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Small Business Ideas Forum

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Old 14th July 2010, 09:28 PM   #1

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Question How To Approach Somebody Doing What You Want To Be Doing?

First post ever, so please have mercy on my ignorance. I've got what I think to be a pretty good business idea that I'm interested in starting.

In my area (Atlanta, GA) there are a couple of companies already doing, more or less, what I have in mind.

I'm aware that a great way to start is to pick the brains of people that are already successful doing what you want to do, but welcome the forum's thoughts and advice on the best way to go about this. I can appreciate how somebody already doing this would conceivably be, at the very least, suspicious of me and my questions.

At the same time, the metro area is plenty big enough (and I want to ultimately focus on a different sales channel than these companies), I think, to support several similar businesses of this type.

Any thoughts on how to best get an expert to open up to me? TIA!

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Old 14th July 2010, 11:23 PM   #2
SM Oracle

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I think its great that you have an idea that you want to market and sell. Be very CONFIDENT about yourself and your idea, it will be key to your success.

Are you looking for help on how to turn your idea into an actual product or service, or are you in need of advice on networking and building connections with people in the industry you wish to endeavor?

If you're looking at turning your idea into somthing of reality it is first critical that you have faith and lots of dersire and persistance in turning your idea into reality. After that you need to create a plan that outlines and describes exactly what your going to do. Follow that plan and be persistant that is also key.

If you're looking at networking and building connections with people in your industry you're going to want to start with people who operate on a small scale. You can visit small businesses and ask to speak with the owner. Remember people dont like to have their brain picked for nothing, so be sure to offer somthing of value to the guy like a small idea, thought, lunch, or even to help the guys buisness out by doing some work. By providing some kind of value and building a friendship youre bound to create a connection and even network that will assist you with whatever you need to know.

I hope this helps, and good luck with your idea

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Old 15th July 2010, 05:00 AM   #3
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Default Sharing thoughts with an Expert

Appreciate your experts' experience and time spent in the industry - remember each year means years of little costly mistakes and times when she could have missed an opportunity.

Just throw a few open ended questions and shut your mouth....

Listen, Listen and speak.

Ear, Ear and mouth

Good luck keep sharing your experiences..

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Old 16th July 2010, 09:07 AM   #4

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Default Talk about everyones favorite topic

Just be honest with the person/people you want to talk to. Let them know that you are interested in a business similar to theirs but not identical (if possible highlight the differences). Let them know that they are the expert in this field and you just want to be a fly on the wall and up any info they are willing to give. As long as you spend time talking about what they love (THEMSELVES) you won't have any problem.

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Old 16th July 2010, 11:44 AM   #5
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If you're concerned about approaching potential competitors (or ppl who see you as a potential competitor) why not try approaching someone doing what you want in a different area. Maybe some other metropolitan area that is comparable in size or culture or mindset as Atlanta. That way you're not viewed as a "Threat" or competitor.

It's easy enough to research companies like that outside of your local area with the internet. Then you could call or mail or email or whatever approach works. Probably calling would net you the best results.

Good Luck.
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Old 16th July 2010, 12:59 PM   #6

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I can't add more advice to what is already posted. Talk to the competition in a nonthreatening way and ask questions about the business. People love to talk about themselves. So, choose your words carefully and LISTEN.

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Old 16th July 2010, 02:14 PM   #7
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I just did this last night and it worked. I approached another Internet Marketer who had been my sponsor in another program years ago. I started by reminding him of our connection and asking if he remembered me (even if he didn't, he would probably say he did) then added a few compliments about his value as a mentor and obvious leadership skills. Then I explained what I wanted and included a link to a site I wanted feedback on. NO DIRECT PITCH. The result was an instant reply that of course he remembered me and that he appreciated the note I sent and would be happy to give me some feedback.

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Old 16th July 2010, 03:20 PM   #8
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Arrr! Where is your creativity? You don't mention what type of business or product (or service), but why not become a customer?!?

Look... I know you've done it.. and if not (you're lying about not doing it) but you have heard it 100's of times. When you look at any business from the OUTSIDE looking in, you always have comments. Things like 'If that were my business, I would... blah, blah, blah'.

So... here's your chance. When you're a customer, you will see exactly what they do... how they do it... what they deliver... what kind of after sales support they offer... you will see the ENTIRE OPERATION!

It may cost you something, but you just have to chalk that up to costs. Look, if you called me, I would lead you around like a puppy dog sniffing out a bone. Now... online, that's a different story. Online is wide open and I will work and help a lot of people because the territory is huge.

In a local 'bricks and mortar' type market, you will quickly get their backs up against the wall and they are not going to appreciate YOU wasting THEIR TIME.

Become a customer. You will learn everything.

Hope this helps! Good luck!

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Old 19th July 2010, 07:08 PM   #9
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Two Thumbs Up!
That's the best idea yet.
Be their customer.

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Old 21st July 2010, 07:30 AM   #10

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Any organization must first develop a plan for success, complete with goals and integrated strategies designed to drive traffic and convert visitors into valuable prospects and customers.

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