Which Type Of Small Business Owner Are You?

I have been marketing service businesses full time since 2003. I have worked with hundreds of different business owners, but I have spoken with thousands of them.

Which type of small business owner are you when it comes to marketing?

I was sitting down with my mastermind group* the other day and they were discussing some of the people that had contacted them seeking help. They are such nice people that they were being very polite about these people, but I knew exactly the type of business owner that they were talking about: the ‘completely unhelpable’ ones. Actually, I put it more bluntly than that, but that was behind closed doors, so I am just calling them unhelpable today.

You see, having done what I do for so long, I know, beyond any shadow of a doubt, based from my thousands of conversations with service business owners, that there are only three types of owner when it comes to growing their business:

  1. The completely unhelpable business owner who isn’t ready and never will be.
  2. The ones that want to grow their business but aren’t ready yet.
  3. The ones that want to grow their business and are ready AND COMMITTED to growing their business right now; and

I want to explain each one in a little more detail so you can ascertain which category you fit into.

The Completely Unhelpable Business Owner

You will recognise this one as I go through these sentences. They may or may not have a solid business model, but they are always explaining why it isn’t as successful as it could be and that, of course, is through no fault of their own. It is either the economy (whether a recession or buoyant economy, it is just the wrong one for their business), their competition, or their partner that explains why they are not successful. It might be their website designer, their telephone answering service, their coffee machine or the weather. However, it has nothing to do with them. Yet, as you read this, you will know that it has EVERYTHING to do with them.

These people are completely unhelpable! I avoid them like the plague.

Want To Grow But Not Ready Yet

This type of owner does want to grow their business, but they are simply not ready yet. They aren’t in enough pain or haven’t established enough need to change. Perhaps they are comfortable, getting by without flying high, but not really achieving their potential. They may be looking for information about growing their business, but not doing anything with it. They might attend lots of courses and buy lots of books, but they don’t do anything the following day that is any different from what they did yesterday and the day before when they return to their office.

They are just not ready to commit to moving forwards. There could be any number of reasons for this, but I can spot them a mile away when I speak with them. They say the right things, they go through the motions, but that unwavering commitment TO DO WHATEVER IT TAKES is simply not there. It may arrive one day, or sadly, they might fall backwards into the previous category.

My only comment to you, if you are currently in this position, is a quote from Andre Agassi which is supremely apt:

“If you are not moving forward, you are moving back.”

Be careful if you are in this position.

Want To Grow And Committed To Doing So

This final category is my favourite type of business owner. They are serious about growing their business and fully committed to it. They know that not everything they try will work perfectly first time but they will keep on going until they make it work absolutely as well as they can do.

Obstacles will not stand in their way. They have a clear goal of where they want to be and will do whatever it takes to get there.

I like this type of person a lot. They know that whilst they could try and work out how to get there the slow way and on their own, it is much easier to get someone who can tell them exactly what they need to do to grow their business.

These people don’t want a wishy-washy coach that is going to throw the “Why?” question at them seven times in a row in the hope that they work out their own answers; they want someone who has done this time and time again to tell them what they need to do.

Which category are you in at the moment?

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