Ep. 142 – Sale Deconstructed: Initial Consultation Approach, Part 2

SIBP-Blog-NEW-5When you’re billing by the hour, every moment you spend talking with a potential client matters. That’s one reason why those hour-long initial consultations can be so frustrating, particularly when they don’t result in a sale. Is there an alternative? Have you been doing it wrong this whole time?

In this episode, host and business coach Tom Ryan continues his seven-point plan to make the most out of an initial consultation. As always, Tom is joined by co-host and producer Jason Pyles. Continue reading

Rethinking The Initial Sales Consultation

IMG_2329One of the best things about being a business coach is that I get to meet a lot of entrepreneurs in a wide variety of fields. I’m often struck by how diverse the local business community is, and by how similar their needs are when it comes to growing those businesses. My background is in working with high-growth startups — tech, manufacturing and service companies, mainly — but recently I’ve started to work with smaller, more creatively focused businesses. To my surprise, it turns out that both types of company have a lot of things in common. No matter what industry you’re in, some challenges are universal.

Recently, I was talking with the owner of a one-woman graphic design firm, and she was telling me about her struggles with landing clients. She was spending a lot of time meeting with prospective customers, but not landing as many of those job as she wanted to. Despite her best efforts, she just wasn’t getting enough business. Continue reading

Ep. 141 – Sale Deconstructed: Initial Consultation Approach Part 1

SIBP-Blog-NEW-4Meeting with prospective clients can be a time-intensive process. It can also be a frustrating one, particularly when those meetings don’t result in a sale. There are few things more disheartening than spending an hour talking over coffee with a potential client, only to have them give their business to someone else.

In this episode, host and business coach Tom Ryan discusses a seven-point plan to make that initial consultation both more efficient and more likely to result in a sale. As always, Tom is joined by co-host and producer Jason Pyles. Continue reading

Ep. 140 – “You’re Fired”: How to Let Someone Go as Painlessly as Possible

SIBP-Blog-NEW-2Firing an employee is one of the most uncomfortable things you can do as an entrepreneur. From letting underperforming sales reps go to strategic downsizing, it’s always a thorny process filled with conflicting emotions. The smaller the company, the more intense those personal relationships tend to be, making things even more complex. There are times where firing people is inevitable, and where the best you can hope for is to make it as painless of a process as possible.

In this episode, host and business coach Tom Ryan discusses the best practices for letting employees go. As always, Tom is joined by co-host and producer Jason Pyles. Continue reading

4 Tips For Knowing If You’re Really Ready To Start A Business

SIBP-Blog-NEW-B-2For every would-be entrepreneur, there comes a time where you’ve done all the planning and prep work you possibly can. You’ve taken your time, you’ve asked all the right questions, and there’s seemingly nothing left to do but get started. Yet, there’s still that nagging doubt. Maybe you’re missing something. How can you know that you’re really ready to start your business?

Starting a business is a scary prospect, particularly if it’s your first time. Can you really trust your gut instincts when that same gut is also filled with butterflies? It helps to have some outside confirmation that you’re truly ready to roll.

In this post, I’ll talk about four simple tips for knowing if you’re ready to turn your well-planned business idea into a real business. Continue reading

Ep. 139 – Great Ideas Are Like Wearing Cut-Off Jean Shorts to the Indy 500

Shades, 'stache, and wolf-print t-shirt

Shades, ‘stache, and wolf-print t-shirt

In this special episode of the Success in Business Podcast, host Tom Ryan finally unleashes his epic tale about a bachelor party, a mustache contest, too-short cutoff jeans, and how the all collided at an iconic car race. In addition to a few laughs, this anecdote might even include a valuable lesson for would-be entrepreneurs.

In addition to his work as a raconteur and podcast host, Tom Ryan is a business coach with the Kauffman Foundation Entrepreneur in Residence program in Asheville, NC. As always, Tom is joined by co-host and producer Jason Pyles. Continue reading

6 Things To Remember About Startup Failure

Image source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/zstasiuk/

Image source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/zstasiuk/

Most startups fail. That may seem like a strange sentiment coming from a business coach and self-proclaimed serial entrepreneur, but it’s the truth. A big part of being a successful entrepreneur is becoming comfortable with the reality that you might pour your heart and soul into a business, only to see it crumble right in front of you.

At the same time, failure isn’t a bad thing. As I explain below, failure can actually be one of the most valuable entrepreneurial experiences you could ask for. It can be a powerful teacher. But to get the most out of failure, you need to understand what it is, and to prepare for it before it happens. In this post, I’m be talking about the six most important things to remember about failure as you prepare to launch your business. Continue reading

Holiday Break — See You Monday!

Merry Christmas and happy holidays from the Success in Business Podcast. Your host, Tom Ryan, and the producer, Jason Pyles, hope you’re happy and healthy and enjoying this special time with your family and friends.

This brief recording is to let you know that we will be taking a short break and will not release an episode on December 24 and 25 — Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

But we shall return on Monday, December 28, with more how-to advice and expert counsel for aspiring entrepreneurs and small business owners for the Success in Business Podcast. Join us!

So, we’ll look forward to catching up with you again on Monday!

Merry Christmas! Continue reading

5 Tips For Identifying And Connecting With Prospective Customers

SIBP-Blog-NEW-B-3If you want to your business succeed, you really have to know who your customers are — and what they want. Creating a great company isn’t just about having a brilliant idea for a product or service. It’s also about delivering something that people not only need, but also something that they are willing to pay for.

No matter how astonishing your business concept is, it will be dead in the water if it can’t connect to customers. Often, the difference between a success and a flop isn’t some huge gulf in how a product works or a service is priced. The thing that usually tips the scale is how well that product fits the needs of the customer. Continue reading

Ep. 138 – Frequently Asked Questions From Investors (and What They Mean), Part 3

SIBP-Blog-NEW-3Investors love asking tough questions after a business pitch. They may start off with softball questions, but sooner or later they will start throwing you some real curveballs. How you react to those tricky, probing and often unexpected questions says a lot about your ability to manage the daily challenges of being an entrepreneur.

In this episode, host and business coach Tom Ryan wraps up this three-part series with the “junk balls” of the post-pitch Q&A session. As always, Tom is joined by co-host and producer Jason Pyles. Continue reading