It’s impossible to escape the millions of entrepreneurial advice articles floating around the web, and whether you like them or not, the significance often gets lost in translation. One article tells you one thing, and another article tells you something completely different. As an entrepreneur its obvious you are going to have a few missteps here and there, but understanding what not to do is sometimes more important than getting advice on what you should do. In a dynamic and changing marketplace, take these tips with a grain of salt.
1. Customers Value Price More than Anything
A business with a great differentiated value proposition is able to charge much more than a business that focuses on pricing. Sure pricing matters, but from a marketing standpoint, the way you really succeed as a business is delivering superior value where others fail. If your value proposition is a “low cost leader” than pursue that route with all your heart’s content, but beware, a price focused business model isn’t always the most sustainable. Take Apple for example, Apple products are sometimes double the price of other similar products. The Macbook can run upwards of $3,000, but people value their product so much the price doesn’t matter. If you are launching your business focus on value first and price second.
2. You Need a Business Plan
Anybody who tells you that you need a business plan either doesn’t understand the competitive landscape or is “old school.” Nowadays, business plans are used primarily for attracting investors, and often fail to account for changing external factors. Industry is constantly changing, so cementing your business within a business plan will potentially hurt you more than help.
3. Follow the Money
Pursuing industries and products just because they are profitable is both illogical and risky. Following where the money is distracts your company from the main reason you created it. You obviously created the business to make money, but having your main focus be creating revenue from the get-go is silly. There is a saying, businesses shouldn’t turn a profit till year 5, and I think that is even pushing it. If the world was a perfect place, the most passionate and dedicated entrepreneurs would succeed, not the most financially savvy.
You are going to get skeptics. People are naturally skeptical. Skeptical of new products, new ideas and competition; but this shouldn’t stop you. Take a rapper’s mentality and use your “haters” as fuel to your fire, take their criticisms and run with it. Your critics offer valuable insight in to potential problem areas, don’t quit, innovate.
5. Copy Your Competitors
Taking ideas is one thing, taking a business plan and strategy is a whole other animal. One of the easiest ways to kill a company is to be killed by another business that was there before you. A better idea would be to take one business idea and clearly innovate the idea, in all facets of your business processes.
Starting a business is one of the most stressful, confusing times, but it is also extremely exciting and fun. Understanding what works and what doesn’t for your business, takes time, but being patient and focusing on improving internally is the best thing you can do.
Matt Krautstrunk is an expert writer on telemarketing services based in San Diego, California. He writes extensively for an online resource that provides expert advice on purchasing and outsourcing decisions for small business owners and entrepreneurs such as b2b telemarketing at Resource Nation