I learn about Alignable, a local networking resource, from this forum and ran across an interesting article that I wanted to share: 5 Key Learnings From One Year Of Running A Small Business.

The article had many great info, which include:
1) No one cares about your corporate experience
2) Small Business has its own language
3) Many, if not most small businesses owners, DO NOT write a business plan
4) Cash is King, well Prince at least
5) Small businesses spend little time on "Differentiation"
6) It really is all about PEOPLE, genuinely about people

According to the author, our years of corporate knowledge/experience are useless and do not give us a competitive advantage.

Talk about a wake-up call...

To make matters worse someone commented:
...My 2 mission statements are "if it doesn't work, I don't do it or want it here", the other is "If I just want to make money, I'll go back to work"...

WHAT? :eek:

Another commented
...none of this is a surprise to me at all. Frankly, I'm surprised you're surprised...

Yet another
My husband and I have been in business for just 2 years now and this couldn't be more true

Oh come-on....someone tell me it-aint so!

And the reality is, that if someone had told you those things you would have probably dismissed their advice. I have served over 1000 independent businesses and seven times that many have not seen the need to get counseling.

But, I'm going to be different; I have a plan....Rigghhhttt!!!!

On a positive note, I liked the exercise in differentiation
Sit down either at your computer, or with a blank piece of paper and a pen, and write a story about your service or product. Personify it, give it characteristics- pretty, big, new, black, loyal. Think of 3 people in the public eye that could be your Service/Product and ask why did I choose them? Include this in your story. You will quickly see how much there is about your business that you are not talking about that can make you different. Then price becomes an afterthought. Promise that you'll at least give it a try?? Don't write a book- 2 pages max.
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Awesome post, @Edvin !

Storytelling and relationship building has become so important these days. Your own story can become your mission, your raison d'etre for your precious customer or audience. It can give you guidance and help you see what you truly have to offer that's different from your competition. I believe that it will help you make money while providing value.

It's all about connection - with your goals and with your customer. People buy from people, not from companies.


Well, corporate experience can help in some ways such as dealing with people, employees, delegating and so forth. Often is not helpful. For example, there was a VP of a major car company struggling to succeed with his hardware store. It just depends on your experience in the corporate world and if it is related to your small business. All those other points I agree 100%.
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