player below and listen now!
How Smart Solo Professionals Make Their Own Luck
I’ve been fortunate enough to run a profitable solo consulting practice for over 14 years now. I’m also Irish-American. Does that mean I have the magical ability to make you lucky in business? No, not even on St. Patrick’s Day. But I do know how you can maximize your odds for success as a solo entrepreneur.
Here are four tips that will help you make your own luck:
Thoughtfully Define Your Ideal Client — Who are they and why are they ideal? How will you serve them and accomplish your revenue goals? Staying focused on the clients who are a great match for you may be the single most important thing you can do to create lasting business success and fulfillment. No business can succeed for long while serving the wrong people.
Commit to Specific Revenue Goals — This commitment requires creating a written plan that includes specific milestones for their achievement. By the way, if focusing on revenue goals and planning seems irrelevant, then you probably have a hobby, not a business. Every healthy business or solo practice is focused on achieving revenue growth – you’re either growing or dying.
Take Advantage of the 80/20 Rule — If you stay focused on the roughly 20% of activities that best support your ideal clients and the achievement of your revenue goals, then you’re almost guaranteed success. If you’re not sure how to identify the right actions to take, then ask yourself this question: “What’s the most important goal for me to focus on today, and what action can I take right now to make maximum progress toward achieving that goal?”
Stay Flexible in Your Approach — Doing business in the real world requires reevaluating your plan on an ongoing basis. Tracking your progress and making adjustments in response to the challenges and opportunities that come your way is essential to your success. As renowned business planning expert, Tim Berry, once said: “Planning is nine parts execution for every one part strategy. And execution means setting the right goals and then managing them, day by day.”
The bottom-line is simple. Making your own luck doesn’t require having Irish heritage (although that certainly doesn’t hurt). It just comes down to mastering a handful of fundamentals. The tips I’ve shared with you today may seem simple, but they’re also powerful. I hope that you’ll adapt them to your own unique needs.
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