Channel Your Inner Self – Or Someone Else’s!
One of the hardest things many small business owners face is promoting themselves and their business. They simply do not have sufficient self-confidence to go out there and tell the world (or even the local neighbourhood) how great they are, or why people should buy their product or service.
But Shay Allie, the speaker at Small Business Network’s February meeting, suggested a way in which everyone – small business owner or not – can get round this: pretend you’re someone else. It may seem strange, and you’d have to hear Shay explain it, but sometimes just coming at something from a different angle can give you enough of a different perspective to push even the most reticent into the limelight.
Shay gave the 18 other attendees at the Small Business Network meeting, held at Sable D’Or in Muswell Hill, three tips for small business owners to becoming ‘captivating’ in business. All business owners need to make people want to do business with them, and not someone else, she explained.
The need to promote yourself becomes a bit harder when you run more than one business, but Rory Isserow, a new networker at the SBN meeting, doesn’t seem to have a problem with that. Rory represents The Ultimate Computer Company, an IT consultancy, sells cleaning chemicals to make everything from a white board into carpets or curtains as good as new, and is a photographer and artist.
Laurence Dann, another newcomer, runs two companies: one helping businesses with their long-term strategy and the other taking care of marketing. It must be something to do with his background: both Laurence and Rory are originally from South Africa.
First-time attendees are never the only thing new about Small Business Network, though: regular members often branch out. Johanna Green, for instance, has added Silver Fit to her personal training, outdoor bootcamp and Nordic walking portfolio. Silver Fit is a London-wide charity that gets the over 45s walking and dancing to keep fit. Johanna got involved with the group last summer when she began offering Nordic walking to the over 45s, preaching fitness through education, not motivation. As she points out, motivation never lasts very long.
Rebecca Hillman of Hillman Legal Services is seeking clubs for senior citizens, ladies or others who might appreciate a free course in writing wills and probate, while Karen Tidsall’s company, InterChange People Development, is seeking organisations that want help to increase their social responsibility.
Networkers coming to Small Business Network meetings benefit from sharing ideas, solving problems and meeting other people who need their products or services – or know someone who might. But they also can pick up tips from other members: Brian Cotsen, who runs Webtime web consultancy, explained how to be found online by local cusotmers. But for the answer, you’ll have to come along to a meeting and ask him yourself.