The Business of Service

Performance Tip of the Week

If you were to ask most entrepreneurs why they are in business, many would answer, “To be of service to others.” True, there are those whose motives are purely financial — and I am not discounting the need to pay the bills — but the entrepreneurs in my circle definitely lead and give from the heart. We are in the business of service.

That being said, even when we are in the business of service, generating revenue is the only way we will stay in business. The challenge is finding a balance between giving, and operating a viable enterprise.

New entrepreneurs can easily fall into the trap of believing that in order to get their business off the ground, they need to give their products and services away. The reality is that your prospects will only value what you also value. And your time, expertise, and experience have value, even when you are just starting out. They should not be casually given away. There is a big difference between business strategy and charitable giving.

No matter where you are in your business, it is always possible to serve without giving away the farm. The difference lies in your ability to leverage your value in exchange for something of equal or greater value — if not financial compensation, then perhaps an email address, exposure to new prospects, a referral, or testimonial.

With my current 12 Days of Experts promotion, the 12 experts and I are leveraging the power of a singular focus — helping you become a business power player — and the combined strength of our networks to extend our reach even further. Though we are giving a lot of valuable content to you, we are getting exposure to a broader audience as a group. We are able to serve the women entrepreneurs community, and grow our businesses too – an example of a win-win.

So the next time you entertain thoughts of giving your content or time away at no charge, make sure your motives make good business sense. Strategize the best way for you to share value, without negatively impacting the perception of your offer by not leveraging a solid return on your investment.

What are you doing to serve your community, without devaluing your gifts?


Now’s your chance to discover the performance secrets of 12 amazing business power players!

Join the 12 Days of experts and learn how to dramatically up-level your business in 2012!

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One Comment

  1. Posted November 30, 2011 at 7:00 am | Permalink | Reply

    Great insights Shannon. I have noticed on occasion that some business people will virtually ‘give a way the farm’ in order to get people to like them, know them & trust them, but unwittingly this does so much more harm than good, as it simply devalues what is on offer.

    Sure, give away free chapter from a book, a sample module of one of your programs, or whatever…but not everything. As Shannon suggests, it should always be a Win-Win exchange & the process should lead to further business enhancements. You will certainly not gain anything like credibility or likeability by going cheap; after all, don’t we naturally perceive something we pay more for is better in some way..?

    Pay It Forward by all means to establish your intrinsic value upfront, just like all of the professionals in The 12 Days of Experts, but ensure that this is for the greater good of ALL parties involved.

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