Success is defined differently by numerous professionals. However, the golden thread that perhaps connects us all in business, is that if you are providing solutions that lead to a continuous flow of bookings, there is a degree of success experienced.
I had some time to quietly reflect upon what success means to me, and how I am personally able to attain such, based on these five pillars I have nominated.
Pillar #1 Find your Niche
When starting out in business, I thought everyone could use my services. I imagined that I was competing with the big assessment consultancies in South Africa. I was left dumb founded when the bookings were not rolling in.
It’s a lesson that’s taken a few years to learn (and I’m still learning it).
If you want to fish for crayfish, you will not take a fishing rod and bait. You’ve got very specific tools you’d use, such as your baited crayfish ring, a baited line, and scoop. Likewise, you’d also be precise on where you were going to catch these crayfish by focusing on a specific area.
This tactic works the same in business. You first have to figure out what your niche offering is, and thereafter who your niche market is. By becoming more and more granular, you focus on a market that is hungry to buy from you, instead of casting your net out attempting to catch the crayfish, dolphin and whale.
Pillar #2 Be the scratch to the itch
Business is sometimes guilty of creating solutions we think the market needs. We also look at what everyone else is offering and attempt to emulate that. At least, that’s what I did initially.
However, if you listen the gentle tug and pull that your business is organically shifting toward – pay attention. Listen to the needs of your client. What are their pain points? What are their irritating itches? How can you be the pacifier to those needs?
Combine this with your niche offering, and you’re onto a winning streak.
Pillar #3 ALWAYS under promise and OVER deliver
I was perhaps guilty of the reverse starting out. You want to do the world for your clients but are at risk of overcommitting (whether it be your time or resources) and then fail to deliver. Not only does this destroy trust, but you can kiss recurrent business goodbye.
By always endeavoring to under-promise, you leave room to give some value-add. Not only will you be memorable, but your satisfied client will become the most powerful marketing tool you have in your arsenal kit. Word of mouth marketing is massive in South Africa; although it takes time to build your brand, once you’ve attained a place in the market, you will see the positive snowball effect of referrals.
Pillar #4 Give Value
Holistan creates an incredible amount of value for our clients. Whether it be credible content, accepting invitations to do media interviews, or giving away free resources – our aim is to provide our clients with value, value, and more value. By doing so, your market gets a taste for what you are about. They get to know you in terms of your offering, your passion, knowledge and skill set.
Perhaps most importantly, if you’re adding value to a person’s life, you’re creating trust and a bond.
And as the old cliché goes, trust takes a long time to build, yet a second to break. Never forget that.
When we discovered there to be a need to offer Health Professionals support around starting a practice, we wrote a book on it. We shared heaps of free resources, and even created a free Facebook group to offer encouragement and collaboration.
When Covid hit, we wrote a free book to support jobseekers who were being retrenched. We shared solid advice to support the community on coping mechanisms during lockdown.
Seeing as a segment of Psychology professionals, such as counsellors, psychometrists, and coaches, are truly struggling to find work, we created a workshop to empower these professionals with Personal Branding Skills (happening on 20 November 2020. For more info click here). Attendees can learn how to market their offering and support their clients with a service that is in critical need at the moment; creating powerful CVs, LinkedIn Profiles, Cover Letters and more.
Tying into Pillar #4, Holistan believes in sharing our knowledge, insights, opportunities and clients. In the spirit of offering a niche service, you can’t (and shouldn’t) expect to be the person that meets your client’s every need. You don’t go to the dentist for backache.
Sharing and pooling together opportunities creates a network of professionals want to support YOU, and so refer onto you.
Likewise, realize that your offering can be completely duplicated. However, this does not mean that your colleague will experience guaranteed success. Our offerings are so much more than what we market. Our solutions are a combination of our skills, knowledge, personality, brand and more!
I may not have all the answers to achieving business success, and Holistan may not be perfect. However, as we edge towards celebrating our 6th birthday in January 2021, we may be getting some things right.
We encourage you to align to what feels right for your business identity and offering, and whatever you do, do it with authenticity!
By, Marzenna Almendro (Registered Psychometrist, Licensed Coach, Author and Thought Leader)
Our contributors collectively boast a wealth of experience in assessments, HR, organisational development, change management and more!