Stack the Cards in Your Favor by Knowing these Common Mistakes
This post is about the six mistakes solopreneurs and entrepreneurs must avoid. Despite the common wisdom, they continue to be ignored. Don’t be the one who ignores these pitfalls.
Mistake #1: Building a Widget or Starting a Service First and then Trying to Sell It
This is still the most common mistake a rookie makes and is probably the cause of more failures than any other thing. I’m not sure why this is, but I see people convinced that their idea is so amazing, customers will flock to them.
This is 99.9% of the time not true. This mistake must always be avoided – particularly in midlife where time, money, and energy must be preserved. Here is how to avoid it:
- Go to Google and research e.g.: ‘doggie day care near ski resorts’
- Is there anyone else doing the same thing?
- No? You’re in trouble already.
- Yes? Great! Research all the other doggie day care facilities near ski resorts.
- Learn to be a great researcher. Google is a miracle and your friend.
- What is the problem you can solve for people better than anyone else who already runs such a business?
- If you are absolutely sure there is a problem you can solve, go to step 2.
“To a man with a hammer, everything looks like a nail” – Mark Twain
Mistake #2: Not Knowing if there Is a Large Enough Market You Can Reach
- How much demand is there for a doggie day care near the Snowbowl Ski Resort?
- Is there competition? (good thing)
- Do people also go to the resort in the summer and want to board their dogs for the day?
Mistake #3: Not Knowing Exactly Who Your Customer Is
- Do you know your customer avatar? (if you don’t know what an avatar is go to Google and learn)
- Do you know their unmet needs, wants, and desires?
- Do you know what their objections might be to your offering?
- Do you know how they speak?
- Do you know something about their income?
- Do they spend money on doggie day care?
- Do you know what their fears are regarding their pets?
Mistake #4: Unrealistic Financials
- How much do people pay on average to board their dogs?
- How many customers would it take to cover expenses for at least a year?
- Have you considered every possible expense?
Mistake #5: Unrealistic Time Lines (“My Ship is Coming in Soon”)
- Remember the old chestnut ‘everything takes longer and costs more.’
- Do you have enough ‘runway’ (money) to survive for at least a year?
- Waiting for the ship to come in at the eleventh hour to save you when your money is nearly gone is going to sink your ship 99% of the time.
Mistake #6: No Plan and No Strategy
- This is one of the biggest problems I see. If you have a plan and no strategy you’re in trouble.
- If you have a strategy and no plan, you’re also in trouble.
- No expert help. Maybe you think you can read a book and save money on expert help. You’re in trouble again.
- I can’t tell you how much money, time, life energy I’ve lost not having expert help. I mean real expert help. Ask for references from successful business people. Get the best expert advice you can, it will save you tons of money and much lower therapy bills.
Question: What other questions do you have about your idea or find helpful to ask? Leave your answer in the comments below.
Story of the Photo & Credits: Pixabay