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7th December 2015

5 tips to avoid the mistakes that entrepreneurs make most often

Did you know it was Small Business Saturday this weekend?

Shoppers across the UK were encouraged to buy from independent stores as part of a campaign to boost high streets. Small Business Saturday is in its third year, and aims to encourage people to spend locally rather than with international chains. The UK Business Secretary Sajid Javid said: “Small Business Saturday is an opportunity to come together and generate a real boost for small firms in the run-up to Christmas.

I couldn’t agree more with him!

There are around five million small firms in the UK which employ half of the country’s workforce, never have more entrepreneurs launched more new businesses! Worldwide, tens of thousands of businesses open their doors every single day.

But by the same token, over 90% of them will also close their doors within 2 years. Small firms face a battle competing with big companies who can offer lower prices and have more resources to deal with issues such as administration, tax and staffing.

Businesses are started with high hopes and dreams. It’s easy to start a business. However, it’s much more difficult to build it, make it a success, avoid the pitfalls and frustrations and enjoy the fruits of your success over the years.

This being the case, here are 5 mistakes that entrepreneurs make most often. Avoid them!

  1. Fuzzy or unfocused message

What exact benefits does your business promote? To whom? Under what circumstances, and at what cost? How are you different to competitors? How can people contact you? Be precise, be clear, be specific.

  1. Fear and confusion

There is either a sense of being completely overwhelmed by the size of the tasks, or a denial that anything is actually wrong, or a refusal to master the work of being an entrepreneur and business owner. There are specific skills to owning and running a business. Learn them! You can master this! You can focus and succeed! And this is often the ideal time to hire an external coach or mentor.

  1. Lack of capital

Capital comes in three forms: time, money and energy. Some people have one or two, but not all three and because of this, they fail because they simply cannot 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!

  1. Too much advertising, too little relationship building

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, your professionalism and your quality, the more business you will do.

People buy people – build networks of relationships!

  1. A weak product or service

A product or service that fails to produce adequate customer benefits, or fails to serve as promised. Some professionals are incompetent. Some have outdated thinking, don’t use current technology, or are sloppy in their delivery.

Particularly when providing a service, even ONE mistake will undermine customer confidence, loyalty, and trust. So do your best – EVERY TIME!

If you believe that whatever you are selling is simply not good enough, then face up to it and either drop it, or improve it – but NEVER just sit and ignore it! If you do, you’ll soon be out of customers and out of business, period!

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