DO YOUR HOMEWORK WHEN LOOKING FOR RESOURCES
There are many reasons why a small business fails. The one that is seldom addressed is that of a” lack of trust”.
I use another term for “lack of trust” and that is “failure to explore.” With the rise of the internet as a source of information, tens of thousands of solicitations are overwhelming the small business owner. With so many promises of success if “my product or service” is purchased, there is always the danger of not receiving what the message claimed
Fear must not become a prohibiting factor in reaching out for support when growing your business. No small business owner can possibly know everything about growing a successful business, but how do you learn to trust someone when your only source is a website? E-mail solicitations are running rampant; each one is promising to be the best.
The following are several guidelines that we have developed at Strategic Duck and recommend to our clients and BizQuack members.
- Always start your search for help by asking for recommendations. Use your peer group or advisory board for referrals. Unfortunately, in this world of constant change your best referral sources may not be able to help, so follow these guidelines.
- If it sounds too good to be true, it usually is.
- If they are not first interested in listening to you and asking about your needs but go directly into a sales pitch, say “Thank You and Good By”.
- Always ask for a list of satisfied customers in your area and their contact information. If they don’t give it to you or say, “it’s against the company policy” say Thank You and hang up.
- I always check a LinkedIn profile when dealing with an individual. There is much information to be gained from a person’s profile, community involvement and stability of work history.
- When dealing with a company, I always check their web site. The information on the site should include a profile of the owner and testimonials from customers.
- I don’t purchase a major product or service without first speaking to a “real person” when it has to do with business growth. Your interaction with the person and your “gut” feeling about the other person is a good guide for you to follow.
- Always ask for an opportunity to test the product or service at little or no cost or without a long term commitment (or a favorable return policy in the case of a product.)
Start and keep a list of trusted referral sources. Encourage each of them to do likewise and to include your name (and product/service) on their lists. Small businesses need each other to grow. As we grow BizQuack, we encourage you to use your BizQuack Community as your first source of business support.
“If people like you they will listen to you, but if they trust you they’ll do business with you.” Zig Ziglar
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