Have you ever made a mistake that made you cringe so much you thought your client will be offended and that your business growth will be affected?
My hand’s raised.
And I believe that this is a common thing with a lot of business owners (whether big or small.)
As business owners, we have been in situations when we make certain decisions that end up being a problem. And the ones when we let our weaknesses (knowingly or unknowingly) take a hold of us and in the end hinder us from doing the right things.
But as it is with life, the path of being a business owner is paved with learning experiences, taking risks and doing whatever is required to succeed.
Succeeding in business is not a walk in the park.
As evident in the American Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Business Employment Dynamics, which indicates that about 50% of businesses with employees will survive their fifth year in business.
The data shows that of the small businesses that opened in March of 2012, 50.2% made it to March of 2017.
With that said, if your business is over five years, kudos to you (there’s more to go anyway), but if you’re just starting out, you must fortify yourself with the right mindset and resources that will help you succeed.
However, this article is not an ultimate guide to starting and succeeding in business and neither is it a comprehensive guide to business growth.
It is nonetheless, an essential business growth lesson I learnt from experience, and you can learn from it too.
It is that to grow your business up to a sustainable height, you must be utterly shameless.
How do I mean?
When starting out in business, like I said earlier you are bound to make certain mistakes but as you move on you get better at it and become more experienced.
But oftentimes, we let ourselves in the way of our success by letting our shortcomings determine how we make our decisions.
For instance, when I just started my freelance writing business; I took on a project to write a website copy for 3-5X lesser than I could have asked for because I wanted to nurture the relationship I have with the client. So, I didn’t get an upfront payment nor put up a contract agreement.
In two weeks I completed the project after some back and forth, but yet, I had to wait for about a month before I could even ask subtly for my payment.
You know why? I didn’t want to come across as pushy or desperate, I wanted to be liked, but little did I know that that was at the expense of my business growth.
As if that was not enough, another client with a similar case, whose project I had done before the website copy project is also holding up my payment for some reasons.
But those examples are just one side of the coin. And I’ve taken up courage and devised means to not let it happen again.
The Other Side of the Coin
On the hand, I also learnt in marketing about the importance of following up on prospective clients.
I used to think that there’s a problem when people don’t respond to my emails – in my mind, it is either they don’t like something about me, my website or maybe I’m not good enough.
Heck… I admit that I am my own worst critic.
But experience has taught me otherwise, sometimes, they are busy, so they respond later, sometimes after following up I find out they didn’t get the previous email and sometimes it is because they don’t need my services and not because I am not good enough.
From these experiences, I have come to understand the importance of being utterly shameless about promoting one’s business and making one’s stand known with clients because it saves time, energy and money in the end.
And most importantly, it helps to support all efforts made to grow one’s business instead of being another statistic of a failing business.
Businesses fail for so many reasons but if you are ever going to succeed in business, you must be shameless; especially when it comes to client relations and marketing.
So What is the Bottom-line?
Be shameless, it is essential for your business growth.