Before I delve into the details of this post, let me remind you one thing: not all suggestions and pieces of advice work for us; thus, it is advisable to learn how to separate the wheat from the chaff when seeking other people’s opinion on what we intend to do. On my journey to becoming a successful entrepreneur, I have sought expert advice from more experienced entrepreneurs, industry experts, and even mentors, but believe me, not all the tips I received from these people worked. While some of them were extremely good, others were the worst tips I ever came across in my life. So, I have sampled four of these worst tips, which almost sent me down the cliff. Give them a snub they deserve whenever you come across them.
You Won’t Get Customers as a Starter
This tip was informed (or should I say misinformed) by the fact that there were so many big brands in the industry, and I could not compete with them. I had just finished my course in business management and I wanted to start an online platform where people would buy and sell their products and services. So, there is this online business consultant I approached for advice (he was just a friend by the way), and he went on to list all the big brands which I had to beat in order to win customers. To this day, I still regret dropping my idea, especially when I look at some well-established brands today, which were just getting started then.
Let me say that with some good strategies, it is possible to compete favorably with our forerunners in the market, however popular they are. Let’s not assume that they are doing everything right. As a matter of fact, big brands in the market have a lot of things which they don’t get right, but they still retain customers simply because these people have no alternatives that can be trusted. It begins with one client, and the rest will come.
Don’t Launch a Product/Service That Is Not Perfect
While all of us strive for perfection in everything we do, we don’t have to perfect our services or products before we can release them to the market. As a matter of fact, even the best offerings started somewhere, and they were improved with time. As long as we have a commitment to keep improving, waiting until we come up with perfect products/services does not make sense at all. I call this waste of time. Starting to sell our products/services the way they are gives our customers the opportunity to test them and make suggestions for improvement. Including these suggestions in our subsequent creations sets us up for perfect products/services.
You Won’t Succeed Without Industry Experience
Yes, having experience in the industry where we want to invest is essential, but that does not mean that we cannot start our businesses with zero experience. Besides, the best way to gain experience is through doing; hence, there is no harm in gaining experience while running our businesses. The most important thing is the viability of our business ideas and how receptive the market is to these ideas. As for the experience, that is something we can gain over time while our businesses are in operation. Think you will struggle in the beginning? You can recruit experienced staff to help you run the business.
Copy Your Competitor’s Ideas
This is perhaps the most absurd tip of them all. While all of us want to beat our competitors, copying them is not the best strategy. Instead, we should strive to come up with improved versions of what they offer. When customers realize that we (starters) are making the same products as big brands out there, they will definitely not shift their allegiance from the latter. So, while we have to keep our eyes open on what our competitors are doing, we should only work to offer better services or products if we are to favorably compete and possibly edge them out. That is it!