In the 20 years, I have been building businesses for both myself and partners, I have come across some surprising things that budding entrepreneurs do.
It is a running joke that many entrepreneurs are just unemployed dreamers who are permanently broke.
In fact, it isn’t any wonder they are so if they continually make the same mistakes every time they set up a new venture.
It occurred to me very early on that we, as business owners are susceptible to pattern behaviour. In other words, we are very good at repeating the same mistakes over and over in the hope that eventually, one day, we do just might work.
Of course, it never does, but this encouraged me to think seriously about the reasons why such a much percentage of new start-ups fail each year, regardless. What is finances? Was it the economic downturn? Was it Brexit? Well, no. It is never any of these, but what I am about to share with you will be for many, I hope, the ‘aha’ moment new business owners search high and low for:
- Failing to manage what goes out and what comes in: You would think that as reasonably well-adjusted adults, we would be able to transfer without hesitation our abilities to budget, but no. In fact, as much as many of us are okay with figuring out how much we’ve got at the end of the month, when it comes to setting up our businesses, all financial sense goes flying out of the window. This is apparent in the statistics that show us that start-up businesses have got a better chance of succeeding if their founder is female. As women have a better understanding about household budget, females are more likely to do better in juggling finances in setting up business. Perhaps it’s no wonder then, that men who live on their own have a higher chance of building a sustainable business.
- Reviewing your business regularly: Even the most successful multi-million-pound business owners in the world review their business ideas every so often. It is an excellent habit to get in to. Just taking some time to sit and take stock from the first vision to where you are now can often highlight strengths and weaknesses that might be invisible to the naked eye. It is always worth even sitting down and considering the original idea to help you stay on track of your plan is worth doing long term.
- Understanding your customer as a person: Even if you are running a billion-pound chain of super supermarkets, you are going to still must do some customer research before you fling the doors open on a Monday morning. You still need to see your customer as a person rather than a section of society. It doesn’t matter how big your annual turnover is and how many people you get swarming through the doors every week, if you don’t see your customer as a living and breathing person with ups and downs like the rest of us, you won’t stay true to your vision for every long, and guess what? Your customers will be able to sniff that one out a mile away.
- Understanding your irresistible offer: Mark Joyner who wrote the classic business bible ‘The Irresistible Offer’ puts the concept of selling in a complete, neatly adjusted bubble. You are nothing but your offer. Your offer is your business. It is not people, it is not the postcode your office sits in, it is your offer. Read this book. You couldn’t do much better than invest a few quid in getting this book into your hands. It might save your business. In short, it will force you to see what you’re doing from a different and surprising angle.
- Sell your solution, not your product: It is the basics of human psychology: everything we do, every second of the day, we are moving away from pain and towards pleasure. I defy you to come up with a millisecond of your day when you are not doing exactly that. Your product needs to be the same. Your customer has a pain you need to cure and turn into pleasure for them. Sell your solution, never your product.
It is our belief that if you complete these five things, by all odds, you WILL stay in business. It’s called not taking your eye off the ball, and as soon as you can master that, they’ll be no stopping you.
If you’ve got any questions or you would like just a general rant about running a business, we would love to hear from you. Please leave us a comment below and we’ll see if we can shed a little more bright light on your working week.
What to do now…
Are you struggling to make money on your website or your blog? Are you wondering why so many bloggers make vast amounts of money on their site and you don’t? Then you will love our next article which you can read HERE: WEALTHY AFFILIATE: SCAM OR NOT? OUR ALL OUT 2018 REVIEW ON THE BIGGEST AFFILIATE PROGRAM IN THE WORLD
Michelle Hatcher is a digital and affiliate marketing expert and entrepreneur. She is the former editor and founder of the UK’s only digital vintage publication, The Vintage Eye from which its sister email newsletter, the TVG, rocked up 60,000 subscribers in its first 6 months of publication.