Do you know the rules of the game?

The Prince George Citizen - - Money - DAVE FULLER — Dave Fuller, MBA, is an award-win­ning busi­ness coach and the au­thor of the book Profit Your­self Healthy. Con­fused about your busi­ness? Email [email protected] prof­i­ty­our­selfhealth­

Emily hit the golf ball and started run­ning, swing­ing her club mid-stride, she re­peat­edly hit the ball and kept sprint­ing for­ward to­ward the first hole. Our yelling and laugh­ter con­fused her and fi­nally she stopped. “What are you yelling about?” she turned to us de­fi­antly. “You told me that the goal was to get the golf ball into the hole!”

Emily’s un­der­stand­ing of the game of golf was that the first one to get their ball into the hole was the win­ner. The com­pet­i­tive na­ture of her Grade 7 brain de­cided that golf was a race and not a game.

Un­for­tu­nately, many small busi­ness own­ers are un­sure of the rules and goals of the game of busi­ness. For ex­am­ple, when we first start a busi­ness, we of­ten end up think­ing that the goal is to make the most sales pos­si­ble in the short­est pe­riod of time. While sales are es­sen­tially im­por­tant in busi­ness, if we sell the wrong

prod­uct to the wrong per­son, make sales that aren’t profitable, or end up sell­ing a prod­uct or ser­vice that isn’t reliable or that we can’t ful­fill our prom­ises on, our busi­ness isn’t go­ing to be around long.

Re­cently, I re­ceived a tes­ti­mo­nial from a busi­ness owner I worked with, that while work­ing with me their sales dropped by $200,000 but their prof­its dou­bled. Hope­fully you get the point here. Un­til we un­der­stand that the rule of busi­ness is that we need rev­enue, but the right type of cus­tomers and buy­ing the right prod­uct at the right time is crit­i­cal. Fail­ure to un­der­stand this can re­sult in dis­ap­point­ment.

Another rule of busi­ness that of­ten isn’t con­sid­ered is the rule of cause and ef­fect. We think that be­cause we have a busi­ness of­fer­ing prod­ucts or ser­vices, cus­tomers will flock to us. In reality, 50 per cent of busi­nesses go broke within three years be­cause they don’t un­der­stand the rule of cause and ef­fect.

Ev­ery­thing we do in busi­ness has an ef­fect. If we want cus­tomers to buy from us, we have to do some­thing. That some­thing is called ef­fec­tive mar­ket­ing.

In mar­ket­ing and sales, we need to do three things:

1. Capture our ideal client’s at­ten­tion.

2. Give them a rea­son to be­lieve in us.

3. Give them a call to ac­tion. The pur­pose of mar­ket­ing is to at­tract cus­tomers and the pur­pose of sales is to sell our prod­uct or ser­vices to those prospec­tive cus­tomers at­tracted by our mar­ket­ing. The rule of cause and ef­fect states that fail­ure to es­tab­lish the nec­es­sary mar­ket­ing re­search and re­sources will have an ef­fect that is un­de­sir­able for the busi­ness.

Sales is another area where many busi­ness own­ers don’t know the rules of the game. They fail to put in the ef­fort to have a sales model and ad­e­quate sales train­ing, and then can’t un­der­stand why they don’t have the sales that they need.

Of­ten there are un­spo­ken rules in smaller com­mu­ni­ties where busi­ness own­ers are op­er­at­ing. If a busi­ness owner is too out­spo­ken, opens on the wrong days, or com­petes with the some of the “in-crowd,” there may be reper­cus­sions that in­clude the si­lent boy­cotting of the busi­ness.

Busi­ness and golf might look easy to an out­sider and there are peo­ple who have nat­u­ral tal­ent in both. How­ever, un­til we are taught some of the basic rules, we might be chas­ing down balls and dol­lars in a game that we are guar­an­teed to lose.

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