Pinocchio’s wish was to be a ‘real boy’. He knew that he couldn’t fool anyone into thinking he was real when he was made of wood.
Well, the same goes for business.
In your business, the most important thing is to be the REAL you. Otherwise, your potential and existing customers will quickly see through your B.S. and find some other ‘real’ entrepreneur to do business with.
Here are 3 tips on how to make sure your business isn’t full of wood!
1) Flaunt what is unique about you and your business. Don’t know what is unique about you and your business? Well, what are your strengths? What experiences do you have? What do people love about you? Don’t be afraid to have your personality show. I’m not the only personal and professional development coach out there. But I’m the only ‘me’ out there. If you pretend to be like someone else or copy every detail of another business, it will be very hard to keep up that front over time. Each of us has been given unique talents and gifts and there are plenty of customers who will be attracted to what makes you different not the same!
2) Ensure there is integrity in every aspect of your business. Always deliver on your promises and never lie about your products (don’t want a growing nose do you?). Some businesses think they can get (ahem, scam) people into buying their product with some hefty, dishonest claims. Sure, they might get some sales but they won’t have many happy customers and definitely no return customers. Did you know it actually costs more to find a new customer, than to keep a loyal one? Plus, it just won’t feel good to you as a business owner. You want to be proud about the product you are offering. Secondly, do what you said you would do, by when you would do it. This goes for payments, refunds, shipping, business partnerships, down to the time you start your meetings. Integrity makes businesses work.
3) Seek like-minded, ‘real’ business partners and customers. One way to stay ‘real’ as a business is to stay true to your beliefs and seek business partners that are aligned with your goals and values. This will prevent a lot of clashing in the future and will help you maintain the uniqueness and integrity you have establhed. The same goes for customers- seek those that are a good match for your business. If you have a high quality product, fishing in the ‘broke’ customer pond doesn’t make sense. Many businesses think they just need to get as many people to their store as they can. However, not targeting your customers, seeking those that have the same values as you do, or those that will relate to your uniqueness (as in point #1) is wasted time and money. Unless you have a mass-product franchise, it is really about quality not quantity.
In conclusion, we can learn some important business lessons from the story of Pinocchio. However, unlike for Pinocchio, becoming real in your business doesn’t require a fairy. Just stay true and be you!