Lessons I have learned from starting my own business at 18 (Part 2)

Give people what they need, not just what they want.

All successful inventors know this. If you want to create an outstanding product that lasts, the first and most crucial aspect of it should be that people need it. If people don’t “need” you product either physically, intellectually, spiritually or emotionally – it won’t last. It may be a novelty, but it won’t last.

What do people need?…

People things to be made simpler, not more complicated.

People need something to make them feel good about themselves and their life, not remind them of what there is to feel bad about.

People need an effective but completely simple way to relax.  

People need good health. People have a need to be pain-free.

People need things that work, not things that they have to fix or constantly maintain.

People need something that makes life easier and more fun.

People need things to be faster and more efficient (Faster commute, faster communication, faster delivery times etc)

People need to feel fulfilled (or at least they need to be on the path to the fulfillment) physically, intellectually, spiritually and emotionally.

This is just an idea of just some of the things that people “need”. If you take the time to consider what part of your product that the people actually NEED and WHAT need it applies to, you are on the right path to fulfilling their needs.

If there is not a need for something, eventually these things die out.

In my own personal experience, I don’t think that people “NEED” intuitive readings, but I realize and attend to their NEED for spiritual connection, development and fulfillment. My work – intuitive readings – is a fantastic vessel to help people achieve this. Can people do this without my work, or without the handy work of the many other intuitives and  lightworkers out there in the world? Certainly! And I encourage it – but not everybody knows where to start, and it is difficult to be objective about your own life. Due to this, the work I do is in high demand, because it’s not that I can do the work for you, but I can make it much simpler for you. And that rocks.

Don’t just do what’s been done before.

So now you’ve created or edited your business and your product to be something that people need. Now you need to further enhance your approach so that you don’t just do what’s already been done before.

If you keep creating what already exists in the masses – people will be uninspired to come to you.

If you keep creating things that people don’t need – people will get bored.

If you keep creating things that are complicated or difficult to maintain – people won’t even touch it with a ten foot pole.

If you create something new and innovative, something fresh, creative and useful – people will use it without even thinking about it. And they will be happy about it.

Don’t do what’s been done before. Whatever field your business is in, chances are there are billions of other people also doing exactly what you are doing. Even in my case, there are plenty of other psychics in the sea. With so many people offering the same thing, how can you ensure that your business will thrive?

First of all – what makes you different from the billions of other people also selling your product or a similar product? YOU!

You make your business different. Your customer may have the same product experience as they would anywhere else in the world, but their experience with you will be unique.

Keeping this in mind – if you want to attract customers to your business and product, something about the way you conduct yourself and your business must be different. Don’t do what’s already been done before.

Your product is only as good as your customer service.

This lesson puts you in the driving seat of your business once again. It doesn’t matter what a kick ass product you have, if you don’t know how to deal with the people who are going to buy your kick ass product, you ain’t got nothin’.

You have to care about your clients. Think about them before they think of you. Think about ways you can help them, and make life easier for them. You have to think outside the box. You have to offer your help whenever you can. You have to make connections for them. If you are unavailable to offer your service, refer them to someone else who can help them. When you do this – it shows them that you are more concerned about their needs being met, than your own. They may or may not take you up on this referral, but that is not the point.

How you make your clients feel important? By realizing that they are important. You have to act from a place of compassion and love. Value their time and money ; because it ain’t easy to give up these things, but this is what they choose to do for your service.

Be connection minded rather than business minded and your clients will feel the difference. Go the extra mile to make them feel comfortable and secure. Your customers need to know that you are dependable and that when they need you, you will be there. Simple things like rescheduling and rearranging my appointment times to fit in a loyal client when they would prefer – can mean the world to somebody.

If your customer service is not great, but your product is, it still won’t get you anywhere.

Always keep the good karma circulating: Do things for free.

Karma is an important aspect in business relationships. It’s important to keep the good karma circulating in your business by offering your services for free. When you do things for “Free”, you are acting from a place of abundance-thinking. You are affirming the belief that there is more than enough to go around, that you are more focused on connection that on commodities, and that by putting more OUT, you are opening up more space for good things to rush IN.

That is the spiritual structure and reasoning for this “do things for free” strategy.

I set myself a goal of how much of my services, time and energy (related to my business) that I want to give away for free – and it is always proportionate to the business that is coming in. The more that my business is thriving, the more I assign to give away, and the more I give away, the more my business thrives. I happily give free lectures. I give a free readings to clients who I feel would really benefit from it, or clients who have supported me for a long time. It is my gift to them. I sometimes give clients free readings for birthdays, or Christmases, or new year gifts. Whenever I feel a genuine need for it (but not a demand),  and when it feels appropriate and natural, I will give whole heartedly.

When I do this, the inflow of new business increases ten-fold. It’s just how the universe works. Whatever I give out, returns to me 200% every time. In this way – every time I give out, I am also putting in. Every time I do something for free, I am investing in my business. As cheesy as it sounds, I am making an investment of my love, my kindness, and my values, my morals, and my beliefs. When I do this – my business will always grow.

I do not see this point as necessarily a “business building strategy” (although ultimately, it also acts as one), instead I see it just as a chance to share and to help with what I can.

Ultimately, there must be a limit on how much you give for free. I believe that people value what they pay for, and if people receive things for “free” all the time, they begin to expect and rely on it. This tends to reverse the good karma effect. So if you are giving tonns of things away for free, and you don’t feel like you are getting anything back, you need to take a step back. Once you can achieve the correct balance with your clients, you will see that they will greatly value what they pay for when working with you, and they will even more greatly so value what they receive for free when working with you.

This is the perfect balance. There must be value in your “Freebies”, if not, you’re just selling yourself short. People value “Freebies” when they know how much its worth. They know how much it’s worth when you do good work. They know how much it’s worth when it is used as a way to reward your customers for how positively they have impacted your life and your work.

Doing things for free in the right amount, also increases your visibility. People know about it. It builds trust. It builds your relationship with your customer.

You know, if I feel like I want to increase the number of clients I have each month, and increase my monthly income– the first thing I do is give away free readings. It may sound contradictory, but it works, when I apply it appropriately and proportionately. It puts me in the “giving” vibration. And like every perfect universal balancing act – when you give, you always open yourself up to receive.

Always ask yourself what you can give for “free”, and you will see that “free” is not a marketing tool or a implication of lack of value. “Free” is a concept, and when used in the right way, can bring more value into your business than you ever could have imagined.

Over-deliver on your promises.

Your clients must trust you. Your clients will only trust you if you are a trustworthy person conducting a trustworthy business. There is no short cuts of quick fixes for that. You must work with integrity and honesty and diligence. You must do what you say you can do, and deliver what you promise to deliver.

A sure way to build trust in any business partnership or relationship is by over delivering on all your promises. If you always provide excellent service and go above and beyond all expectations, your customers will believe in your business, in your product and in you.

Always over-deliver or if you must – make sure you meet the expected standard if necessary, but never disappoint. When you have your own business, you just cannot afford to do that. One disappointment can overwrite your last success. A series of disappointments can really damage your work, and probably your own sense of worth.

Take your time making a decision before making a commitment. If you are not absolutely certain that you can give you 110%, politely decline. It’s more important to make a few, but powerful and empowering steps, rather than many little, insubstantial and unmoving, ones.

 When you over-deliver on all your promises – people start looking to you. Suddenly you become “THE girl/guy for the job.”

Before this, you are just one of the girls/guys for the job.

Over-delivering makes you different and sets you aside. People will look for you. People will look for you because they can count on you, they can depend on you, they know you’re going to a great job and maintain a standard of excellence.

By cultivating the habit of over-delivering, over a period of time you will become the best at what you do. This is the ultimate business goal. When you are the best at what you do in your field, people will look for you. They will look for you and your product. They will look for you and not just your product. You will seamlessly attract business ventures and opportunities and clients and abundance because you are the best. Because no body could do it quite like you do it. Your clients are looking for experts not amateurs. Your clients are looking for teachers, and not students.  

This being said, we must remember that we all start of as students. It’s what you do from there that really counts. So make it a good one.

Keep everything as simple as possible.

As previously discussed, the most important thing in your business is your product (and you are the product). Avoid useless frivolity in your business- as it simply acts as a distraction to your actual service, and clients tend to get very bored of distractions.

Einstein once said “Everything should be made as simple as possible, but no simpler.”

Don’t add things to your business if you don’t really need it. If you are not 100% sure of a new line of product or a new service – don’t do it. Don’t put too much importance on the outward “show”, because you want to attract people by the timeless good work that you do, not the “show” you put on.

Trim the excess fat from your business. Look at all the services you are offering. Are really 100% sure about everything you are offering? Are you an expert in all the services you are offering? If you are not, take it off the menu, become an expert, and put it back up – but not before.

Don’t display things that are not ready to be seen by the world yet, just because it will take up space.

Simplify simplify simplify. Offer only the best. Make everything as simple as it can be (but not simpler) – from your website, your blog, your business cards, your products, your services.  Keep things at your level, but at the simplest sublevel of it.. This keeps you humble. 

When I was designing my first ever pack of business cards, I had in my mind an idea of how I would want it to be. Simple, elegant and minimalist (I do acknowledge that this is my own personal taste and style, and not everybody has to have this same image in mind). I wanted to have certain parts of the text on my card to be slightly raised and written in a metallic gold font (I still want this 😀 ). When I consulted with the graphic designers and printers, they informed that if I was to do this, they would have to order from another office, as they did not have the capabilities to do it here – which is an added cost. They also informed that for this to be a worthwhile purchase I should order at least 500-1000 cards.

This didn’t feel simple at all, anymore. The part that made it not simple was the fact that I was not yet at the right level as “1000 business cards with extra expensive metallic gold raised font”. I didn’t need 1000. I had never even had business cards before. I didn’t even know how to present it to people (“Hi, would you like my card? Call me! Mwha!”)

As simple as it was (and as funny as it is to read it now!), I just wasn’t there. It wasn’t as simple as it needed to be. My intention for my business cards was not to attract clients by making them believe I was writing with PURE GOLD ( 😛 ). My intention for my business cards was to provide information about how to get in touch with me, which was a step up from writing out my name and phone number on a piece of paper.

So I decided to go for a simpler option for me that I loved, that met my intention and that was aligned with where I was at that stage in my business. I wasn’t disappointed. I just had this overwhelming feeling of “Duh” (always a great moment). I ordered 100, gave them away like a wildfire and re-ordered when I needed to.

Hey, I haven’t gotten my super bling bling metallic gold raised font business cards yet, but I will let you know when I do 😉

 malavika

xo

5 thoughts on “Lessons I have learned from starting my own business at 18 (Part 2)

    • Malavika says:

      You’re very welcome, I’m glad you found it useful. That’s great that you are into photography, I am too (But I’m an amateur. I just like to take photoraphs and work with them in PS – If you look through my blog you’ll see tonns of it!). Do you have an online portfolio I could look at?

      Like

  1. introspeak says:

    Give people what they need, not just what they want.

    Very powerful insight indeed. Many times people don’t know what they need. Henry Ford famously said “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses”.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s