Make data your friend. Even as a small business, there is so much you can gain by employing a holistic approach to data: The acquisition of data, analyzing said data, and constructing revenue-generating strategies around your data.
What do all entrepreneurs have in common? Well, besides the insatiable desire to start new businesses, help grow new businesses, and so on? One of the unique characteristics associated with folks like us is that we have always been like this, right?
For most of us, for as long as we can remember, we have always had this burning desire to start our own thing, be our own boss, write our own ticket, chart our own course, be in charge of our own destiny, ok I'll stop. It's almost like we were born this way.
And if you are one of those: an entrepreneur, a self-starter, and have been for a while, then you have probably attempted many, many businesses. I am almost sure of it.
Now, admittedly, since you have probably had a bit of a tight budget for most of your life, you have probably been drawn towards easy-to-start gigs. Am I right? Typically, these types of business opportunities involve directly selling some type of product or service. And do not require a whole bunch of upfront capital. Hey, we have all done it.
The thing is that these types of early-in-life business opportunities help acclimate us to many of the situational conundrums that life will inevitably throw at us down the line.
If you paid close attention during that summer that you sold lawn care services door-to-door, or that one year you sold health insurance services, you learned your first lesson about the importance of data.
You got to see what an impact having actionable data has on your business. What am I talking about? Well, let me take a step back and try to elaborate via the art of story-telling.
Say I hire you at my new insurance agency. Your first task? Call all the contacts in your phone. Those with who you have a personal relationship and try to sell them on the idea of getting health insurance coverage for themselves and/or a family member.
After a week or so, once you have worked your way through all your contacts, you begin to separate your contacts into three groups. You first set aside those who have some personal issue with you and although you remain cordial, they would not do any type of business with you. You know? The folks who just don't like you.
Once we set those aside, you will start to notice a pattern in the data. You will start to see that the folks who actually did business with you have some major elements in common. These elements could be based on levels of income, gender, geography, and so on.
In the "data business", these elements are often divided up into the psychographic, which takes into account a person's psychological characteristics, including subconscious or conscious beliefs, motivations, and priorities.
Sociographic, which explores your target audience's specific values, attitudes, friends, hobbies, passions, and influences.
The last and most common, the demographic, which I am sure you know takes into account elements such as age, gender, income, occupation & family status.
As you explore the data derived from successful sales opportunities, you will start to notice undeniable patterns.
In fact, a very clear picture of the type of person who is most likely to buy insurance products, as far as our scenario is concerned, will start to emerge. The more data points derived from as many sources as possible, in addition to your internal intel, the more refined one's business process will become.
If executed earnestly and consistently. As you grow your business, you will be able to, with the data already available to you, create a profitable business, built on “big data”.