Review of an Advanced Reader Copy by Lisa Rangel
Earlier this quarter, I received an advanced reader copy of The Pumpkin Plan, Mike Michalowicz’s latest book that is out on July 5th. I was excited to read it after learning quite a bit from his previous book, The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur. I found The Pumpkin Plan came at the right time for me and does not disappoint for jobseekers looking to become an entrepreneur, the fledgling entrepreneur or the semi-successful entrepreneur that wants to take things to the next level.
In the first chapters of The Pumpkin, Mike describes the hard working entrepreneur, who after years of working so hard, looks tired, beat-up and is just far enough ahead to stay afloat. This poor soul is making money (however, in some cases, may not be) executing all aspects of the business, sales, marketing, fulfillment, accounting, etc, and saying yes to almost any client who wants to hire him. His business revolves around him, and without him would be nothing. This can happen to someone in business for years or even just a couple of years, Mike states.
I resonated with this book right away, as a sole proprietor in business going on three years. I felt, while blessed on many levels, things have grown where I have reached a point that I cannot execute everything all the time and make everyone happy. I needed help and direction to structure my business to still cater to my core market and earn a sustainable living that would continue well beyond me. Here are the suggestions Mike makes to fine tune your business (and job seekers, take notice this list can help bring more action from a job search):
(1) Define the characteristics of your ideal client and target market benefiting from your business.
(2) Ask the ideal client target what services of yours they want and do not want. Learn about what helps them make a decision to buy.
(3) Structure execution processes within your business around those needs and likes of your client. Set up systems and staff to service those needs likes/needs that enable you to deliver above their expectations consistently.
I learned from The Pumpkin Plan that to grow the business further, I need to say ‘no’ to the client prospects that are not within my target market and extract myself from the execution process of the business focusing on the strategy. For this do-it-yourselfer entrepreneur, that sometimes seems counter-intuitive: to grow I have to do less of the business myself and say no to prospects? But I have started to these steps over the past month and a half and I can already see an increase in productivity and a decrease in my stress levels. Profitability in the short term has not been affected and I am positive good change is coming resulting from these practices.
For the job seeker, the spray and pray method of find a job by saying yes to every interview and sending your resume everywhere there is a ‘send’ button on the web, is not effective. Fine tune the job search company target list and craft correspondence to people (not submit to job boards) to gain a human response to move your job search forward. There are many practical analogies a job seeker can gather from this book, as well.
The Pumpkin Plan is a highly tactical, small business growth resources that can help entrepreneurs with product or service businesses grow their business by learning how to work on their business and not only in their business.
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Written by Lisa Rangel, Executive Resume Writer
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