There are many reasons a person chooses to open a business. These may or may not apply to our situation, but generally, they are true.
We may open a business because we want to show the marketplace that we have a special way of approaching and dealing with their issues or providing a product that is different from, better than, more complete, or newer than anything that has been available to them previously.
We may want to offer something priced more competitively than what has been available – or with more inclusive features or packaging so that people get additional value for their purchase.
We may want to showcase our expertise and have people appreciate what we bring to their situation to offer our help, insights, and feasible solutions for their needs.
We may want a chance to use the knowledge we have gathered along the way, from both study and application, to help people (and make money along the way).
We may just like the challenge of going out on our own with no guarantees of any kind because starting, running, growing, and maintaining a successful business is a tall order.
So, now that we have begun our business – whether this is something we are just in the process of doing, we recently started our business, or we have been doing this for several years – we need two major things to propel our success (and many other things as well). The two main ingredients for success are (1) a product or service or some type that the marketplace will accept and purchase and (2) a base of people that will purchase or use what we offer.
We might think that coming up with the product or service to offer is the easier of the two, but it still takes a look of thought and trial and error. We may not get it quite right on the first several attempts or we may try to offer too much or too little according to what the market is willing to accept or we find comfortable to be able to produce or provide.
As we are tweaking what we offer, we should be making some sales – or at least some presentations. This will help us refine what the market wants from those we are contacting. We may want to accept the results of our market research from those we have talked with about what we are intending to offer (initially it’s still in a state of adjustment), or we might want to retool or redirect the nature of our business to appeal to a different clientele, a different geography, or a different price point.
Regardless of how we begin to establish our aging in place consulting, services, or solutions business, when we actually open the door to the marketplace and walk through it, we have officially begun. Now, we have the challenge of making it work and sustaining it. There are so many people to serve so we have to identify those we can help first and set about helping them.
We have to identify people to contact so we can agree to help them with assessments and solutions. There are three ways we can begin engaging people. First, we can begin reviewing our database and contacting those whom we feel would benefit from knowing about what we are doing and possibly needing our services themselves or know of someone we could contact, preferably with an introduction or endorsement from them.
Second, we can network with professionals with whom we have some type of relationship by contacting them to let them know what we are doing and how we can help them and their clients or colleagues. We may even invite some of them to participate with us to provide services jointly when that is an appropriate approach to serving the marketplace. The more we can enlist the aid of people who are receptive to what we do, the more help we might receive both in client referrals and in collaboration.
Third, we can establish new relationships. People are all around us constantly. We just need to be receptive to what we are hearing and the needs that are being expressed. When we hear something that sounds like it is something we can address, we can engage that person in a more in-depth conversation and develop that potential lead into a potential satisfied client. We can attempt to meet specific people that we think might be able to use our help and benefit from what we offer, but just being receptive to meeting and engaging people that we normally are coming into contact with in our comings and goings is a great way to begin building our potential client base and expanding our influence.
Building our business is an ongoing activity that is never completed.