October 5, 2020

SDN EP: 104 – How To Accelerate Your Business Growth with Linda Lopeke

"Sometimes entrepreneurs are held up to be the reason their business didn't succeed, when in fact, the reason their business didn't succeed is that it wasn't set up on a proper foundation." - Linda Lopeke (13:22-13:32)

There can come a time when your business isn't growing as fast as it used to be. Your growth may be winding down to the point that you are concerned that your progress may backslide. And you want to accelerate development to reach set deadlines for building sustainable business objectives.

There are many approaches that you can use to accelerate your business growth and achieve the targets you have for your business. In this week's 104th episode of Stop Doing Nothing, we're joined by Linda Lopeke. Together, we're going to cover how to accelerate your business growth and how to do it the right way, with the right people's help.

Linda Lopeke’s Humble Beginnings ...

Linda Lopeke started her first business in 1967. But before that, she was into management consulting practice. She was a computer scientist and systems engineer. But her many careers didn't end there; Linda also worked in international finance and banking.

The Birth Of The Smart Start Business Success Accelerator ...

Starting her own business in 1980, Linda dealt primarily with corporate clients. Then, there is a leadership conference that Queen's University has each year called QLEAD, and they invite top entrepreneurs to come and speak to their student population and give guest lectures. Linda was there, giving one lecture on entrepreneurship. After her lecture, the students in the lecture hall all rushed at me. They started talking to me about the different business ideas and wanted to develop what they couldn't find any support or guidance for bringing them to market. They were having a really difficult time, and they had such brilliant ideas and so much enthusiasm. It was clear that they believed in themselves, and they needed someone to help them bring their dreams to life and who didn't discount them for their age or their lack of business experience or anything like that.

At that exact moment, Linda decided that she was going to help these kids and ended up creating the Smart Start Business Success Accelerator.

Using The Smart Start Business Success Accelerator Versus Doing It On Your Own:

The difference between somebody going at their business on their own versus working with a Smart Start Business Success Accelerator is that there are 12 foundational core competencies to make your dream survive and unfold the way that you imagine it would be.

When a new entrepreneur is bootstrapping, they may have a small number of loans from parents, friends, and family. They may have a small bit of money or credit cards that they can use. They can tap into these limited resources to help them by the expert guidance they truly need. It isn't easy to evaluate people who do offer courses and coaching programs when they are considering making investments because they don't have the foundation to vet these people. And so, Linda started this Smart Start Business Success Accelerator program to help address those concerns.

"It's not enough to be smart. You have to have people looking out for you who want you to succeed and who are willing to tell you when you're off base and why you're off base." - Linda Lopeke (29:47-30:04)

12 Core Competencies You’ll Learn Using The Smart Start Business Success Accelerator:

Anchored to the Smart Start Business Success Accelerator Program, Linda shared that regardless of what business you're in, you have to find your perfect people. The four things that contribute to that are strategy, planning, revenue, and the relationships you build in your ecosystem.

The second step every business owner has to do is create compelling products and services. The four core competencies that impact products and services are branding, pricing processes, tools, and technology.

Finally, you need to build a stand out of business if you're going to make competition irrelevant and succeed. The four core competencies you need to master to make that happen are design, buzz, productivity, and social media.

Who Would Benefit From Smart Start Business Success Accelerator?

Linda is primarily working with underperforming businesses. But according to her, it's better if you start in the program when you're completely new because you will start with a much stronger foundation.

But typically, people come to them after investing anywhere from ten to over one hundred thousand dollars in courses, programs, coaching, and consulting that does not advance their business in any way. So they end up questioning themselves, "Do I even have what it takes to be an entrepreneur?"

More they question the validity of their ideas, and they think that they have an idea that nobody wants. But when they come in, what Linda finds out is they have not been able to get the guidance needed. To understand how to take that idea, build it into something sellable and communicate that effectively to the target market and then do the marketing in a strategic way that allows them to convert the idea from just an idea to something that creates sustainable income over the long term.

"They can't take you down if there's nothing to take down."
Patrick Allmond (19:49-19:51)

How Can Smart Start Business Success Accelerator Help Accelerate Your Business?

Businesspeople who come into Smart Start have generally had many bad experiences with their investments in the past. That is because where they invested in had 10 out of 10 marketing, but 0 out of 10 business experience, knowledge, or expertise. So they've bought into a bit of an illusion. What happens is they are very disgruntled with their experience. They are held up to be the reason their business didn't succeed. When in fact, the reason their business didn't succeed is it wasn't set up on a proper foundation or the people that they had chosen to work with initially did not know how to adjust the marketing for specific purposes.

However, let's say that you have 10 out of 10 marketing, but your product or service is crappy. That's only going to harm your reputation and put your business into the ground faster. We're in the Internet age now, and you cannot hide behind those kinds of failures. People are going to hear about it. They're going to talk about it. It's going to spread like wildfire, and everything that goes on the net stays on the net. So now the onus is on the business owner not just to have great marketing, but to make sure that their products and services live up to the promises they're making in that market.

You cannot delegate or outsource your reputation. It takes months, if not years, to develop your professional credibility. The authority behind your programs and your products and services and the customer testimonials are social proof that attests to your business's results to clients and customers. If you are not careful about how you are behaving and delivering and supporting your client base, you can lose that reputation in a nanosecond.

Since you're in charge of your behavior and how you're positioning and running your business, then as long as you are doing the things that you need to be doing, it doesn't matter if the odd person has something nasty to say about your business. Remember that you're not going to be liked by every person in the world. The only thing you can control is to ensure that execution does not align with what the odd, nasty person is saying about your business.

You can only do the best that you can do, and you can only behave in the most honest way you can. If you do that consistently, when the trolls try to take you down, they will not be able to.

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