5 things I did wrong early in my business journey.

  1.  Marketing an unproven product or service

Have you ever heard somebody say that “I am starting a business I am just waiting for the business card to arrive from the printers so that I can get started”.  Nowadays if I hear that from an aspiring business person I become sceptical about the chance of ultimate success. Starting running and growing a business has little or nothing to do with business cards!

 

It  has nothing to do with a good looking website,  if you do not believe me check out this website  http://www.berkshirehathaway.com/ , I believe it’s one of the worst business websites I’ve seen,  but you might be surprised to know  that that website is the primary business of the world’s most successful investor and one of the top ten richest men in the world today Warren Buffett.

warren buffet

Before any marketing the first task used to prove your product or service in the marketplace and obtain  feedback,  improve the product or service and  then obtain if you references in whatever format that maybe;  then maybe you now have something to market.

It has nothing to do with a good looking website

  1. Competing on Price

Whoever told you  that customers buy from the cheapest provider told you a big lie.  Yes we all like a deal but equally have attachments  to specific brands or providers for our specific products or services and those brands are not always the cheapest providers available.  People do everything they can to get the latest Apple product,  Apple is far from the cheapest product on the market.  Some people will never be caught dead shopping at Primark,  if we all shopped based on price then we will all shop at Primark.  You need to establish and create a reason why customers will buy from you other than price.  That reason may vary from quality of service,  flexibility of payment terms,  uniqueness of raw materials,  perception of premium value-  whatever it is you need to establish a very definable reason why people should buy from you and therefore pricing becomes is secondary consideration in the minds of your customers

  1. Partnering with the wrong people

“You can’t do a good deal with bad partners”,  I think it is the, now infamous, Donald Trump that made that statement,  and it is so true.  You need to establish what your values are as a business person  when you come across people news values are significantly at odds with yours,  it doesn’t matter how attractive the offer seems,  it is in long-term recipe for disaster.  However pragmatic judgement can mean you work with this people over a defined  time frame  or with clear documented an enforceable agreements or terms of service.

“You can’t do a good deal with bad partners”

  1.  Employing the wrong people

When you understand that there is nobody that is a BAD EMPLOYEE by definition but that many people even though they’re fantastic individuals they might not be the right employee for you and your business,  then you will be able to make decisions about whom to employ without feeling bad about your  employee decisions and actions.  the process of getting an employer in the right people is so complicated that there’s a field called HR  set aside for that process.  when you are starting off as a small business the best way to employ in my little experience  is by  strong competency based recommendations  from people you trust.  

trump

The day you realize that everyone cannot be your client no matter how hard you try, that day you become free and more strategic

 

  1. Loosely defining your market

Your market needs to be clearly defined not just a product or service but the geography of your operation how far from your base will you work.  I remember travelling over 200 miles to discuss with a company to take on some of my services,  I did not get the project after all that effort,  now my market is better defined to about a maximum of 75 miles from me in any direction,  it will take a real monster offer for me to be tempted to go outside of those boundaries and I have established that there is enough potential client based within  that defined geography for us to achieve our business goals.  Now are marketing and business efforts are localised meaning we spend less on marketing in a concentrated geography and therefore are potential to create a strong brand is greatly increased. The day you realize that everyone cannot be your client no matter how hard you try, that day you become free and more strategic.

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