In the live video above I talk about several factors that cause new businesses to stall or die. Below are some of the show notes from the video.
Watch the video to hear me discuss in detail these small business mistakes to avoid.
Have you determined if people want or need your product before spending resources and time developing it?
If not, you should.
Market research is imperative before you throw all your chips in to create a new product or service. Validating whether people want or need your product is part of that research.
This is why creating a minimal viable product is so important.
The idea of the minimal viable product can be applied to any small business owner or entrepreneur.
Too many startups begin with an idea for a product that they think people want. They then spend months, sometimes years, perfecting that product without ever showing the product, even in a very rudimentary form, to the prospective customer. When they fail to reach broad uptake from customers, it is often because they never spoke to prospective customers and determined whether or not the product was interesting.
I’ve made the painful mistake of creating a product before validating whether it would sell.
I wanted to teach moms how to plan awesome inexpensive vacations for themselves and their families.
I had it all mapped out. I created modules and lessons which I wrote out in a binder. I spent a week buried in my notebook doing this work.
When I went to market to sell, I got nothing but crickets. My fragile little feelings were hurt.
That was on me. I failed to do my homework.
It took me a few months to recover from that and get back to the drawing board.
Once I listened to what my ideal clients truly wanted (someone else to plan their trips – without kids), I was able to offer something viable.
And I sold.
Entrepreneurs are consummate creatives. Unfortunately, as a creator you’re brain tends to be all over the place.
You multitask your ideas, your tasks, and sometimes new products you want to introduce to your market.
But we do ourselves more harm than good when we juggle too many things.
Psychology Today notes that we could actually lose 40% productivity when we try to multitask.
We can stretch this idea beyond tasks and apply it to creating or launching multiple products. It’s hard to give a project 100% when our attention and resources are divided across several projects at once.
Before you add another product line to your business, make sure that you develop, validate and sell one thing first.
Once you’ve done the work on one, go head and add the second.
Raise your hand if you’re a victim of shiny object syndrome. Objects can be courses, products, tools, or people.
Admittedly, I have a tendency to suffer from shiny object syndrome.
What I’ve found is that when my business stalls or when I’m not in motion, I think that this next great thing is going to help me get over the hump.
It rarely does.
We usually have everything that we need to be successful. However, because things aren’t moving fast enough for us or exactly how we anticipate, we allow ourselves to become distracted by the next marketing message that promises to move things along faster.
It can be a challenge to get over this.
Tip: I go through my recent purchases and take inventory of all the tools, books and courses that I’ve purchased. Then I put a check mark next to the ones that I use, half-completed, or never opened. This helps make it easier to turn a blinds eye to the next slick offer I see.
This exercise (as well as an accountability partner) helps me to keep my dirty little habit in check.
If you want to stall your business, constantly buying a shiny new object is the way to go.
It’s simple math: if you’re always consuming, it’s hard to produce.
You’re either a seller or a forever buyer. Cool thing is you get to decide.
Your business is like chicken. It tastes much better when you give it time to season.
All the ingredients you pour into it need a chance to absorb into the cells and fibers.
Building a business, authority, or an audience is a process. Contrary to popular belief, very few ideas go viral. And even when they do, virality doesn’t last.
AND it’s hard to replicate!
Building a business takes patience, drive, consistency, systems, and numerous iterations.
It also takes external influence to help keep you disciplined, on track and accountable to grow faster than if you were to go at it alone.
Oprah Winfrey’s life coach Martha Beck, keeps the media mogul on track to work through roadblocks that may affect her bottom line. Apparently she’s the life coach for a lot of other big coaches.
So ask yourself, if some of the most successful people in the world are employing external influence for success in their life and business, why wouldn’t you? Honestly, this is one of the most common mistakes small businesses make.
Most non profits and startups have an advisory board. Every corporation has a board of directors. Successful athletes work with a trainer.
All use outside influence to take them to the next level.
Many small businesses don’t avoid this mistake because they are too focused on the short term spend instead of the long run investment.
You want to be successful? Copy what other successful people do. Plain and simple.
If you want to stall or kill your new business, then swim against the tide of what works.
Let me know how that goes.
In the meantime, leave a comment below. Tell me what you think about these small business mistakes to avoid.
Which of these 4 factors do you identify with or suffer from? If you need help getting unstuck, apply to set up a call. I’d love to see how I can help you make a change.
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