10 Ways Entrepreneurs Shoot Themselves In The Foot
Entrepreneurs and their businesses have a tendency to ambushthemselves when they aren't looking. This affects how muchrevenue they can generate, how fast their business rises,and even if they survive after the first few years. If youfeel there is a possibility you are getting in your way tosuccess, review these elements to see if any of these itemsmight apply.
1. Imagine investing time and money into a product orservices, only to find that it isn't selling. Or at leastit doesn't have the results that you expected. Now, I'mtalking realistic here, and not some grandiose vision. It'shard to give up something when you have invested yourresources into something, more importantly, you have spoutoff to the world (okay, friends and family) that you weredoing it.
Gluing yourself to an idea, product, or service that isn'tmaking any money or enough money to support the businessisn't smart. Ego and pride don't make money. Gettinghitched to any one idea, or even two, that isn't profitableisn't smart. Every product climbs and falls -- evenMcDonalds drops a product when it doesn't test strong. Ideasare the currency of entrepreneurs, make money with them orlet them go.
2. Be proud of being an entrepreneur. DFor some reason,the title entrepreneur seems to have caught a disease, butthat shouldn't be the case. Be proud of being anentrepreneur. when someone asks you, don't mumble, and don'tcall it by another name, as if being an entrepreneur wassomehow unprofessional. The same applies to the title ofindependent professional -- which is another name forentrepreneur. Stand tall and proud.
When I ask people at networking events if they're anentrepreneur, they often respond with strange body language.Some shift their stance uncomfortably, sometimes their handgoes over their mouth and they let out a barely audible,"yes," and sometimes they even correct me, using some othertitle.
3. No bologna (or b.s.). Entrepreneurs can be naturallyexcited and optimistic about what they are doing. Don't letthe excitement sound like hype. Because of this peopledon't trust you. Don't just tell the pros, add the cons.Let people know, who is the best person for this service ?not everyone, or what circumstances are best for theproduct. People aren't stupid but if they have to figurethe cons of the product or service, you will most likelylose the sale.
4. Being in denial of your cash position. Not balancingthe checkbook, not knowing what your accounts receivables,payables, or what the break even cost is for a product orservice, isn't smart business. If you don't know what itis, get a book on the topic or talk to an accountant.Denial creates fear, and fear creates denial. It's avicious circle that creates stress and ulcers. Short termprojects turn around short term dollars. Long term projectsnever turn around short term dollars. Be realistic with allyour resources.
5. Accepting weak any bodies. Whether its weak staff, weakclients, weak strategic alliances, or anyone else in yoursupport realm. If you are attracting weak people, you aregiving weak signals. Change your signals and you willchange what you attract. To attract strong people, you needstrong signals.
6. Confusing possibility with reality. One of the maincharacteristics of an entrepreneur, and this could be one ofthe reasons people may not like using the name, is theirgift to see everything in possibilities, yet spend money inthe world of reality. Money is always reality.
7. Selling or trying too hard to explain what you sell. Ifyou find yourself pushing what you're product or servicedoes, it is time to change your "success formula." Commoncauses are: (1) You are trying to sell to someone who isn'tyour target, or (2) If you have the right target and youdon't know what you are selling. You can only handle thisin two ways, know what the customers are buying, or know thebenefits of what you are selling. Benefits in the termscustomers need to hear and understand, not what you chooseto say.
8. Lack of any or adequate support structures. If it takesa village to raise a child, what do you think it takes toraise a business. Surely, not a lone ranger. Work withothers to help handle your many business and personal needs.Entrepreneurs need support, even if it's only a feeling.Arrange to have a support structure for every part of yourbusiness. Keep in mind tip number five above for this aswell.
9. Over or under delegating. It is so hard forentrepreneurs to begin to delegate. Yet once they do theyseem to swing the pendulum completely to the opposite sideand over delegate. Over delegating is "dumping" on people.Even paid people, don't like being dumped on. Feeling incontrol is a need of most people, entrepreneurs aren't anydifferent. They look at it as a money or trust issue, whenin actuality it's usually a control issue. Delegateappropriately and with people that think you can trust. Letthe trust build over time.
10. Stop giving up so easily. Successful entrepreneursdon't see failure. They see learning lessons. They pickthemselves up, dust themselves off, change and adjust, andkeep moving. Being an entrepreneur, during the early yearsof a business -- that is under five years for mostprofessionals, takes more work than being an employee. Evenif you are a graduate with an MBA in business. Don'tinclude your learning curve time in with the rest of yourtime. Everyone has a learning curve of some kind.
Catherine Franz, a Professional Marketing &Writing Coach, specializes in product development, Internetwriting and marketing, nonfiction, training. Newsletters and articles available at: http://www.abundancecenter.comblog: http://abundance.blogs.com
Oil Change Guys History; Part III
Studying the history of franchise companies is interesting is watching all the ways they grew and all the partnerships, vendors and mergers along the way. It is a myriad of deals and team building, which makes it all possible. Continuing Part III of the saga:
Ten Traits of Successful Entrepreneurs
Successful entrepreneurs have many traits in common. Here are ten of those traits that I consider to be very important.
Achievements Outweigh Education and Experience
Q: When it comes to succeeding in business, which do you think is more important: education or experience?-- Regina M.
Six Steps to Guarantee Your Business Success
Many of us slave away for years for one uninspiring company after another and dream of the day when we can sack the boss and go it alone.
The 9 Key Distinctions of Successful Solo-Entrepreneurs!
SUCCESSFUL Solo-Entrepreneurs approach life and business from a perspective that is new, fresh, and rather unorthodox. The differences are subtle, yet significant. These distinctions are more than just fads or interesting tips; they are direct, measurable SHIFTS in how you will approach your business, your personal life, your relationships, etc. - for the rest of your life! They are direct from the experience of hundreds of successful solo-entrepreneurs!
History of Enterprise Car Rentals
So few really understand the drives and motivations of entrepreneurs. Many write about them, some lecture and teach about what they are, how they operate and what they have achieved; yet so few really understand them. So many fail to realize the dedication and sacrifice it takes to win at that level and the super stars are so rare that one just has to look in awe. One of the greatest stories of Entrepreneurial success is that of Jack Taylor who founded Enterprise Rent-A-Car. I therefore recommend this book about the History of Enterprise Rent-A-Car Book is;
Documenting Partnerships in Your Business Plan
Forging partnerships to improve market penetration has become commonplace, particularly for "new economy" businesses. And, most companies proudly mention their many partnerships in their business plans.
Corporate Espionage in Franchising
Franchising Trade Journals do not do well, because today with all the industry regulations only about 1800 active franchise actually exist in the US. Down sharply over the past five years. Why? Over-regulation. Now you have a Bank Cooperative, which owns a company that collect data, FranData of Uniform Franchise Offering Circulars, which are the industries required disclosure documents to new franchise buyers. The company sells it to attorneys and to competitors of which many probably are financed through that bank. My God can this be real. Then they work with industry Trade Journals to do Top 50 franchises lists, but to be qualified to be reviewed they of course wish to see your UFOC; Uniform Franchise Offering Circular.
Getting Rich Isnt a Bad Idea
You've seen plenty of articles claiming to offer you the secret to getting rich. Some ideas, however, are thin veneers covering some scheme that often involves multi-level marketing or a service with questionable intents.
Entrepreneurs, Are You Hauling Buckets?
Once upon a time, there was a village on the banks of a fine, clear river. The villagers all drew their water from the river, and used it to cook, and bathe and water their gardens. Life was good.
Leadership Attributes for Business Success
Business success is essentially the result of successful leadership. Contrary to the popular myth, leaders are not just born. Leadership skills can be learnt and developed. A business is a distinct reflection of the leader, who may be the owner or manager. A business is never successful despite the leader, it is always successful or otherwise because of the leader.
Ancient Warrior Secrets For The Modern Entrepreneur
The words you see onscreen trigger subconscious responses. Dark images penetrate your mind. Your heartbeat increases slightly. Your muscles tighten. Like a warrior advancing to combat, you prepare to engage with your market. Ready, aim, fire. You send an email! Everyday, military metaphors are projected across our computer screens. Guerrilla marketing. Market penetration. Global domination. Competitive intelligence and more. How do you approach your marketing, your business? At the end of the day, do you feel like you have been in battle? Suffering battle fatigue.
Empathy - Not Business Plans - Key to Your Home Based Business Success - Do You Have Empathy?
EMPATHY is a Natural Talent, you were born with it and you will never loose it. It can be a blessing or a curse in a home based business. If you develop it, it can make you a Millionaire. Mary Kay, of Mary Kay cosmetics, did just that. If you have it, it is your most important key to a successful home based business. Business plans, cash flow projections, marketing analysis, etc. are skills that are needed in a home based business, but they can be learned from a workshops, courses or books. Your Natural Talent is what gives you the competitive edge.
Starting Your Business: It All Boils Down To Making Money and Saving Money
Bootstrapping in the context of business start-ups refers to the use of creative financing approaches such as leveraging personal savings, credit-card debt, loans from friends and family, bartering, and other means to launch a business. Some business founders use bootstrapping because they have no other choice. Just about anyone who has approached a bank has learned that "only established businesses need apply." Bankers typically look for cash flow, assets, an established customer base, and a successful track record on the part of the business that is seeking a start-up loan. Obviously, this is a short list that is impossible to fulfill when you are just getting started.
Bring That Difference To Your Business!
Romans had a phrase for this- First among Equals.
What Makes a Person an Entrepreneur?
Entrepreneurship is generally characterized by some type of innovation, a significant investment, and a strategy that values expansion. The entrepreneur is often quite different in mindset from a manager, who is generally charged with using existing resources to make an existing business run well. The roles of entrepreneur and manager are not necessarily incompatible, but entrepreneurs are seldom patient enough to be good managers.
Realism vs. Optimism in the Business Plan
The most important function of a business plan is to create interest among investors so that they write a check. In achieving this goal, business plan writers are often challenged by determining the proper level of optimism in their plan. That is, they must create a compelling story to investors while maintaining credibility.
An Entrepreneurs Challenge
Living in the twilight zone has its advantages. In the early days of starting my business, I found the limitations of living in a rural area to be restrictive. However, later I realized that those limitations were not an obstacle that could stop me; they were only a challenge that would strengthen me. Since my business would be smaller, I would have the advantage of fewer employees and less strife in the processes of doing business.
Electronic Tools for Entrepreneurial Success
"Half of any job is having the right tool" was one of the earliest lessons I learned from my father growing up on a farm in Nebraska. As an organizing and productivity consultant, it continues to serve me well.
Starting Up and Keeping Going
So you had that fantastic business idea, the one that'sgoing to be wildly successful and make you a fortune - andeven better, you actually did something about it and startedyour own business. Good for you! Not everyone gets eventhat far. Most people sit and day dream about what theymight do if only ....
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