Credibility For Entrepreneurs

I do not know one of us in the Tarot world that could not be classed as an entrepreneur. And we are all looking for credibility. This is why the article “Trust Me”, by Quy Huy and Christoph Zott in the WSJ (11/30/09) was so interesting.

The authors talk about how, as an entrepreneur, we can get people to trust us when we have no track record. (The basis of this article were interviews done with key figures at 28 entrepreneurial ventures in the UK – including founders, investors, board members, employees and customers.)

A very important point is made when the authors states  that we need to pay attention to details – we cannot focus so sharply on building our business that we forget to do the things that send a message of credibility. in other words – face. We need to present a professional face, through the appearance of our websites, and  through timely follow-up, with customers, potential customers, investors and potential investors.

Another point that impressed me was what the authors termed “symbolic gestures” – meeting that were held in upscale venues, client testimonials on the web site … things that encourage credibility and “believability”.

Four basic areas of concern were broken down: personal credibility, company professionalism, track record, and emphasizing and building ties.

The main point with personal credibility is that we find a way to reassure people that we are personally capable and credible. It is suggested that an entrepreneur reveal things about their personal history and interests. I would say yes – as long as it is germane to the business. What we try and hide (such as a failed business int he past) will come back to bite us.

The company’s professionalism to me is a big deal. If you are a sole owner/proprietor, then you are the business. If you are in a partnership, then the group is hte business. There should be a professional look to all communications (ads, flyers, business cards etc.), and to the work premises. Business attire should be taken into consideration, as well as the location for the business. Both should encourage clients to come in.

In our world it is not hard to develop a track record. What is hard is to define what that track record is. Look to base your track record on satisfied customers, repeat customers and referrals. Being “right” has no place in the program (and this is my thought as pertains to our world, and not the authors thought in htis article).

Emphasizing and building ties is social networking, pure and simple. Associate yourself with network venues such as Twitter, Face Book and Linked In. Develop a following with people that are connected to your world – that you can help, and that can be of help to you. Partner with other entrepreneurs in real time – give referrals, do Podcasts, Internet Radio Shows, blog … keep name recognition in the forefront. (Please note – these are my suggestions for our world based on what the authors wrote for entrepreneurs in general.)   

Check this WSJ article out – amazing insight!

© December 2009 Bonnie Cehovet