HHow do you tell people what you do? What you say can have a massive influence on your business chances.
Would you say "I own a small business" or "I'm an entrepreneur"? Find out why that's exactly the wrong answer...
Say what you do
I was at an industry event the other day when a well-dressed man came up to the small group of people I was talking to and addressed the woman standing next to me and said “so, what do you do?”
She smiled demurely and said “I’m a small business owner”. I cringed at this and tried to distract myself by focusing on the cup of coffee I was holding. What does she mean I thought? Small as in how small? Small and doing what? What kind of small?
It seemed a shame to me because only moments before she'd been explaining that her small software house was going from strength to strength- developing a personnel screening and assessment tool for the Health & Social Care sector."Oh, I’m HR Director for a major care home" he explained. He went on to complain about the challenge of recruiting and retaining talent. Opportunity lost for one “small business owner” I mused.
Tell it like it is
Next time someone asks what you do, don’t be vague. Don’t call yourself an “entrepreneur”, “business person” or put yourself in a similarly vague pigeon-hole. Hit them with your elevator pitch- tell them what you do, the value you bring and what makes you different.
Names really do matter and if your company name doesn’t say what it is you do then it’s your job to explain.