This is a continuation of our blog post from August 5th on “My Top 3 Business Mistakes, Lessons Learned: Call Me Human”. Take a look and tell us what you think. We have a business owner who wanted to add to our discussion below..Sharita Washington of Caymon Decor.
Whether you have been in business 1 day or 10 years there are a few mistakes that can stand to defeat any business person. In able to have a business that thrives we have to learn how to overcome a certain set of challenges that will pop up again and again over the years.
As a business person it is not our job to just prevent challenges it’s our job to find a way to move through them when they arise.It is my sincerest hope that you learn how to do just that while learning from my mistakes and others.
1. Pollyanna Syndrome/Overnight Success Mindset– When you start a business you are excited and ready to share it with the world. Naturally you think everyone is going to be as thrilled about your new products/services as you are .Then it hits you..your first dose of
REJECTION. Get enough of this and it can make you wonder why you even bothered starting a business in the first place. As I am sure you have heard..if owning a business was easy everyone would be doing it. Building your business takes time. It is up to you to find the right people that you should be doing business with. They are out there and you need to focus on putting your business in front of them. THESE are the people that will help your business grow. You don’t have time to get get discouraged. You need to remember: SOME WILL, SOME WON’T, SO WHAT? NEXT!
2. Charging Too Little– Most business owners struggle with what to charge for their products/services but the biggest problem is charging too little. Charging too little can have a negative effect on your business. It can come across as what you’re offering is cheap or not up to standard. That may not be the case but most of society think that way. You may want to offer a deal but refrain from cutting yourself and your offer short. Don’t forget to include labor, manufacturer, and retail vs wholesale costs if you have products. Look around at similar services/products and see what they are charging but if your offer is totally unique from what is in the marketplace then that can allow for a bump in price.
3. Waiting too long to start branding or re-branding– Although its never too late to brand or re-brand the sooner you start the better. With all the millions of products and services to choose from it’s important that you find a way to connect your audience with your message as soon as possible. As a new business this is something I am working on. Telling your story in a interesting way and presenting your products or services in a way that no one else in your industry is doing at the moment can help you stand out,show why you are special and help get you noticed faster. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box and be creative. From your logo to packaging to product/service naming. What are some things you could change today to help you stand out from your competition?
Remember why you started your business in the first place.Look at your business through a long term lens and think about the long term welfare of your business not just quick results that will dissolve as soon as you get them. Plan(include a marketing plan as well) but do allow for flexibility when changes or opportunities occur. Learn from mistakes and do not beat yourself up about them. Have the guts to charge what you are worth and don’t apologize for it.Figure out early on what your minimum definition of success is..for example..your business being able to replace a job etc. Persistence is key to getting your foot in the door. Take what you can from rejection and use it to make your business better but keep moving forward and don’t take it personal. Your next big opportunity could be just around the corner so stick with it.
Sharita Washington is co owner of Cayman Decor. A online store specializing in handmade high end custom napkin rings for tables that’s used for home decor, parties, weddings,events and more.
Personal twitter: www.twitter.com/sharita1103
Best Professional Regards,
Dar’shun N. Kendrick, Esq./M.B.A.
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