Monthly Challenge: 3 New People Who Will Help Grow Your Business
We all get bogged down by the minutiae of running a business. Finding new products, managing employees, meeting with reps, and creating new displays leave precious little time for networking. But, this month’s challenge is just that: Identify three new people who can help you grow your business this year. Consider them your business coaches.
Before you ask anyone for help, consider what you want out of your relationship. “Make more sales” is too vague—put a number against that statement. Is it to bring in $1,000 more per week in sales? Is it to get better at social media or to create stronger, more impactful displays? By having an idea of what you need help on, you can focus on who can help you get there.
1. Ask colleagues or consider whom you know
If you’re looking for someone to help you increase sales by $1,000 per week, who do you feel does a great job with sales in their store? Is it because they’re ruthless with their open to buy or because they are in a group that shares bestsellers every month and they take a risk bringing in those bestsellers, even if it’s not something you think would work in your store? Think about who you feel does a really good job in this area of the business and either approach this person yourself or ask a mutual friend to make an introduction.
2. Scan the blogs
If you’re looking to create more striking displays, scour the blogs to find some ideas, but if there is someone in particular who you think has a great eye and can help you, why not reach out and ask if they’d be interested in creating some displays in exchange for content about trends from your shop?
3. Link up with LinkedIn
A lot of people dismiss LinkedIn as a useful source because they think it’s only relevant to those seeking white-collar jobs. Sure, it’s heavy on folks in the corporate space, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t great relationships to be made through this social media platform. It’s also a great place to set yourself apart because so few independent retailers bother to use the site—which is a shame because it could open a whole new audience for you. Nonetheless, taking some time to review who might be in a position to help is worth it. You can also post an update, including what you’re looking for. You never know who someone in your circle might recommend simply because you bothered to ask.
Before you approach anyone, make sure you are clear about what you’re asking. Generally people are very open to helping others—if they know what you’re asking or seeking from them. Asking them for help to increase sales by $4,000 a month will be met with a blank stare, at best. They’ll ignore you, at worst. But, if you approach them by recognizing their work in that area and indicating that you’re looking for specific help (and what that is), you’ll have a better chance at developing a relationship that goes beyond a quick answer.
Also, be prepared to offer something in return. Are you an ace at social media and can offer your coach help in that area? Or, do you attend trade shows or conferences your coach doesn’t attend but would like to? Maybe you can offer to do a write-up after the conference so they can benefit from the information shared.
A relationship, any relationship, goes two ways. Be willing to help those who help you.
So this month, work on finding those three people. Identify what you need and make the ask. It’s easier than you think, and the results can be remarkable for you and your business.
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