By: Diana Herzan | October 23, 2017

Is there anything proprietary about my business?

Any time you can get five or more wealthy, successful people in one room together, if you’re listening, there is bound to be something of great value to be learned. I watch a lot of Shark Tank and wish that more independent business owners would do the same. It is some of the best free education a business owner can soak up. In particular, one of the questions that gets asked often is, “Is there anything proprietary about your business?” Here's why this question is the focus of the rest of this article.

“Is there anything proprietary about your business” sounds like a great question if you are talking things over with a potential investor. The investor wants to know how unique, special and uncopiable your business is to determine if you are invest-worthy.  There are more reasons than this, though, to ask yourself this question.  In my business, I work with many small service-oriented businesses; electricians, plumbers, handymen, painters, landscapers, etc.  There is nothing proprietary about any of these businesses.  I'm not trying to be blunt, just truthful.  They all compete with many, many other businesses a lot like themselves.  So, if there is nothing proprietary about these businesses, what should they be doing to draw in the merit worthiness of investors or for that matter, customers?

Let’s back up first, for a minute and look more closely at the term "investors."  There are certainly the Shark Tank type of investors out there, but not all small service related businesses will seek or get investments from sharks.  They will, however, “become  invested in” by customers.  Every time a new customer decides to give you their consideration, let alone open up their wallet for you, they are in essence, investing in you.  Investments, that mind you, can provide more mileage for you than you may realize at their first glance!  Business owners that agree with this should be asking next, what they need to be doing to stand out in order to receive these customer investments.  If there is really nothing proprietary about YOUR business, than you've got to have a smart Plan B in play, something that shows others an "exclusively YOU view," something no other business can claim as theirs.

To put things in perspective, let’s use electrical companies as an example.  According to records from the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry, there are 5495 electrical companies listed in Minnesota.  A lot of competition there.  Imagine if one or even a few of them had something proprietary, something only they provided, something of value no one else could give anyone but them?  Imagine the sales pitches those companies could give!  When we consult with businesses, we are practically jumping up and down over this one.  We think that every one of the 5495 electrical businesses, and your business, and everyone’s business falls into the same category!  All of you have only got your best legs to stand on!

Your best legs fall back onto your company’s reputation, something you always have.  Something you are always (hopefully!) building.  Your reputation is the only thing you’ll always have to get you through to the next “investor!”  After we are through jumping up and down, we try hard to reinforce to all businesses that their reputation is the best, the strongest, the most effective, and the biggest money-making tool they have.  If your business has nothing proprietary about it and neither do your competitors, the only trump card you can play and win with is your reputation.  It is the only thing that is solely YOU, uniquely YOU, and tells all about YOU.  For all intents and purposes, your reputation is the only proprietary thing about YOU.

If you aren’t already thinking of things this way, the best time to start is now.  To ensure you are doing all that you can towards building a rock solid reputation that wins, follow up with questions for yourself like:

  • What should I be doing to gain more trust from potential customers
  • What can I do to gain exposure to the level of trust my past customers have given me
  • How can I nurture trust from potential customers who have indicated they are considering working with my company
  • How can I ensure my employees or team members understand how they impact my company’s trust levels
  • How can I turn my company’s trust into more money for my business
  • Where and how can I measure actual impacts trust has on my business
  • Can I detect areas where I am losing business as a result of customers' uncertainty about trusting my company
  • Can I reverse areas where I am losing business as a result of customer uncertainty
  • Can I tell how my company’s reputation is perceived by current customers who might need my services

Our advice to you if you are a business owner is to consider answers to the above questions as ingredients that will spice up your profits and successes on a daily basis if you take them seriously enough.  If you’ve got nothing proprietary about your business, looking to the power of your reputation is the smartest card you have to play. 

When consumers have repairs to make, projects to get done, challenges to work through, they seek out the best problem solvers to help.  96% of consumers will conduct a due diligence process to find the right problem solvers.  Of those people, 97% will be swayed by how well they perceive a company can help them, how much that company will have their backs, and how well they have proven these things to others in the past.  Yup, that sums up your reputation!

Did you know there are hundreds of things you can be doing to help gain the trust of potential customers?  Some are tiny things that make a big difference.  Most are small things that collaborate and culminate into big time wins for your company.  Check in with us to dig a little deeper.  You’re always invited to book a free consultation time slot with us.  We won’t promise not to jump up and down, but we will promise to answer the questions you may have.  Click here any time you want and schedule some free time with one of our team members.  Minimally, our goal is to send you on your way with a new arsenal full of ideas and steps you can take to  ensure your company is not only earning the highest levels of trust from your potential customers, but that your company is earning higher profits and greater successes as a result of your trust.   Go ahead.  Book some time with us to chat.  We look forward to our conversation.

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Diana Herzan

Category: Reputation 




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