This girl that I dated in high school dumped me. She tried to use some form of the, “It’s not you. It’s me” line.
We both knew better. But if you think about it, that is an easy way out. It doesn’t require any guts or honesty at all.
It seems like so many self-employed people start their business on this same principle. This “It’s Not You. It’s Me.” By that I mean that they don’t understand the wants and needs of their market. Instead of looking through the eyes of customers, they look in the mirror and say strange things like,
“Oh my gosh, I make THE best pastries in the world.” And then she opens a retail bakery.
“I’m so good at taking photography its not even funny.” And then he launches out on his own.
These people are ME centered instead of THEY centered. They start the business and start floundering around for survival. They can’t figure out why customers aren’t knocking down the door. The phone isn’t ringing. They throw money at advertising and waste it on employees before the need is there, etc. They get into Facebook ads and get a billboard and spend money on new display cases. All the while their income is shrinking, their blood pressure is rising and they can’t figure out why.
People only buy for two reasons; to solve a problem or meet a need. The truth is that your customers don’t give a crap about you. And they shouldn’t. This is business, not family. This is commerce, not ministry.
Customers don’t owe you anything. So don’t start with the fact that you produce a good widget and assume that everything else will fall into place. That guarantees nothing. You might want to start by testing the market with a landing page or by asking your potential customers questions or taking a survey in the mall parking lot. Whatever it takes to prove the concept before you jump ship. This takes more work but will save you so much anguish down the road and give you the confidence that you and your family need.
Then when people ask why your business is so successful, you can give the credit to your customers. You can smile and say,
“It’s not me. It’s them.”