Two questions from Brad Ashmore, Practical Technology Services:
1. “Can you provide the steps to properly brand my new startup company?”
2. “What is the best way to find a qualified business partner to join me in this new venture?”
As a new startup, you have a special place in my heart because I’ve been in your shoes. And since you’re a newbie, I wanted to make sure I address both of these questions. First off, my best piece of advice I can give you is to figure out what your niche is going to be. The hardest thing to get rolling is a plain vanilla company trying to be all things to all people. One of the BEST things I did early on in my business was seek out a niche. It took me over a year of fumbling around before I found it, but it was one of the smartest things I’ve ever done. Not only does marketing get easier, but your systems and processes can be scaled more effectively and profits are higher because you become more efficient. You can also become a true expert in delivering one type of result for one type of customer, making your expertise worth more (if you’re good, of course). All of my programs talk about researching your CUSTOMERS first. Since you’re a startup, you have the ADVANTAGE of choosing who you want to make your customer. My hope is that you see it that way and don’t dismiss the wisdom in my program by thinking you can’t use it because you don’t have any customers. You just need to decide upon and research the niche you choose.
Second, for goodness sake, don’t start looking for a business partner UNLESS you have a specific talent you are looking for. The only ship that doesn’t sail is a partnership. Why do you need a partner? If it’s for a boost of confidence or for someone to bounce ideas off of, I would strongly suggest you join the Producers Club or simply get actively involved in the QUE, the Q&A sessions or simply reach out to other members with our help if the Producers Club just isn’t in the budget for now (we’re still here to help). If you have some legitimate, logical reason for needing a partner that you haven’t articulated to me, then the question you need to answer is marketing 101, “Give me one good reason WHY I should want to be your business partner?” Next, what skills, background or talents are you looking for? Once you’re clear on what you’re looking for and what you can offer them, use all the social media sites—particularly LinkedIn—to recruit them. But again, I would STRONGLY caution you against finding a good technician and giving them ownership. Instead, give them profit sharing. That way you can incentivize them for their contributions without having to be legally bound to them.
Have a question you’d like to get me to answer? Send it to:
with “Question for Robin” in the subject line.