Entrepreneur News- 3 Ways To Get Your Reconnaissance

As an entrepreneur, information is the base of all profits. Knowing how to get the right information about your projects and doing it quietly is like money in the bank.

1) Networking is number one on the list. A good working relationship with a selection of peers can really help in finding and assessing projects. It takes time to develop a good network of hand picked people that you commonly keep contact with. Trust is a big issue but more importantly quality of positioning is more of an issue. By positioning I mean how that person fits within the relationship of the type of project you do and where they fit within that scheme. For example a rich source of contacts is the humble sales person or broker. They are easy to meet and very willing to do business with you even if you aren’t buying anything from them initially. Real estate agents, Car dealer principles and Marine brokers all fit in this group. It depends on your market, your niche of course.

Experts and valuers are also excellent quality positioning candidates for your network. Finally your competition. Other entrepreneurs that deal prolifically in your market. This last one might seem counter intuitive, but entrepreneurs often “hunt” in groups and help each other. There are only so many projects you can take on at any one time, however your network will continue to keep filling your Hopper with fresh leads and contacts. These can be traded or exchanged for favours later on or Joint Venture’s could be formed with other entrepreneurs. Usually there are two elements that stop you from taking every acceptable project that arrives on your door step, they are time and money. You may be over extended financially but have lots of time up your sleeve with the way your current project is structured. So you can often trade off with another entrepreneur who has funds, but is over committed time wise. And vice versa.

2) Expert authors are an excellent source of inspiration and information. By seeking out authors that deal with topics that you yourself are engaged in you leverage your knowledge. By reading a lot you save time and money by avoiding problems and being opened up to seeing things in different ways. Authors often are old hands looking for a less strenuous way of moving in some income and their own insight is often worth the cents per dollar you pay for their information.

3) Current people you are doing business with. Making a profit is seen as a shameful thing. Well not quite, but we tend to deal with the people that are directly responsible for our profits with guarded care. This is a reasonable attitude, however it need not be so guarded. If they are happy with the deal they made, there is no reason why you should feel concerned about their having remorse. Its not your concern, you are an entrepreneur not a nurse maid. With this in mind, often a chatty attitude will uncover all sorts of insights from the people you do business with. Maybe they know somebody else who is in precisely the same position they were in and you could repeat your deal with their acquaintance. Possibly the biggest reconnaissance you can get from people you have done business with is to be able to identify your own strengths and weaknesses through their eyes. What this does is give you valuable insights into how you operate and how you can improve that core business of yours…..doing deals.

Martin Thomas (c)2005

How to Make Tons of Cash Selling Information

For the sole entrepreneur, information marketing may be the most profitable business model in existence.

You can easily leverage your knowledge (or the knowledge of other experts) one time and get paid over and over again. People are busier than ever and suffer from information overload more than ever, too.

They want the information they need without spending a lot of time looking for it.

All you need to do is turn blank paper, CD’s, DVD’s, etc. into information and sell it to them. The great thing is you are selling the information, the content, and not the packaging. Even more so, you’re selling the VALUE of the information.

So, even if you’re selling a book, you need to focus on selling information, not paper and ink. And you have no competition because your information is unique. Information products can easily be sold for 10, 20 times or more the cost of creating the product.

With the technology today, such as print on demand, it doesn’t cost much at all to get started in the information products business. You can even start off by selling digital versions of your book, audio, or DVD and set it up to be downloaded directly from the internet.

Let’s take a look at the cost of creating your first ebook.

  • Domain name – $9
  • Web Hosting – $4 per month
  • Word Processor – Free (download Open Office)
  • Turn eBook into PDF – Free (can be done with the click of a button in Open Office)
  • Payment Processor – Free (set up with Pay Pal)

Basically, you can spend about $13 to be in the information marketing business and start selling your first information product.

Of course, I’m assuming you already have an internet connection. Even then, you could probably get started by getting the web site up using the computer in your local public library.

The profit potential of an information marketing business is limitless. You can easily go into practically any market, setting up multiple streams of income. You can create multiple products in the same niche market as well.

If you really want to boost your income with an internet marketing business, consider selling your own information products.

How to Coach an Entrepreneur

What are the common traits of an entrepreneur?

The entrepreneur is a different animal to your average coaching client. They are futurists and have the capacity to see opportunities where others cannot. They are highly creative and are strategic thinkers. They operate best free of constraints. They are impulsive and risk takers. The opportunity will often outweigh the risk. Their impetuosity and spontaneity often leaving a trail for others to clean up. They love to have multiple ideas or projects on the go. They thrive on starting things and can quickly become bored. They often work best alone. They move at a rapid pace. They may experience frustration if those around them cannot keep up.

What common mistakes do coaches make with entrepreneurs?

Don’t try to change them or slow them down

Successful coaches appreciate the entrepreneur for who they are and don’t try to change them. Let them run and get out of their way. Watch and learn. They move at such rapid pace they may omit to consider risks or challenges. Help them expand their thinking, use brainstorming techniques, run scenarios, add clarity and detail to the vision, identify blind spots.

Preserve balance and sustainability

In their haste the entrepreneur may neglect basic aspects of their lives, eg diet, exercise, relationships, birthdays. Watch out for sustained periods of neglect. They are optimists and masters of illusion. Look for hidden signs of stress. The entrepreneur has the capacity to make small things big things – both opportunities and problems. Call it gearing. A good coach will realise this and role-play whatever role is appropriate. This is an art.

Respect their creativity and risk threshold

Entrepreneurs have a high threshold for risk. Accept it and work with them. You may need to be the flexible one. Their tolerance for risk, not yours, should determine the basis for strategies and objectives. Entrepreneurs love to brainstorm ideas. They also love to talk. So, let them. Coaching is about listening. Entrepreneurs want someone to listen and respond enthusiastically to their ideas. They seek positive reinforcement.

What advice would you give to public practitioners dealing with entrepreneurs?

Much of the above is also true for the professional advisor. There is one basic distinction. True coaches will not give advice. They will facilitate self-discovery through questioning techniques. Professional advisors such as accountants are expected to give professional advice. They are subject matter experts and required to interpret the law and share their knowledge. Remember entrepreneurs are the decision makers so offer them your considered opinion and let them decide. Give them options.

Be proactive

Entrepreneurs move fast. They subject themselves to risks and make frequent decisions. They do not and cannot know everything. They place a premium value on astute professional advisors who can give them considered opinion proactively and foresee scenarios or risk exposure they cannot.

Be accessible and responsive

When entrepreneurs want an answer they want it now. They make rapid fire decisions and have short concentration spans. They don’t want to dwell on the detail. Big picture, clear guidance, fast turnaround.

Service focus

Tune into what your client wants. Take time to learn how they tick. Be flexible with your communication style to accommodate your client. They talk fast, you talk fast. They want succinct information, give it to them. They want options, run scenarios. They expect you to be there when they need you not return my call two days later.

Questions are the answers

Learn how to listen. Learn how to ask powerful questions. The techniques of a skilled coach are just as relevant for an accountant or sales professional. Ask open questions, eg what, where, when, how. Practise questioning techniques such as probing, clarifying, paraphrasing, summarising.

Restate commitments

Once you have reached agreement with your client, repeat it back to them for clarity, “So, it is my understanding that you want me to submit your tax return by Monday, 31 July, is that correct?” or “My expectation is that you will sign and return the contract to me by Wednesday, is that reasonable?”

Real-time information

Nothing irritates an entrepreneur more than old information. Time is money. They want both lead indicators (prospects, conversion rates, average sales, purchase frequency) and lag indicators (customers, sales, profits) in their management reports. Sales pipelines are essential management information.

System and structure

The entrepreneur needs system and structure. They often aren’t the best person to deliver it. That’s why they hire a coach, personal assistant, consultant or accountant.

Coaching an entrepreneur is an exhilarating and rewarding experience. It can be a roller coaster ride and is never a dull moment. Supporting them in your role as a public practitioner can be just as rewarding. So, get yourself ready and hang on for the ride of your life.