small business brisbane

Are you an amateur or a pro in your business? Here are 6 signs you’re a pro

Being a professional in how you run your business gives you a much greater chance of success. Here are six signs you’re a pro:

You recognise other professionals

Professionals recognise other professionals. There’s an aura you project when you’re a pro, and other pros will spot it almost immediately. Professionals want to deal with other professionals, and they keep away from the amateurs. It’s a different league. Do you want to play with the professionals? Then be one. 

You understand the value of the services you use

The amateur looks to cut corners everywhere. He is always scrounging around looking for the cheapest option (Hint: someone, somewhere, will almost always offer to do it for less!)

The amateur doesn’t value professionals. She thinks they are overcharging her for everything, or worse, she thinks she can just do it all herself. “Why pay someone to run my Google Ads, when I can do it myself” she says. But then she finds those ads don’t convert into new customers, and they end up costing way more than they should. Then the amateur throws her arms up in the air and says that Google Ads are a waste of money. Meanwhile, the professional has an expert running her Google Ads and has just quadrupled her business in six months.

You’re prepared to pay for expert help

The pro understands that professionals pay for expertise. The amateur gets his cousin to build his new website in exchange for a case of beer. But then that website takes forever to get built, and when it finally does go live, the images take too long to load, and it’s missing lead generation devices, or it hasn’t been optimised correctly for search engines, or any of the other things that a professional would have done to use the website to help the business grow. The professional gets his website built by a pro, and while it might cost more, before too long, that site is getting found on Google and it’s generating new leads and new customers for the business.

You see an investment where an amateur just sees a cost

The amateur looks at the cost of a service and just sees it as an expense. That new website; the management of Google Ads or Facebook advertising; the marketing strategy – to an amateur, these are just costs.

The professional looks at return on the investment. The pro thinks about things like the lifetime value of a customer, and compares that to the customer acquisition cost. That is, how much is a new customer worth? And what did it cost to acquire them?

If a new client is going to be worth $50,000 to your business, and they cost $5,000 to acquire, would you do it? These are the questions a professional asks. The amateur just sees the $5,000 and views it as an expense. The professional sees the value, and the return from the investment, and uses that thinking to grow his business.

You run your business the way a captain steers a ship

The professional has a plan, the way a captain has a course. That plan shows a starting point and a destination. The professional spends her time working to the plan, doing what she is an expert at, and she engages other professionals to do what they are expert at. And before long, the business is being run as a professional outfit, achieving much better results.

You show up and do the work

The professional shows up. He turns up everyday, and does what is required, day in and day out. The amateur looks for the easy way out.

Muhammad Ali said “I hated every minute of training, but I said, ‘Don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.’” He showed up. He was a pro.

He also said “The fight is won or lost far away from witnesses – behind the lines, in the gym, and out there on the road, long before I dance under those lights.”

Sure, the amateur can get lucky. Could an amateur have knocked out Ali? It’s remotely possible – very, very, very remotely possible. The “lucky punch” can land, pretty much the way a lottery ticket could win. Ali would have won, and won easily against an amateur while he was in his professional prime. It wouldn’t even have been a contest.

That’s the life of the professional: They do the work. They are always looking to improve themselves and their business, and they surround themselves with a team of experts (both internal and external to the business) who help them get there.

You have a choice: to be an amateur or a professional in your business.  But if you want to give your business the best chance of success, then take the road of the professional.