Did You Do Your Homework?April 16, 2023
Remember when mom nudged you about the homework thing? Often, you made up every excuse you could muster to put off the inevitable. Thankfully, mom (or dad) was there to make sure the work got done.
It amazes me how many people don’t do their homework when it comes to their jobs, careers, and businesses. The work gets put off or doesn’t get done at all. Have you done yours? Let’s start with two big questions (although I’ve already asked you three).
Do you know who your clients are? Who your prospects are?
Most common response – “anyone that will pay me.” Wrong response. Another common response – “I don’t know.” Wrong-er response. If you don’t know who your clients and prospects are, than who does? And how are you going to do your homework?
If you don’t know who your clients and prospects are, how will you know…who you need to hire, who you need to fire, who you need to meet, who you need to greet, who you need to help, where you need to go, what you need to say, what you need to not say, what you need to delegate, what you need to learn, what you need to teach, and what you need to read? How will you know how to make the best use of your time? And when are you going to find the time anyway? Answer – you won’t. You’ll just put it off. Where’s mom when you need her?
Here’s why you haven’t done your homework. You’re lazy (no offense), there isn’t enough perceived value, you lack the commitment, you’re unaware that there’s Homework Market to begin with, nobody is holding you accountable, or you simply don’t know how. I know it’s not because of bad intention or even lack of trying (OK, it’s usually lack of trying.) Have no fear; I’ve done my homework – just keep it away from the dog.
Know Your Target Industry
Knowledge of your target industry will make you attractive to the contacts you want to meet. And will help you determine the contacts you need to meet. Once you’re informed about a given industry, you may determine that it’s no longer of interest to you or you may be encouraged to continue your pursuit. What should you research?
What are the current trends, which are the leading companies (in some cases you may want to know about the struggling companies), what are the hot topics, who are the major players, what are the growing professions, and challenges? Also, who is targeting the same industry as you but not a competitor? Could they serve as a strategic partner?
Once you have the answers to these and perhaps some other questions, you can determine whether this is a good industry to work in. If not, progress continues. If so, full steam ahead. Bear in mind, this doesn’t have to be your only target industry but I believe it’s important to have a primary niche or a claim to fame. (Mine is the insurance industry.)
Important Note: If you are more of a business to consumer type (rather than business to business), than apply this to the types of individuals that could be your target market. For example, newlyweds between the ages of 25-35 who are working professionals might be an excellent market for a life insurance agent that is in the same stage of his or her life.