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Top 10 Stumbling Blocks that Limit
in history have more entrepreneurs launched more new businesses! In
America, thousands of business open their doors every single day! Unfortunately, most of them (over 90% of them) also close their doors
within two years. Businesses are started with high hopes and glorious
dreams. It is easy to start a business. It is much more
difficult to build it, to make it succeed, to avoid the traps and pitfalls
and frustrations, and enjoy the fruits of success over the years. In
working with hundreds (probably two to three THOUSAND) entrepreneurs over
25 years, here are the mistakes I see most often. Avoid them!
Fear and Confusion. There is either a sense of
being over-whelmed by the size of the tasks, or a refusal to master the
work of being an entrepreneur and business owner. There are specific skills to
owning and running a successful business. Learn them! You can master this! You can focus and succeed! (This is often the time to hire
Lack of Capital. Capital comes in three forms: Time, money, and energy. Some people have one or two,
but not all three, and they fail because they simply can not sustain
the growth phase of their business.
EVERY business is a commitment of everything you have. You may start “small”, but
that does not mean casual or part-time!
Lack of Courage or Commitment. Building a business is always
risky. Some people
perceive the risk as frightening, others see it as
an exciting challenge, but there is
always risk. Manage it. Limit your potential losses. Understand the risks and enjoy the process. You
will make mistakes. Learn
from them and go on.
Refusal to select and target an
audience. No one can
sell their services to “everyone” – a message that goes to
everyone is unlikely to create a sense of urgency in anyone in
focus on one type of law. Physicians
specialize. So should you.
Choosing the wrong audience. A market that can not or will
not pay or an audience that is too small or dispersed is a recipe for
disaster. The “poor”
desperately need medical, dental, legal and other services, but who is
going to pay you? The same
problem exists when trying to reach an audience that is dispersed over
a large geographic area and not easily identified.
Fuzzy or unfocused message. What exact benefits do
you provide? To whom? Under what circumstances and at
what cost? How can people
contact you? Be precise,
be clear, be specific.
Lack of planning – too many random
entrepreneurs try a little radio, a direct mailing, join a service
organization, offer free samples, and then report that they have
“tried everything and nothing worked”. Pick one, and stay the course! You become identified with your
marketing techniques. Choose
a logo, a color-scheme, and a marketing technique and stay with it!
Too much advertising, too little
Advertising works best for tangible products because customers
can see the results. Intangible services are very difficult to advertise
and are almost always purchased based on the quality of the
relationship. The more
people know you, and the more they know about you and your caring, your
professionalism and your quality, the more business you will do. Build networks of
Laziness and/or Greed. Your business ONLY exists to
serve the customer! You
must make a profit in order to continue serving the customer, but
service is the key to success. Everything
must be focused on that. The
statement, “I want to be my own boss”, or “I want a business that
supports me” may be true (and be totally honest and reasonable), but
they are a dangerous focus for your business. Customers first!
Having a product or service that
fails to produce adequate benefits, or fails to serve as promised. Some professionals are
incompetent. Some don’t
use current technology, or are sloppy in their delivery.
Particularly with services,
even ONE mistake will undermine client confidence, loyalty, and trust. Do your best – every time!
Phil, Mary, and the Staff at
Resources for Success!™
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© Copyright 2003 by Philip E. Humbert. All Rights Reserved.
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