Open for business! I caution my university students about the needless use of the exclamation point, but I’ve set it here quite purposefully. Entrepreneurs and existing businessowners alike are enthusiastic about grand openings and like to shout the news as loudly as possible. Over the years, I’ve done my share of communication programs around expansions, acquisitions and new endeavors. The strategy is simple: be visible where the people you can help are and be there often. This may or may not include exclamation points. Then why am I trying to be tiny and quiet as I open my own business?
I am certainly no stranger to the owner model. My father was the proverbial self-made man. He successfully started, grew and, ultimately, sold two businesses in his lifetime. These he ran simultaneously. This he did in addition to a profitable partnership with his brother for many years. As was his nature in all things, his approach was quiet but calculated. I did not pay much attention to his business acumen in my youth, except to note that he kept the doors open for decades and created a workplace of loyal employees who never wanted to leave.
I cannot imagine my father ever willfully using exclamation points.
Punctuation aside, both Starter Husband and Forever Husband are sole proprietors as well, yet neither launched their businesses with banners and fanfare. Steady and focused, but not … loud. Perhaps only those of us with marketing backgrounds think of direct mail, digital ads and free cake as obligatory for business openings.
So here I am, stuck in the middle of my marketing communication career habits and my life experience examples. More likely, this is Imposter Syndrome run amok. Am I worthy of exclamation points in my self-promotion? My father would not second-guess my past accomplishments, but he might caution me to “not get ahead of myself” and prove my worth with every client, every time.
That is my pledge, then: No platitudes. Just results. Every client. Every time.
Go head. Ring the bell for service. Open for business.