Focus on the Good

 

Being a small business owner is rewarding, exciting, challenging and sometimes just plain hard.  As I reflect on the past year, I can see how easy it was at times to get distracted by the “hard” rather than excited by the challenge.   As I navigated the peaks and valleys of small business ownership I had to draw on an entrepreneur’s greatest asset- their resilience.  For me, a big shift in my thinking came when I decided to “Focus on the Good”. 

Having a positive outlook is good, but sometimes it can be a passive exercise.  By choosing to FOCUS on the good in my business I was able to extract maximum value from every situation and every interaction.  Let me give you an example.

Have you ever been asked to provide your product or services for free?  As a professional photographer I have encountered this situation many times.  In the early days it used to frustrate me.  “I can’t imagine someone asking their accountant to do their taxes for free,” I would say.  I came close to falling into the trap that engulfs many small business owners- how do I not take it personally when I feel like other people don’t value my work?

By choosing to focus on the good, I recognised that if a prospect is asking for my services (even for free) it was then my job to educate them on what’s involved to provide the service and to help them realise the value.  Occasionally this has caused offence with some prospects but for the most part it has been met with understanding (and more often than not a signed contract for paid work).  I knew the value of professional photography and it was my mission to help others understand how high quality photography could help build their business.  Rather than focus on the perceived rejection of a client asking for my services for free I removed the negative emotions and focussed on client education. 

Three tips to help you focus on the good:

  • Ask questions (and be a good listener).  The more you know, the better you can understand your client’s needs, their concerns and the opportunities to help them.
  • Back yourself.  I started Social Media Photographers with my business partner because I had a passion for photography and could see how great photos outperformed poor quality photos on social media.  Social media has levelled the playing field for small businesses and we wanted to help them succeed.  Not everyone gets “it” and not every business is ready for “it”.  We know what we do adds practical, measurable value to businesses.  We back ourselves everyday with our thoughts and our actions.
  • Improve, improve, improve.  Did you get negative feedback on your service or knocked back on a proposal?  Don’t be afraid to ask questions (see above) and take action to improve where necessary.  Never stop learning, reading, sharing and collaborating.

We have been very fortunate this year to work with many talented and hardworking businesses and individuals that are making a difference in their own line of work.  Through our Corporate and Professional Profile Photos we have seen business owners and employees blossom with confidence just by having a profile photo that they feel proud to share.  In our Product Photography and Styling services we have helped businesses create engaging photos of their products to share on their websites and social media profiles to drive sales and product knowledge.  And in our Phone Photography Training sessions we have helped individuals gain new skills in visual content creation that are vital in today’s digital economy.

Being a small business owner has never been so good!

How do you focus on the good in your business?  Share your thoughts in the comments below.


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