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Catching The Big Fish

Stephan-Aarstol-Shark-Tank

Last week I traveled to Washington, DC for Yanik Silver’s Underground Online Seminar 9.

Yanik really knows how to host an awesome event, filled with the latest cutting-edge online marketing strategies and tactics taught by both well-known industry leaders as well as up-and-coming, relatively-unknown, in-the-trenches current and future stars.

My days and nights were filled with learning from and connecting with some of the world’s sharpest entrepreneurs.

One of those sharp people I had the pleasure of meeting was Stephan Aastrol (pictured above — not in the bikini), a down-to-earth, great guy and roll-up-your-sleeves-and-get-it-done business owner. Three years ago, Aastrol brought his one-man business to one of my favorite television shows, ABC-TV’s Shark Tank, and managed to land a deal with billionaire Mark Cuban.

Stephan and I spoke for a while about the show, and I came away with some fun tidbits of information about what really goes on behind the scenes.

Most impressive to me was one fact Stephan shared: His is Mark Cuban’s #1 success story on the show. That’s right – of all the companies Cuban has invested in during his three seasons on the show, Stephan’s Tower Paddle Boards has experienced the most growth.

Stephan had participated in the show as a recently-struggling solo-preneur looking to land a Big Fish by striking a deal with one of the sharks.

Less than an hour later, he had successfully hooked his Big Fish. And his life and business have been on a whirlwind upward spiral ever since.

How about you?

Are you actively working to catch one or more Big Fish for your business?

The World English Dictionary defines a Big Fish as “an important or powerful person.” In the business world, that can also mean “an important or powerful company.”

When it comes to the success of your business, as measured by your income, net worth and lifestyle, Big Fish can be especially important and powerful indeed.

With that in mind, I’m going to take my next few blog posts to help you catch your own Big Fish.

There are a number of factors to consider when preparing yourself and your company to approach the largest clients you’ll ever work with.

Today we’ll start with a brief look at the three possible paths every business can take, and show you which one is the surest path to success. Then we’ll talk about the mindset it takes to attract the Big Fish.

There are Three Major Paths A Business Can Take:

  1. Snail Speed
  2. Shooting Star
  3. Catch the Big Fish

Snail Speed

Most business owners either fool themselves into thinking they will find quick success, or make the equally-dangerous mistake of being afraid of change and uncertainty. As a result, they end up working themselves into the ground without much reward or success. According to a 2011 study by the US Treasury Department, almost 90% of small business owners make less than $50,000 a year – in other words, all they really “own” is a bad job, complete with long hours, high stress and relatively low pay.

Shooting Star

You’re probably familiar with the warning that fast growth can be more dangerous to a company’s health than slow growth. There are many reasons for this, which I’ll discuss in detail in a future blog post.

In a nutshell, when a business shoots to the top at lightning speed, often the owner gets overwhelmed and doesn’t have the right resources in place to adapt and handle the growth. Also, many business owners get into trouble by trying to serve too many small clients, instead of investing their resources into finding large clients that would sustain the business after their small client sales slow down.

Catch the Big Fish

This path allows you to build at a steady pace that you can handle – by not allowing your customers to outpace you.

Here are four tips to succeed at this level:

  1. Put systems into place to attract, keep and lock in big clients.
  2. Integrate a “Think Big” culture into your company and employees.
  3. Focus on acquiring the expertise you need to grow.
  4. Have the courage to make changes as you grow.

Now let’s talk about having a “Big Fish” mindset…

It may sound easy to just find and catch that Big Fish, but if you are stuck in a small business mindset, you may find it much harder than you think.

The first step you should take is to convince yourself of some of the benefits of aiming to serve a relatively few bigger clients as opposed to a mass of small ones.

Here’s the good news…

A Big Fish-focused strategy will:

  • Require a smaller marketing investment
  • Result in higher overall profits
  • Give your business more longevity
  • Allow you to operate with more security

In order to catch the Big Fish, you need to believe you and your company can make a difference to them. It’s easy to think that a large company couldn’t possibly need anything from a small business like yours – but that’s completely wrong!

Once you develop that proper mindset, the next step you need to take is to figure out which Big Fish are the best fit for the solutions your company can provide. Then you’ll want to put together your “get in the door” strategy. One of the best ways to open a potential business relationship is to know someone on the inside who can put in a good word for you – but there are certainly other strategies if your rolodex is lacking.

If you’re not sure where to start and feel a little intimidated about catching Big Fish, take advantage of my FREE test drive of The World’s Most Powerful Client Attraction Program Ever Created to get the support and help you need with this strategy, plus dozens more:

—–> SSSMarketingUniversity.com/guidedtour

2 Responses to Catching The Big Fish

  1. Tony Ostian Reply

    March 6, 2013 at 9:11 am

    Steve: Excellent content! Look forward to reading the rest of your blog posts on this topic.

  2. Janet Reply

    March 20, 2013 at 10:23 pm

    You make some good points Steve. Sometimes it is hard to take the steps and get out of your own way of those old patterns and beliefs.

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