I heard TWO sad business stories recently. SITUATION ONE A friend of mine has had his company copied. Fraudulent scammers have copied the company name and website, word for word. These imposters have gone all out to impersonate them. They are also scamming the public via SMS.
We know the challenges involved in founding, running and managing a business. But then dealing with this on top. Terrible!
SITUATION TWO I heard of a new, exciting start-up signing a deal for a website. Not only was the cost of the site extreme but the ongoing commercial terms were wild. Unfortunately, the sole trader wasn’t quite up to speed commercially. No doubt excited to get the project running, he hastily signed a contract. Following some external opinions and advice, he asked the supplier to cancel the project. The Terms & Conditions were heavily weighted to the supplier. They are holding him to the contract. Legal action threatened. I have quickly skirted over these examples for obvious reasons. The message I took was the same. As business owners/managers/sales professionals, we have to show honesty, integrity and passion. Always looking to add value. If it isn’t a fit for your customer then selling them your value proposition is wrong, isn’t it?
My father gave me a piece of advice many years ago. “Whatever you do in business son, you’ve got to be able to look at yourself in the mirror”. Jeopardising your reputation and future sales by selling someone an inflatable dartboard, is shear madness. Especially in this hyper-connected world of relationship selling. But, there are people out there who will inflate it and sharpen the darts for you. There’s no reason to go solo on business decisions. Reach out to your contacts, collaborate with experts. Understand the risks involved. If your budget is tens of thousands, invest hundreds in assistance. Understand the proposed solution. PS If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then my friends…it probably is a duck.
Go with your gut.
Ian is also the founder of Sales & Marketing consultancy Far North Ltd.