I remember it clear as day, finishing high school and knowing I wanted to be my own boss.
Whilst chasing tertiary education, I wanted to start a side business and earn cash.
My friend and his Dad were repairing commercial printers on the side and they asked me if I would like to help them get more business.
We came up with a business name, a logo, we created an office in his garage and got business cards printed.
Got out local telecommunications provider to set up a dedicated landline.
We had the infrastructure that local businesses need to operate.
The phones didn’t ring.
We were encouraged to cold call and drop off business cards at prospective businesses.
I didn’t have the business acumen or experience to handle myself in the business world. I didn’t know business etiquette or minimum expectation for professional conduct.
I didn’t know enough. I didn’t have enough experience to be able to be my own boss (yet).
When it comes to product knowledge, I didn’t understand our limitations. I didn’t know the boundaries of our limitations.
Without thorough understanding or having the skillset myself, I didn’t have confidence in my product. Without product confidence, my selling abilities were dismissal.
Years later, I entered the workforce as a sales consultant. First on a commission basis only and then progressed to the security of salary employment.
Both sets of employment had different product offerings. I had to learn about each one’s value proposition. In knowing my product thoroughly, I could sell easily.
I learnt business etiquette. I worked on my grammar and professional presentation. I learnt how the business world works. I then understood how things are done.
I skilled up and understood what it takes.
Getting the experience of client dealings is crucial.
This is where I have had to learn, I need certain skills before I step out.
If you find a product or service you are passionate about, it’s a start.
You need to have strong product knowledge. Know the insides and outs of how it works and more importantly why customers would want it.
You need to then have the ability to handle the product on a professional level (if you want to go big).
I didn’t have the skills or abilities to handle business operations (first time around).
I learnt that I needed to know more and that having the basics of business infrastructure alone is not enough to bring business in (and get that phone ringing).