6. Set realistic expectations for your business.
This is where I tell you to ignore the gurus that tell you how they made 7 figures in 6 months. I’m sure it’s true in some cases, but what they fail to tell you, is that it took them 5 years to set up their businesses model to that point.
You can learn by absorbing other people’s experiences and avoid a lot of unnecessary mistakes, but you still need to get your feet wet, test things out and find what works – this takes time.
When I first became an entrepreneur, I expected to have loads of clients. But when you’re a startup with a small professional network and limited know-how, it takes a lot of time and networking to grow. Be patient.
7. Learn From Others’ Mistakes
There’s nothing that can super-charge your business learning curve, than the experiences of others.
Life is really too short to expect that you can learn all the necessary business lessons from your personal experiences. That’s why it’s essential to watch others and learn. But here’s the thing: Free information can only get you so far.
The Internet is great, because it gives you a wealth of information, but on the other hand, you can suffer from information overload.
Instead, be prepared to invest in your small business education. Find a mentor, read books, join networking groups – do something other than depending on only your knowledge and free scraps of online information.
8. Market your business constantly.
You can have the best product and service in the world, but if people are not aware (and buying), you have a hobby and not a business.
Resolve to learn not only how to drive eyeballs to your business, but how to convert them into qualified leads. Whether you’ve got customers or not, your pipeline should always be full of potential customers.
9. Don’t undercharge.
Most solopreneurs I know always undercharge when they start a business. There’s a belief that higher prices will only come when more customers are buying.
Here’s the thing: once you have more customers, they are coming because of your low prices amongst other things. So, if you increase your prices after working to build a business based on your low prices, your business will suffer.
What has always worked for me is giving my target customers options.
I offer lower-end products that do not require any input from me and with this option, it’s up to the client to take the information and make it work. I also offer premium marketing solutions where I am a lot more involved and the client knows they are paying for my expertise — and faster results than they’d get if they were to go at it alone.
10. Learn how to close a sale.
Having qualified sales leads is not enough, you need to have sales systems that convert leads into paying customers. Meeting people, growing your contact list and building relationships will not grow your business. You need to look for clients and customers who will pay you.
Every entrepreneurship mistake I’ve made in my career has been a learning experience and stepping stone for me. Even though I made a lot of mistakes (and they were painful) I don’t regret making them, neither do i regret taking this path. Starting a business has led to some awesome insights, and I’ve gained so much experience.
What lessons do you wish you would’ve learned early on in business?
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