Quite often I get chance to talk to entrepreneurs. Our talks goes on what is working and what is not, and about success and failures. I get to talk with seasoned veterans and complete newbies, and everyone else in between.
A topic that is often discussed in these talks is about the mistakes made in starting a business.
Newbies want to talk about it so they don’t repeat such things with their business. Veterans talk about it with a wish they had not made such a mistake.
Here is a brief look at the top mistakes that entrepreneurs make in their business:
- Keep Waiting Long to Launch a Product or Service
When you build a blog or podcast to develop an audience, businessperson often get entangled in the content for years or months and nothing is being offered for sale. The reason why this happens is:
Some businesspersons are waiting for a magic number such as “1,000 subscribers” or “10,000 visitors” or whichever number they might set as the target.
Some people are not able to find enough time to write a blog or create a podcast along with creating a product at the same time. It is not easy.
Some people don’t talk about their product just because they are afraid that no one will purchase it. They don’t want to see a failure after putting in so much effort.
Regardless of the reason, this situation is quite typical. When you decide to start a business you need to learn to face the risk head-on. The biggest risk in any business is creating a product or service that no one may want to purchase.
The best way to learn about the success or failure of a product is to launch it and get closer to a sustainable revenue.
- Solving an Unimportant Problem
You will not have to look for visitors or customers, provided the problem solved by you is important enough. For example, suppose you have cure for cancer.
Most of the businesses that fail, engage too much time in solving a problem that no one is really concerned about. In case no one is interested in purchasing the idea or product that you have put in the market, than you need to look for a problem that is significant, and not for a bigger audience.
- Not Paying Attention to What Customers Say
How can you find out if the problem solved by you is important enough?
The simple answer is by listening to customers.
You should not only listen to customers who validate your offering, but you should listen to those who purchase your product but do not use it or ask for refund. Listen to those people who don’t want to purchase your product and find out why.
Don’t try to convince your customers just by saying. There is a big reason as to why customers are always right, as it is because of them your business is in existence.
- Not Being Different Enough
Customers have a number of options to choose from in most markets. Every market has competition, therefore, you need to provide a reason as to why your customers should choose you over others.
This problem can be readily seen among new bloggers. They move straight to the topics that are popular and just try to copy or mimic them. They are of the assumption that if it worked for others, it will work for them too.
These people forget to think from the perspective of the visitors or readers. The first answer that a visitor is looking for is how this blog will be provide me better solution. This answer need to be provided clearly and quickly, before they hit the back button.
Your audience pool will not grow if you provide something that is of lower quality than popular websites. This applies even when your product or idea is better than the others.
Instead of just trying to be better, you need to be different too. This way you will be able to give a clear cut answer as to why a visitor should come to your website.
- Picking a Topic that You Don’t Care About
Regardless of the topic picked up by you, there is no substitute for deep knowledge of the subject, unwavering stamina and fresh creativity.
There will be competition who are looking at topics that you take. How will you compete in case the gap between your competitors and the topic you love is wide?
It does not mean that the business need to be your number one passion or the work of your life. Things will become quite difficult for you in case you pick something that you don’t really care about.
You will not have problem with stamina when you love your topic. Creativity will come out on its own and it will be easier to build influence.
- Starting with Wrong Expectations
It will not be easy and it not happen quickly.
Establishing a successful business requires a lot of work. It cannot be done if you spend too much time traveling around. Things will be much more tough in case you have a full-time job.
You will probably fail in case your timeline is measured in months or weeks or your plan involves four hour work weeks. These are the issues that people rarely talk about. There is no such thing as overnight success. It is quite possible that you may have to re-write your original plan, not once but may be many times.
Questions that need to be answered are:
Will this business still be worth in case it takes years to built it? What if establishing a business is more stressful and harder than your present job?
It is worth spending time and talking with those who achieved something which you aspire to achieve. Get to know what it really took them to get there. Ask them how much stress they had and what all they gave up. Ask them to tell the real picture. After knowing all that, next step is to ask yourself if you are ready to go through all this.