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8 common mistakes entrepreneurs make all the time

  • They invest time and money on products and services only to find out that they don't sell
    Instead of analyzing the market, they just go “all in” and when the problems arise, they will just keep going even harder without making a new analysis of the situation. To cling so hard to an idea that doesn't work is dangerous. It's crazy. It's irresponsible. It's ... well, I'm sure you can imagine how upset I've become over this. All companies have to constantly adapt to reality to meet the needs that are out there. Ego and pride won't make you any money.

    2. They're full of shit (to put it bluntly)
    Business owners are, of course, quite naturally proud and excited about what they do, but they also tend to forget that people are smart. Customers want to know everything. They want to know that what they are buying is right for them. It's very simple really. If you’re going to make money as an entrepreneur, you must become the customers' best friend, not just a peddler.

    3. They don’t keep track of money
    Not knowing what is available and what is coming in and going out of the account is crazy. I usually tell my clients that they MUST learn the business side of keeping track of budgets, liquidity and accounting. Otherwise, you're bound for trouble! Sole proprietorships are the worst in my experience. They mix personal finances with the company's money in a way that makes me afraid of the dark and turn them into peptic ulcer patients.

    4. They accept weaknesses too lightly
    Whether it's bad staff, bad policies, bad partnerships or bad customers - doing business with bad things doesn't work. Think of your business as a child to be cared for, educated and eventually let lose to care for himself/herself. You can't always choose your childrens friends, but you can always choose your corporate friends.

    5. They confuse reality with dreams
    When you have a good relationship going - ask yourself if it's too good to be true. If it feels that way, it's usually the case. Keep dreaming, but always be realistic when it comes down to decisions. Many business owners don't care too much about the regular customers in search for the big boost.

    6. They don't realize why they have to sell so hard
    If you find that you have to work like an animal in order to sell, it's time to change the sales formula. Maybe you should sell to another target group or change what you are selling so that it appeals to more customers. It might also be that you need to get better at explaining what customers win by becoming your customer.

    7. They do too little - or too much themselves
    Some business owners outsource everything to others and lose money in wide streams because they think it's beneath their dignity to roll up their sleeves and get down to the nitty gritty. And others waste valuable time that they could have spent selling to sit down with administration most of the time. Find the balance.

    8. They give up too easily and too quickly
    Successful entrepreneurs have a lot of old war wounds, scars and bruises to show for their success. They have taken the hits required to succeed and they have learned to avoid the same mistakes again. They know that it's all part of the enterprise game to sometimes fail and that anyone who doesn't give up always wins in the end.

    Well, what do you say? You may experience the above as a hefty scolding, but also see some points that may apply to you and help you develop further. I hope so.

About the author

Stefan Ekberg has worked in marketing for small business for 20 years and has written around 30 books on how small business owners can market themselves with limited resources. . In 2012 Stefan was nominated as Entrepreneur of the Year in Stockholm.

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"The 5 minute marketer" - the book
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