The journey to start and grow your business can be a rocky road. There are things that you can only learn from experience. Some of these lessons have to be learned, but there are many you can avoid if you know what to watch out for.
The stats on business failure are downright depressing, but those stats don’t have to your story. Failure doesn’t have to be business-ending event; it can be one necessary step in the journey to create the business and life you want.
As you start or build your business, watch out for these five things that successful entrepreneurs would never do again.
1. Hesitate to raise their prices.
Self-limiting beliefs in yourself or your business can keep your prices out of line from the value and results you get your customers. You do good work, but you worry that if you raise your prices you’ll lose too much business.
Our goal should always be to get compensated what we’re worth. If a customer doesn’t want to hire you because your prices are too high, they’re probably someone you wouldn’t want to work with anyway. Successful entrepreneurs avoid "tire kickers" at all cost. They learned long ago it's not worth the effort to try to convert them, and even if they did, there will always be a complaint from them.
Good customers see the value in hiring someone who has done what they want to do and can help reduce their learning curve. Pricing should be based off of value, and successful entrepreneurs charge according. If you’re doing good work and helping people, charge a fair price that makes what you do worth your time and effort. Your time is your most valuable resource.
2. Blindly following popular accepted advice.
There are tips and strategies that have been passed around so much they’re considered fact. These urban legends might work for some other business owner, but that doesn’t mean it will have any impact on your business.
Testing and feedback from your customers are the only ways to hone in on best practices and what you need to help your business grow. Your decisions should be based on figures, not hearsay. The next time you see someone touting their amazing results from using a certain strategy, smile and determine to research it for yourself. It's better to make a profit than be popular.
3. Give away their expertise for free.
There was a time when the “free” consultation call was how you got business. These days we have blogs, podcasts, and video. We put free information out to the world as a way of starting to get customers to know, like, and trust us. These mediums are the new free consultation call.
People don’t value something they get for free. You lessen the value of what you sell, and you sacrifice your most valuable resource, your time. Every minute of a successful entrepreneurs time has a cost associated with it. They don’t waste it by giving it away for free.
4. Give credence to the detractors.
There are too many jaded present and former business owners and customers. Their main goal is to try to bring everyone else down to their level. Avoid these people and what they have to say. Their negativity will affect you and how you see what you’re building.
Realize what happened to them doesn’t have to happen to you, and what they say has no bearing on your success. Ignore the detractors and choose to spend your energy on those whom you serve. You're not doing what you do for them, you're doing this to help and serve your customers.
5. Lose focus.
These days the Internet and social media have created an environment that’s ripe with distraction. We hear the popular advice, we witness success from other entrepreneurs and we get distracted trying to replicate what they’re doing.
The key to gaining traction in your business is learning and understanding where to focus your time and what strategies will work for your business. You ignore what could work and use data to amplify what does works. Working in uninterrupted blocks of time is a secret strategy of successful entrepreneurs.
This can be one of the best years for your business or the same as every other year. We all can benefit from the knowledge and experiences of those that came before us. If you’re going to fail, do it quickly and recover ready to make your business even stronger.