It’s Mid-Year! Are you ahead of the wave? Are the “sharks” at your heals? What keeps you on top?

My members know I enjoy watching “Shark Tank”, a group of successful entrepreneurs looking to get their teeth (and money) into more entrepreneurial endeavors. I watch in order to understand what investors look for in the individuals that present themselves.

Here is what I’ve learned:
1. How you present yourself says a lot. Can you tell your prospects in 90 seconds a problem-oriented, attention-getting statement about what you do? You may not be looking for investors, but you are always looking for prospects to “sell” to. This is not about convincing, but about getting a prospect see that you have a solution. Just like the “Sharks” want to invest in an entrepreneur who believes in his/her product, your prospects want to do business with you because you have an edge that will help them. Wall flowers get chewed up by the “Sharks”, you can’t be afraid to be bold, but you need to be authentic, you need to be the real deal.

2. It’s not about the money. Make sure you are doing what you love. Is it a “game” worth playing? It shows up when you give your customers the sense that your business is a special place, created by a special person or people, doing what they do in the best possible way. If it is built on a laser like focus because you have targeted your audience then you are not chasing the”minnows”. Your price meets their need and you deliver it.

3. Know your numbers. Every number tells a story and every line on your financial reports relates to something that happens in your business. Make it your business to make the connection and know what they mean. The “Sharks” look to see if investing in one of the entrepreneurs will make them money. I observe many small business owners working hard at managing and marketing but wait too long to dedicate some time every month to review those financial reports; going line by line and asking themselves what each one means. Every number tells a story and every line on your financial reports relates to something that happens in the business. Make it your business to make the connection and know what they mean.

The Challenge: It is mid year, STOP and check to see if you are swimming with the sharks or being eaten by them. Know your target customers, deliver what you say you do and know your numbers.