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New owners are at a disadvantage...don't make it worse

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It is truly a disadvantage to be a new business owner. To start with, you are an unknown to most potential customers.  You probably do not have a long list of referral accounts or a line of customers out your door. So how do you make up for this disadvantage?

There is one thing you can do that will make up for most of the "new business owner" challenges.  Professionalism.  It is a big word both in number of letters and in fulfilling the attribute.  Professionalism is not accomplished through a single action or method.  It is a constant state of being.  Here are a few examples.  See if you can spot the professional.

You make an appointment over the phone with an auto repair facility.  At the end of the call, the person on the other end says:
    a) G'bye
    b) See you then
    c) Repeats back to you the time, date and expected work to be accomplished.

You walk into a retail store. The clerk is at the back of the store is talking to another person. The clerk:
    a) Keeps talking to the other person
    b) Makes eye contact but does not engage you
    c) Greets you and tells you s/he will be right with you

You are working with a consultant. You ask for a proposal for the cost of doing some work you have been discussing. The consultant respond with:
    a) A verbal cost
    b) An email with a "Thank you for the opportunity" and a price
    c) A written proposal including all terms, conditions, scope, price, payment terms etc. 

Being professional will set you apart from the crowd.  If you have employees, make sure they understand the same concept and are professional at all times. 

- Mike Colwell

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Mike - all "seasoned" business owners should pay close attention to your Professionalism tips for new business owners! Thanks for those, I will certainly pass that post on!

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