Business is just like fishing

How to start a business and prosper

I had the pleasure of floating in the sea within a rock-sheltered tidal pool just the other day.

Making a business grow

As I was bobbing gently over the waves I noticed a school of small fish swimming close by. (I’m no fisherman so I have no idea what kind of fish they were – just that they were small and by conservative estimate there must have been 50 or more of them).

On a whim I decided to catch a fish using nothing but my hands – I mean they were swimming within centimeters of my hands and feet!

An hour later all I had managed to catch was a sunburn!

It got me thinking about businesses (large or small) and how finding clients for your business and catching fish are in fact similar!

Prospects vs Customers

Before I dive in further (pun intended) let’s quickly define the difference between a ‘Prospect’ and a ‘Customer’ for your business.

By my definition a ‘Prospect’ is anyone who is, or may become, interested in your product or service and who may at some point (now or in the future) take out his wallet and hand over cold hard cash to you for your product or service. At the point where he pays you he becomes a Customer.

For the rest of this article think “Prospect” whenever I say “Fish”!

It follows that if I don’t want to starve as a fisherman I would be well advised to study the fish that I’m trying to catch. What do they like to eat (bait)? Where do they live? Are they fresh water or salt water fish? Do they swim in the open or prefer to hang around in the shadows and rocks and reefs? Do they live close to the surface or down deep? Are they solitary or do they swim in large schools?

Gorwing your business with more customers

In fact the more I know about the fish I’m trying to catch the more likely I will find and catch enough fish to survive. Catch enough I would thrive!

Clearly the best place to start is where the fish are!

Finding Prospects and Customers for your Business.

Finding prospects (and Customers) for your business is no different! The more I know about my Prospects the more likely I will find them and convert them from Prospects to Customers.

What do they like? What are their needs, their desires, their fears? Where do they hang out – what is common amoungst them – are they Mom’s with small kids or Dad’s with poor golf swings?

The more I know about my Prospect the greater the chance that I can go in search of them – and go where they are! Just like fishing – if I look in the wrong place I will never find the Prospects and Customers that I’m after. Think of this process of understanding your Prospects as ‘defining your ideal Customer’.

Marketing it the bait that turns your Prospects into Customers.

Recall that I caught no fish (even though I tried diligently for an hour) despite being ‘where the fish’ were?

So we need to consider the correct mechanism to catch those pesky fish! Clearly using my hands was a poor decision. I would have been better served baiting a hook with the type of bait these fish would respond too – and perhaps I would have been even better off if I had a net – instead of just a baited hook. Using a net may have netted me many fish simultaneously instead of just one at a time.

So it is with ‘catching’ Prospects – if you don’t use the correct bait and you use inefficient tools you will catch less Prospects than if you use the correct bait and the most effecient and effective tools.

Growing your business is a numbers game.

If I catch 1 fish when my daily requirement is 10 I will surely starve. So it is with Business – you need to know how many sales you need (daily/weekly/monthly) in order to survive – and how many you need in order to thrive.

Working backwards – if I need a Customer to make a purchase every week and I know that I convert 1 Prospect into a Customer for every 100 Prospects it follows that I need 100 new Prospects a week – or roughly 400 per month in order to make my 1 weekly sale.

Now if my marketing is based on a baited hook rather than a net I’m going to be very busy with that hook to attract 100 prospects a week. A net may be a much better option. Now imagine I was able to attract 200 Prospects per week using my net this would likely lead to 2 sales – meaning 2 customers – every week.

That’s double what I needed in order to survive which means I’m likely to thrive and let’s be honest, who wants merely to survive when you could thrive instead?

Now these numbers are simply by way of example and each business is going to have thier own metrics – but I’m sure you get the point so I won’t belabour it.

So, do you have your Mentor on board yet? Join our Mentorship Program and let me share with you my ideas for finding and converting enough Prospects into Customer to grow your business.

Here’s to your business prospering!

Small Business Mentorship and online courses.

Want to learn more? Check out our cataloge of online courses or join our mentorship program here.

 

Business Start up mentorship program