Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in business development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Michael Johnson, Owner of Business Choreography, located in Lehi, UT, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Our business focuses on helping businesses grow, scale, and prepare for exit, even if they aren't planning on exiting anytime soon. We focus on using solid and sound principles in Marketing, Operations, and Sales to help any business figure out how to improve its bottom line and create more impact for its customers and its internal culture.
Tell us about yourself
I've been an entrepreneur from the start. I've bootstrapped over 10 businesses, and I currently own over 20. I love helping other entrepreneurs unlock the full potential of the vision that's floating around in their heads. And I love helping them make lots and lots of money. I've always believed that the wealthier I can help entrepreneurs become, the more good they can go out and do in the world.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
I've helped companies grow and scale, some to 8 figures; however, I feel my greatest accomplishments really center around helping businesses find clarity in what's most important. As an entrepreneur, the journey can feel very lonely and almost like the entire world is against you as you're trying to succeed. One of my greatest assets is being able to align with the vision of an entrepreneur and their "special sauce" and then help them to bring clarity to what they're doing or what they haven't yet been able to create. When this happens, the magic really starts to flow. That is what I love the most!
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
One of the hardest things I have experienced as a business owner is the balance between being an expert at what you do and being an expert at running a business. In most cases, I find so many entrepreneurs got into a business because they loved it. They were the expert at their craft or in their field. But not one really trained them to be experts at business. So they just made due to learning and understanding what they could. Being in that position where you know you have something great, but you just have average to mediocre skills at the business growth side of things is super frustrating and can drive so many great business owners to ultimately close their doors.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
This is challenging because each business owner is in a different place. However, three things that seem to hold true no matter what business you're in and what stage of business you are at are as follows:
- Market to Message Match. I call it MMM for short. This is quite possibly the most difficult thing to accomplish in the beginning, and for an old seasoned business, this is one of the most difficult things to go back to once you've established yourself. In either case, spending a great deal of time working to figure out, develop, and enhance your MMM will never be a waste of time and could be the difference between your business succeeding or failing.
- Whether you're a one-man army or a thriving corporate entity with hundreds of employees, the importance of optimizing your operations at every level can not be overstated. Your operations can make or break your business. From creating basic SOPs to refining processes to developing a culture or better onboarding processes. Operations have a wide meaning and can easily affect your bottom line in ways that can really boost your business in other ways besides just revenue.
- Innovate and develop new approaches to how you serve your customers. That doesn't always mean you have to create something new for them. It can also mean you create new "Packages" that you deliver the same things to them in. Recently I saw Pepsi rebrand their version of Coca-Cola's "Sprite" Pepsi has sold Seira Mist in the past, and maybe they are continuing to do that; however, they recently repackaged/rebranded and are selling the same product under the name of "Starry." Will it work? They don't even know; however, they will continue to try and continue to innovate and keep working to give their customers something to buy. You have to do that as well. You have to keep creating and using your imagination to help deliver to your clients the things they want the most from you. Now that doesn't mean getting haphazard and bouncing from one niche to another. Sometimes it's just creating a bundle or a different version of what they have already consumed. You have to use your creativity. There are so many things I could have mentioned here; however, I'd like to conclude by reminding you that as you work through these things, it's so important that you build with selling in mind. You may never sell, of course; however, if you build it as though you had to pass it off to another owner, then you will always be creating massive value in your business!
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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