Learn to talk about your business

The most important thing you can do for your business is to learn to talk about it.

This primarily means two things:

One, you need to understand it yourself; even though you came up with the idea and you created the business, now, more then ever, you need to put yourself in shoes of someone who doesn’t know what you do and try to understand your business from their perspective. It will make things easier for you, because you will learn what’s important for them to know.

Two; because every time you are asked the question “What do you do?” by your friends, people you just met, or potential clients, you will have to clearly explain what you do in a sentence or two. Obviously, what you will want is to sound interesting, fun and explain your business in a very simple way so that they can understand even if they never did anything slightly related to it.

That’s how you get people’s attention, start a conversation or get remembered. You can wave your business cards or explain all you want, but if you don’t know how to talk about your business, you’re doomed. You can have the best idea in the world, it won’t serve you.

And, this is not about presenting, or pitching your business, it’s about making yourself interesting.

People want to meet interesting people, and so do you. Doing business with someone comes later, if it does. That’s why I said that no matter who you’re talking to, you need to have a short and very simple explanation. No one wants to do business with someone who appears to be boring, they don’t want to talk to them much either.

What if you find yourself in a situation where someone asks you what you do and you don’t know how to explain it. Do you choke up or just say it’s complicated? Well, if it’s complicated, how do you explain it to anyone?! That sounds very unprofessional, no one will take you seriously.

Because you are comming up with ideas that people before us haven’t and turning them into businesses, your job of explaining what you do is maybe a bit more complicated, I’ll give you credit for that. You can’t say you’re a butcher or a lawyer and end the discussion there. Today if you do consulting for micro businesses with primary focus on developing ideas, i.e. working with cool and creative people from all around Europe (and the world) and helping them come up with great ideas for micro businesses that make or do cool stuff, it’s like being a baker 70 years ago only selling croissants and making them on your own in a little bakery on that particular address. A little crazy to put it that way, but you are obviously the best at what you do, at that one particular thing that makes your micro business. We don’t have simple occupations that imply well-known business descriptions. Which is good, because we have more to talk about, more to be amazed about and more desires to satisfy.

So please, don’t go out unprepared. Learn how to explain your micro business in a few simple words to someone who has no idea what it’s all about, and make yourself interesting while you’re at it. And it really doesn’t matter who you’re talking to. People will respect you for it and, sometimes, when or where you least expect it, you will be asked for you business card. Not because you pitched your business (which you didn’t!), but because you made yourself interesting.


photo courtesy stoha

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