This may not be the brightest thing I have ever done – but here are some tips …

Posted by Heather Villa, CMA, MBA, MSM on February 16, 2009 in: Coaching Ins and Outs, Just Blogging

I was getting ready to go to bed.. when I stumbled upon a blog post, which led to another blog, and then another, and then another – until voila! it is 4:09 am in the morning I am thinking ‘What are all these people thinking’?

So, I am not going to name names – and considering I get about 300 readers a day at this blog, (which is like what? .000001% of the Internet population?) chance is these things are not about you – so don’t get upset either.

1. Stop worrying about what other people are saying about you unless they are your customers.

I stumbled upon no less than 10 blog posts tonight where people were talking about (not so nicely) their competition (or ‘not’ their competition, but someone in the same general market sphere). WHY? Who cares? This is not high school. If your customers are saying things – that is when you need to worry – and you don’t need to be blogging about it, you need to be on the phone with them making it right, or bending over backwards, or baking cupcakes and delivering them to their door. What everyone besides your customers are saying? Who cares? If it really gets your panties in a bunch, hire a PR team and let them handle ‘negative press’ (if you can even call Tweets, Blog Posts, Blog Comments and Forum Mentions press).

2. Just find your niche and call it a day.

Stop packaging the same product and then say how different you are… you know, I hate those comparison charts that compare products and like each product column has a gazillion check marks but then ‘your product’ probably has ‘1 or 2’ more things than the other does? I just recently created a comparison chart for IAC-EZ’s pricing page (not up yet – will be soon) and I was not even focused really on the comparison. It was more like ‘look at everything we do’, hence the reason that most other columns are empty apart from ours. Find yourself a niche – otherwise just admit it, it is the same thing just in a different package.

At IAC-EZ we are transactional based bookkeeping, period. That is our niche. There is no other player on the market with transactional based bookkeeping.

At IAC Professionals we are a virtual assistance firm operating under one corporate presence while working as a team, focusing on continuity and management. That is our niche. There is no other player with processes in place for continuity and project management in a business to business corporate environment with a 90% virtual workforce.

At IAC University we are an asynchronous web-based online QuickBooks classroom. That is our niche. There is no other player with an asynchronous web classroom focusing on various levels of QuickBooks education.

Do you see a trend? Can there be new players in the market? Sure, at anytime. The point is finding your niche. What are you offering that nobody else is? If somebody else is offering it then what set’s you apart?

3. Don’t get conceited.

Just because you are the only player or just because you do things differently in your niche does not make you better than anyone else. What makes you better is you. Your support, your service, your quality in your product or services.

4. It is not all about the money… but it is all about the happy quantity

Look at all the companies that make millions and even billions… look at their filings on Rip Off Reports, look at their BBB complaints, look at their angry users or customers. So if you don’t make a million the first year, no problem, but do you have a couple hundred customers or users that are completely happy? If not – focus on that – from an Accountant’s standpoint, you cannot even begin to focus on the bottom line if you are not giving quality, why? Because there will be NO bottom line one day if you keep that up.

5. Take what you need and throw the rest away… (or archive it for a rainy day)

People give you advice, they give you feedback, they give you requests, they give you all the help in the world. Don’t beat yourself up over it if you can’t do it or don’t understand it. Take what you can use from the comments/advice and use it. Then just put the rest somewhere – in a notebook, a file folder in outlook, whatever… go back to it when you are ready for more ideas or similar thoughts come up. Learn to focus on what you can do well than focusing on what you can make work not so well.

In a nutshell, I have been providing services for 10 years, I have never had a BBB complaint, a Liability Insurance filing, a lawsuit or similar. I have over 700 clients with IAC Professionals, several hundred users with IAC-EZ and a hundred or so students with IAC University. Have I had unsatisfied clients? Sure, in the past 10 years I believe I have lost 4 due to their dissatisfaction, did I try to do everything to please them first? Yes.

The Answer:

Continuously and

Heather Recommends:

If you are a coach, freelancer, or entrepreneur who wants to succeed like a pro, I can help.