The 3-Step Process
I found three core activities helpful for business growth.
And what are they? They are:
I call them the 3 "P"s of a successful startup.
Read on to find out why they are so so vital for survival.
When I started out offering translation services, it didn't take me long to realise that I was a late comer.
Even on a tiny island of five billion like ours back then, there were so many translation firms. They were of all sizes, each vying for a bigger piece of the pie.
So, what choice did I have? I decided to work on three core activities, the 3 "P"s.
Positioning has got to be the first "P". Before I could think of Prospecting or Praise (I'll explain this further down), I need to work on positioning.
Why is it important? Because competition was fierce and as a newbie in the neighbourhood I needed to get out of it.
But how? By giving potential clients a reason to choose me. That's positioning.
I was positioning myself in a safe space where clients can reach me in spite of the noise.
I decided to niche. Instead of translating every and any language which I could have, the decision was to work with only one, yes one.
It sounds crazy, I know. Was I not supposed to go after more clients? How was limiting my service supposed to help? But it worked like a charm. Obviously, I had to explain my position to potential clients.
Positioning involved a lot of explaining, it was a lot of work but it was all worth it. No one else was doing what I was doing. I was not a threat to most and clients liked the lidea that I was a specialist - which I was. I was honing my skills in practical and real life projects for close to ten years before coming out into the open. I was a ghost translator cum proofreader for many years. I knew my game well, perhaps better than most of my competitors.
After positioning came another core activity - prospecting.
It's a no-brainer. Every business needs clients or customers to survive. So a lot of time was spent on getting clients.
If you're the kind of startup that I started out to be, the kind with limited financial resources, you'll soon find out that marketing eats up a lot of money if you go the conventional way.
What's the conventional way? In today's context, cold calls, cold visits, spend money paying search engines, Facebook, buying leads, etc. Startups often ends up the DIY route to save costs.
This works if you already have some regular revenues. Then you can spend the non-delivery time for such tasks.
But you'll soon also discover that this was going to go on and on throughout most of the business life.
I realised that soon enough and chose another route instead.
What other route? Make clients come to me. Sounds simplistic but it's an ideally fantastic idea. So I came out with a blueprint and started workling on it and started seeing clients trickle in. And as I continued to finetune the process, I saw the trickle turn into a small flow and then a bigger flow.
Alright, Let me explain. The word "praise" here is not limited to the compliments given for jobs done exceptionally well.
A job done well and professionally was no longer enough in today's context. I had to do a lot more than that to stand out. I'm referring to crafting an unforgettably good experience that not only wins the compliments but also the loyalty of the clients.
The experience starts from the first contact to the moment the job is delivered but it doesn't end there. I had to hit in the final nail to seal the good experience in the invoicing process.
That, my friend is the epitome of service and it's something that everyone can do yet it's so rare out there that if you do it you'll stand out like an oasis in the desert.
The fine-tuning of the process is again another time-consuming task which is why it qualifies as a core business activity. It took me years but look at what my clients have to say:
Feedback & Reviews
In the past 20 years, I have served countless number of people - not as a consultant, but as a service provider and I am proud to say that almost 10 out of 10 customers were happily surprised.
We are delighted with your work. My request was dealt with quickly and efficiently and I was kept updated every step of the way.
- Ms. J. Taylor
Thank you for your prompt attention and quick delivery.
- Miss Wang
Very timely and professional responses.
- Diosdado H.
Giving the best to the customer can hardly go wrong. The question is how to go about doing it. Let the engineer in you rise up.