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Don’t Let Time Misrepresent Your Abilities
By: Tom Roarty
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I have always found it surprising how what should be common sense can so often be overlooked by business owners. I’m not referring to marketing strategies taught through the world’s great marketing programs, but simple, easy-to-spot red flags that could be the difference between a successful business and the focal point of ridicule.
 
When I lived in Pennsylvania, I always had to pass a certain house, but this was no ordinary house; it was also a business. The business was for a construction and home-improvement company. The thing that made this company stand out was not the fact that the house was huge, but rather how it was unfinished. One would expect a home-improvement business owner who uses his own home to showcase his talents to always be modifying it. This, however, was not the case. This house was just started and over time, outright neglected.
 
In talking to the owner over the years, I learned, as every other local in the area had, that the project was never finished because the propitiator was always too busy working on other people’s houses to finish his own. It is never a bad thing when there is too much work, or is it? Of course, the goal of any business is to make money, but doing so at the price of your portfolio is one of the worst things you can do.
 
When the economy was battered and home building and improvements dried up in the area, work became sparse to say the least. One of the biggest problems was that most of the area was comprised of vacation homes. Which meant that those few people who went to this business owner to see his work could not get access to view all of his abilities. Like many people, the financial future of this individual was not planned out, and what should have been the crown jewel of his portfolio, his own home, could not be finished, which eventually lead to the demise of his once very successful business.
 
What reminded me of this story was a walk I took through Brooklyn recently. On that stroll, I passed a building. For those of you who are not familiar with the area, buildings are plentiful, but this building stood out. Not for its character or splendor, but for its irony. The chipped and tattered paint peeling form the walls was home to a sign, which reminded me of that business owner in Pennsylvania. The sign read “Institute of Design and Con truction.” No, you didn’t just catch a typo; the letter “s” was actually missing from the word construction.
 
The sight reminded me of a lesson I learned years ago, not from advertising classes or through some secret design society, but through simple observation. You may have the best product in the world, but if it is not packaged properly, the legitimacy of it will all to often be overlooked. There are many parts to a successful business, campaign, or investment, and they all start with presentation. If you cannot find a way to represent yourself properly, why should anyone else have trust in your skills?


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