Bite-Size Chunks of Wisdom

March 2022

Recent Posts

business growth

business growth

Business growth isn’t what it used to be. Gone are the days of being everything to everybody. Yet, despite that, some business leaders tout the benefits of being a generalist. 

I see advantages for both the generalist and the specialist. 

For instance, a generalist doesn’t necessarily develop the same blind spots as someone specializing in a specific industry. Being a generalist can be beneficial in the case of someone like me who consults and coaches small businesses. I can think outside the industry, which can bring a unique perspective not previously considered. On the other hand, marketing as a generalist has its drawbacks and can make it a bit more challenging to proliferate. 

Growing more quickly is where being a specialist can shine. With marketing and messaging confined to one industry, it becomes easier to gain traction. 

Even as a specialist, focusing on a niche is no longer enough to break into the world of big profits. Instead, in today’s marketplace, a business needs to specialize in a micro-niche to optimize success

Defining Micro Niche

Most people in the world of business know what a niche is. Sports cars, fitness, health—each of those is a niche. But if you ever crack open a laptop or scroll through your Facebook newsfeed, you can attest to how many professionals focus on those general industries.

Concentrating on a micro-niche can set you apart and make a significant impact. For example, instead of focusing your brand on general fitness, specialize in fitness for teen girls or women over 60. Those are micro-niches. 

Here are a few more examples:

  • Tiny houses: micro-niche in the real estate industry
  • European travel: micro-niche in the travel industry (Or niche down further by honing in on travel to Germany.)
  • All-natural makeup: micro-niche in the skincare industry

Benefits of a Micro Niche for Business Growth

Micro-niching, and its many benefits, is exciting. But, unfortunately, it can also be a bit unnerving. 

One of the greatest fears for most small business owners when they consider streamlining services to a more specific area, is the loss of potential clients. Is that possible? Emphatically no! I’ve witnessed this in my coaching practice. The opposite is true. When my clients began the process of niching down, their revenue experienced a substantial jump. 

Take a look at the benefits that prove micro niches lead to business growth:

  • Low competition. Because of the highly specialized nature of the micro-niche, you have minimal competition. 
  • Ability to gain traction. Every business needs momentum to get started and continue growing. A micro-niche provides the traction required to progress quickly, so you’re not spinning your wheels.
  • Increased profitability. Due to low competition, you naturally experience greater profits because you have access to more clients who share your interests, desires, and passions. (Plus, think of how much fun your business would be if you worked in a highly specialized area that you love.)
  • Easier marketability. Marketing experts know that standing out in a crowd is the key to drawing attention to your brand and increasing sales. A micro-niche makes this possible and leads to an increase in business growth.

Finding Your Micro Niche

Okay, now you know the importance and benefits of micro-niches. Are you ready to make the switch? If so, how do you find your micro-niche?

Let’s say you’re a fitness expert. How do you stand out from the millions of other fitness experts in the market? Here are the first two questions to ask yourself on your journey toward micro-niche business growth.

  1. What is my greatest passion?
  2. With whom do I most enjoy working? (Read Buyer Persona: The Ultimate Tool for Small Business Success in a Crowded Market.)

Once you’ve answered those two questions, you’re well on your way to identifying your perfect niche fit.

What is the “tiny house” of your market? Give us a call when you’re ready to find out—and micro-niche your way to business growth and success. You’ll be up and growing in no time.

business moments of truth

Before the introduction of business technology, the traditional marketing model remained unchanged. This reduced consumer choices.  Marketing opportunities to learn about competing products or services were limited.

business moments of truthBefore the digital revolution, we may have heard about a product from advertising on TV, radio, or newspaper. (Remember those?) However, to experience the product or service, we made our way to a brick-and-mortar establishment. It was only at that point that comparison shopping took place.

Today, the consumer’s purchasing journey is an entirely new game. With the onset of technology, and the inception of digital marketing, 81% of today’s consumers conduct research online before their final buying decision.

In 2011, Google conducted a study ascertaining the number of sources of information consumed before making a purchase. At that time, an average of 10.4 sources was consumed from first viewing an ad to the product purchase. By 2015, that number had doubled to an average of 22 references. 

The information available digitally for today’s consumer is so complete that most consumers make their purchasing decision well before entering a store or clicking “add to cart.”

What does this mean for your business?

By taking charge of the moments of truth in your business, you can be among the 20+ pieces of information that consumers consume on their way to their purchasing decision.

Moments of Truth: Today’s Map for Business Marketing

Moments of truth can seem insignificant to a small business owner when they’re happening. Clients, however, have an entirely different reaction. For instance, if a potential client calls you and you don’t give them your full attention because of an office distraction, their impression may be that you are unfocused, unprofessional, and perhaps unworthy of their business. Situations like this can spell disaster for any business.

So, what’s a moment of truth?

A moment of truth is a sliver of time when clients or prospects interact with your business and decide whether or not to do business with you, share you with their network, or use your products/services again

Jan Carlzon, in his book, Moments of Truth, defines them as “anytime a customer comes into contact with any aspect of a business, however remote, [as] an opportunity to form an impression.”

Some of the everyday moments of truth include:

  • When a person hears someone else praise you or your work.
  • When a person likes your physical presentation, including your website, appearance, handshake, voice, or smile.
  • When a person is touched intellectually and emotionally by what you say.
  • When a person recognizes you as a model of whom or what they would like to become.
  • When a person experiences you are consistently excellent technically.
  • When a person knows you care.
  • When a person feels they and their information are safe with you.
  • When a person trusts your professional credentials.
  • When a person thinks they will be challenged and get what they need from you.
  • When a person pays your fee without any conversation.
  • When a person looks forward to small gifts and thoughtful messages from you.
  • When a person knows you will make it right for them if they have a complaint.
  • When a person knows your fee is slightly above the industry standard and feels you’re worth it.
  • When a person is sure that their success and well-being are your priority.
  • When a person knows you never stop growing professionally.
  • When you ask a person to tell you their expectations and frustrations about the service you provide.
  • When a person knows you have designed your business around what’s convenient for them.
  • When a person can reach you effortlessly.
  • When a person can count on you to treat them as a unique individual with unique needs.
  • When a person knows you will remember their kids’ names and send them a card on their birthday.

Strengthening the moments of truth in your business ensures your clients remain on the continuum of the nine steps to building trust. The outcome? A measurable increase in client acquisition, retention, and sales.

The Strategic Role in Mapping Your Moments of Truth 

One of the roles of a strategic small business coach is to ensure your business makes the right impression when interacting with clients and prospects. As an advocate for small business owners, a coach provides an objective evaluation that can make the difference between a client passing on your business for one of your competitors and landing that next big sale. 

However, you may ask yourself these common strategic questions to refine how you handle the moments of truth in your business. 

  • What are the various touchpoints of our business, such as your Web site, meeting at a networking event, sending an email, or leaving a voicemail message during which a potential client develops an impression?
  • What is the current impression our clients and prospects experience?
  • What is our intended impression? Where are the gaps?
  • What changes ensure each impression is the one we want our client to experience?
  • Who will make those changes?
  • When will those changes be made?
  • How will we measure the effectiveness of your changes?

Analyzing your moments of truth bring clarity to your business.  And, with the right strategies you can create impressions to turn the most skeptical prospect into your company’s most enthusiastic advocate.


It’s a jungle out there, especially when understanding the terminology to market your small business. A misunderstood term or misapplied could blow a big deal with a critical client. Egads!

What’s worse than not knowing a vital marketing phrase? Of course, that would be not using the correct lingo at the right time! In a nutshell, it makes you look like an amateur

small business marketing

The Entrepreneur, the Manager, and the Technician 

Michael Gerber, the well-known author of The E-myth, spoke of the three personalities who go into business: the entrepreneur, the manager, and the technician.

The entrepreneur sets the vision and does the heavy lifting of strategic thinking. Then, the manager implements the plan laid out by the entrepreneur. And, the technician does the “roll up your sleeves” actual work of the business.

If you’re like most small business entrepreneurs, you’re all three — and a few more! And, you likely spent most of your time working “in” your business as the technician.

What does this have to do with the “jungle jargon”? I’m so glad you asked!

Without a technical background in entrepreneurship or marketing, it’s easy to misuse or misunderstand marketing terminology and tools.

The Small Business Marketing Basics 

Three commonly misinterpreted and misapplied terms are elevator speech, unique selling proposition, and value proposition. Knowing how and when to use each of these terms can influence your business growth rate.

  1. An elevator pitch is one to two sentences about your target audience and your general area of work. Most often used in networking situations to introduce your business, offline and online. The elevator pitch is only a few words long and quickly delivered within 10 seconds.
  2. Your unique selling proposition is a statement of what makes you different. Your USP may be your specialty, methodology, or guarantee and is commonly used when a client is ready to buy.
  3. The value proposition is a marketing statement of the promise of value to be delivered to the potential client. Your value proposition is specific and generally cites numbers or percentages. It also may include a quick synopsis of your work. A value proposition is often used in emails, your website, and conversations with your prospective audience. More than anything, your value proposition indicates why the potential client should buy from you rather than your competition — without ever having to use the name of the competition!

Getting through the business jungle unscathed and in one piece is challenging enough. But, without the right equipment, it can be daunting!

With the right tools at the right time, you’ll quickly cut through the dense, unruly marketing space to grow your business.

Mastermind group

Business is becoming increasingly complex. And, just like “it takes a village” to raise a child, it takes an armada to grow a business. Increasing complexity and overwhelm is why we launched mastermind groups — to bring together a flotilla of like-minded business owners to share insights, experience, knowledge, and encouragement unavailable when growing your business in a silo.

Our first mastermind group focused on helping business owners create a strategic blueprint for growing their business. Discussions ranged from the significance of a well-articulated vision to proving one’s business models to buttoning down habits to create a system of sustainable success.

It was transformative, really — for everyone who participated, including myself. Members formed trusted bonds. With their unique experience and expertise, each business owner generously shared their resources. Opportunities between members of the mastermind spawned. And most importantly, participants created business-changing results.

Mastermind group

The Birth of the Mastermind Group

Groups like these have been around since the days of Napoleon Hill. His classic book, “Think and Grow Rich,” defined a mastermind group as “The coordination of knowledge and effort of two or more people, who work toward a definite purpose, in the spirit of harmony.”

Hill states, “No two minds ever come together without thereby creating a third, invisible, intangible force, which may be likened to a third mind.” Who doesn’t appreciate an extra brain, right?

There are peer support groups we may not usually recognize as such. For instance, a business advisory board, Weight Watchers, and Vistage are everyday examples of similar organizations. These coordinated groups provide the coming together of people in support, encouragement, and knowledge-sharing that allows everyone to grow personally and professionally.

The Many Benefits of a Mastermind Group for Entrepreneurs

Many peer groups built around business growth provide collective support and encouragement for the participants. In my humble opinion, what separates our mastermind group from most is the facilitation by a trained business strategist and coach. Well-honed coaching skills strengthen the support among the participants, promote self-awareness, inspire action, and cultivate commitment while creating a priceless ROI.

Here are a few of the business-changing lessons of a mastermind group:

Even when converging virtually, collective gathering breaks the isolation and loneliness of growing a business. Nothing grows well, if at all, in a vacuum. Similarly, not everything goes as planned or intended when running a business. The support and environment of transparency help deal with the emotional fallout and exhaustion that often comes with growing a business.

Acquisition and assimilation of knowledge accelerate learning which sparks action.

It’s such a unique advantage to be able to learn from individuals who are at a similar stage in their business. Mastermind 350+ allows you to connect with and leverage individuals from a wide range of industries who are all committed to taking their businesses to the next level  — Zoey Smith, Zbra Studios

The Mastermind group is the most meaningful time I spend on my business each month. It’s been hard to find a group of business owners who are experienced and established AND willing to share their best practices, advice, and also their mistakes. It’s rare, and it’s so valuable.  Laura M. Labovich, The Career Strategy Group

Structure fills in the gap between planning and implementation. Participants move from thinking of planning to plan and implementing actions to success. They move from merely staying afloat to moving ahead.

Everyone’s an expert. Ideas, concepts, and notions from thought-leaders and well-known experts are frequently shared among entrepreneurs as the end-all, be-all keys to success. That’s accommodation, not alteration. Breakthroughs occur when best practices are customized to fit you, your lifestyle, and your strengths. Whatever “best practice” you follow, make it yours.

Participants recognize they are more intelligent than previously thought. Through sharing insights and knowledge, participation lifts the cloud of self-doubt that plagues many business owners.

 I come away from each session more motivated and armed with strategies and techniques I can use to improve my own business. — John Lanza, Chief Mammal, The Money Mammals

Members identify and share opportunities. Trust is enhanced in an environment of transparency and fellowship. Confidence in a participant’s business capability is a powerful network-sharing tool.

Thinking expands along with the courage to seek larger projects than previously believed possible. It is vital to understand the obstacles to progress and identify practical, applicable ways to remove them permanently. This makes the difference between a small struggling business to a more powerful, sustainable business.

Business models have become upgraded for today’s economy. Entrepreneurship, by its very nature, is disruptive. Sadly, many businesses use the same business model from decades ago. It’s no wonder they struggle. However, business models are challenged, modernized, and proven to create greater profits in a Mastermind group.

The Bottom Line? 

During the 20+ years I’ve been working with business owners, much has changed. Technological advancements, albeit welcome, add layers of complexity (and overwhelm) to small businesses. As a result, a strategy is more critical — and difficult — for entrepreneurs today to pave the way for your success.

One can’t have too much support.


Do you want to unlock the potential of your business? Join our Mastermind and discover how!

business growth

business growth

Your business growth is shaped by consumer behavior. And, as you might have noticed, consumer buying behaviors have changed dramatically. Newspaper ads, circulars, or cold calling are a thing of the past. Consumers no longer have confidence in such methods. So while consumers continue to buy, how they spend their money has changed.

Today, consumers turn to the web for information about companies and products before buying. In addition, 80% of business decision-makers research custom content to learn about service. Busy entrepreneurs prefer this method rather than being bombarded with ads. Sound familiar?

As a result, we need to respond to the change in buying behaviors with fresh ideas that better match consumers’ buying habits.

Enter Inbound Marketing.

Outbound Vs. Inbound Marketing for Business Growth 

The antiquated method of marketing — “outbound marketing” — is based on the principle of pushing products and services on consumers. This strategy is “interruptive marketing.” And, for a good reason. The outbound method interrupts your day with sales calls, unwanted emails, and misplaced ads. (As though you don’t already have enough interruptions.)

On the other hand, inbound marketing improves business growth by attracting consumers to your product or service using content that serves a purpose. Whether that purpose is to inform or entertain, it doesn’t involve selling.

The Attraction of Inbound Marketing 

The basis of inbound marketing is to attract potential clients to your business. However, there’s another factor that makes inbound marketing attractive. An automated inbound marketing strategy allows you to achieve better personal and professional balance as your business grows.

business growthLike me, you likely launched your business to be the boss, including setting your schedule. And, like me, you probably didn’t realize that growing a business required such an extraordinary level of devotion, dedication, and time.

Yet, as entrepreneurs, one of the things we crave most from owning our own business is more time for the people and things we love. That’s where inbound marketing comes in.

Inbound marketing certainly mitigates the time burden of business growth. Instead of being stuck in traffic or schmoozing it up at networking events and business fairs to generate leads, an inbound marketing strategy is automated to work in your absence. This automated process gives you more time for family—and other things you love—while you continue to generate new leads.

What Are You Waiting For? 

Even though inbound marketing saves time and improves lead generation, it doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time to:

  • Define your strategy
  • Identify the elements of your strategy
  • Build the components of your system.

Even once all your ducks are in a row, it takes time to:

  • Build awareness
  • Establish credibility
  • Expand your reach

Patience — and persistence — are key! And the amount of perseverance (and time) depends on many different factors — which is why it’s crucial to start immediately.

It can take 12 to 18 months—or maybe more—to see results at the level you desire. The sooner you begin, however, the sooner you’ll benefit from the fruits of your labor and open doors to your desired client base.

Now that you know the ins and outs of business growth, what are you waiting for? 

Growth Strategy Fatigue

Let’s face it. Every small business owner needs — and wants — an “edge” to grow as quickly and efficiently as possible. We dig through industry secrets, plow through top business blogs, and cajole our colleagues into spilling the beans on what makes their business tick. Yet, one of the most unfavorable growth strategy is commonly practiced in business today.

small business growth strategy

The Entrepreneurial Fatigue Syndrome

While recently wilting away on the treadmill, I heard a news report on the far-reaching impact of tired airline pilots. Egads! (Not what a white-knuckled airline traveler needs to hear.) Although the information applies to cargo airline pilots, the devastating effects of fatigue remain – fatigue leads to preventable errors that, in the case of the airlines, can kill.

The news story got me thinking about the impact of fatigue on our ability to perform in our own business and, more importantly, in the companies of those we serve — our clients.

Whether fatigue is instigated by a lack of sleep, working long hours, too many decisions, poor health, stress, or all of the above, the fact remains the same — there is no upside to exhaustion.

What happens when an entrepreneur is tired? In case you need a little prompting, allow me to point out a few of my personal favorites:

  • Crankiness
  • Lack of focus
  • Disorganization
  • Easily distracted
  • Forgetfulness

Am I missing any?

These lovely attributes contribute to:

  • Inattentiveness to clients’ needs
  • Excessive and avoidable mistakes
  • Anger inappropriately directed at colleagues
  • Resistance to change
  • Impulsiveness
  • Inability to prioritize
  • Overlooking small and vital details
  • Decision dodging, and the best one of all
  • Doing nothing

And all of these attractive behaviors lead to:

  • Lashing out at valued clients
  • Missing critical deadlines cause clients to lose valuable time in the marketplace
  • Unnecessary costs incurred as a result of fixing fatigue errors

Treatment for Entrepreneurial Fatigue 

We could go on and on, but I’m sure you get the point. Sadly, we’ve had a front-row seat to the flick called “fatigue.” It’s not pretty.

Fatigue, exhaustion, tiredness, weariness, call it what you will, it’s one vicious, ugly cycle for you and your clients.

Unfortunately, fatigue is all too common a part of the business equation. Furthermore, it comes at a high cost to you, your health, your family, and your clients. And, yes, it is the worst possible growth strategy for your business!

The next time you’re too tired to pole-vault over a chalk mark, take two of these and call us in the morning! Sneak in a nap. Take care of yourself. Grab a day off. Take a vacation. Capture a long weekend. Take a cruise. Seize a long walk. Carve out a break.

Core Business Assessment


Brooke Billingsley

Vice President
Perception Strategies

Synnovatia is a strategic coaching firm that is detailed and knowledgeable about business. i have a small business that grew from $150K to $750K because of the goal setting and resources that Synnovatia provided. It saves me years of learning on my own.

Search The Blog