The X-Men Guide to business development

Powerful, creative super-heroes.The X-Men: Days of Future Past tells the story of how Wolverine, one of the Good Guys, is sent back in time in an effort to prevent an event that would result in the destruction of both mutants and humans.

While this might be a bit trickier for entrepreneurs than for a comic super-hero, the premise of this story actually has some useful applications when it comes to business development.

The X-Men are most effective when they combine their talents under the guidance of Professor Xavier.

While you don’t have to go overboard and hire a team right out of the gate, you do get to identify what’s most likely to bite you on the behind if you try to do it yourself. What are the areas where lack of expertise has the greatest potential to cost you money and clients?

Creating excellent financial systems for tracking and managing expenses, developing a user-friendly website, ensuring your taxes are filed properly and on time…these are examples of areas where you’ll best serve your business by turning them over to professionals. If you have an outstanding support team in place, it will make it easier to implement the second business-development tool.

We can’t all be Wolverine. In other words: Whether you like it or not, the right person is not always you.

It’s hard to let someone else take care of your baby (AKA your business), but there will come a time when that’s the most effective and productive choice you can make. For example: Instead of spending your time uploading your posts to WordPress and formatting them, can you instead hire a college or even high-school student to do the back-room work for you? That will give you more time to keep generating the high-value blog posts that attract your ideal prospects to you.

Sometimes help can come from unlikely sources—sort of like the main Bad Guy, Magneto, working with the X-Men to save both humans and mutants from annihilation.

You contribute to the survival of your business when you pay your vendors promptly, are relentless about over-delivering on your promises, acknowledge immediately if you make a mistake and do what’s necessary to correct it, never leave your prospects or clients dangling, and remember that taking care of yourself deserves a high priority. (That’s enough of a list to get you started.)

We’re not likely to see such mundane details on screen, but you’ve got to figure that Professor Xavier ensures that his wheelchair is in top operating condition, just as Wolverine keeps his claws sharpened.

Successful entrepreneurs can approach unglamourous-but-essential business-building tasks by thinking in terms of the 4 P’s of Business Development, each of which requires attention to ensure that your business-development wheel rolls smoothly.

Success requires intentional business development.

Be sure to consciously address each of the 4 P’s:

  1. Presence in the marketplace. This includes, among other things, a compelling value proposition, a demonstration of your subject-matter expertise, consistent involvement in relevant social media platforms.
  2. Prospects. Are you marketing effectively to your ideal prospects? How are you getting these people in your sales funnel?
  3. Products or services. What do your clients want that you don’t currently provide? Is it appropriate for you to offer it? If so, what will it look like? If not, what can you do to enhance the value of what you’re currently offering?
  4. Professional and self-management skills. While tech skills contribute to productivity, they’re useless without good self-management skills. How are yours?

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So…In what ways are you a super-hero for your clients? How do you approach business development so you can remain one of their most highly valued resources?

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9 Responses to The X-Men Guide to business development

  1. Pingback: Seven Strategies to Move from Overwhelmed to Overdrive, part 2 | virtually direct

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