Compete or Collaborate? There’s Growth in the Right Choice!
When I started my consulting practice nearly thirteen years ago, I saw my fellow business consultants through two lenses. One was somewhat favorable: I viewed them as mentors to help me learn how to facilitate, teach, and act professionally. The second lens was darker and less favorable: I saw them as competitors.
There were several explanations for this darker lens. I had a steep learning curve in the development of my professional side while also facing the challenges of starting a business. But more importantly, my view of the market came from a scarcity mentality caused by fear, false logic, and false assumptions. My resulting thoughts from this view were that all consultants were doing the same thing, and thus, must be vying for the same slice of the limited market pie.
I hadn’t fully defined myself. When developing a marketing and business strategy, there are three critical questions that must be explored:
- Who are you – what makes you unique?
- What do you do – what is your differentiated deliverable?
- Who are your ideal customers – can you hone down to very clear specifics?
This is where many businesses fall short. This neglected work is something I observe over and over again with clients and colleagues alike. It is only through doing the difficult work of narrowly and accurately defining yourself, your business, and your potential clients that you will create growth and success.
I now see my colleagues as collaborators and resources. What changed my view to help me realize that we are not all competing for the same clients? Through trial and error, a lot of learning, and growth in my own confidence, I was able to clearly answer the three important marketing questions. I liken this process to making a good handmade cooking sauce or gravy: the magic is in its reduction, and that takes patience and time. To reduce your business sauce, you must answer those questions by doing hard work with laser focus. I now know that I am very good at providing clarity in business growth for a very specific market niche.
I am selling myself, not just my service, with my own unique delivery. That is what differentiates me. I know my expertise and niche, and I don’t stray from them. I have narrowed my target client to a very specific definition. In addition, I have affiliate partners in complimentary disciplines to bolster my practice. Finally, I have a long list of consultants and professionals who do different things and do them differently than I do – my collaborators.
Some of my company’s growth did occur over time and accumulated experience. However, my growth would have come earlier and with more ease if I had started out knowing to reduce the sauce for clear definition.
If you would like to reduce your business sauce and streamline your processes for accelerated growth, write or call me for a no obligation initial meeting: [email protected] or 267-377-7240.
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