Owning a business is a fascinating experience. You get to see your baby grow and blossom and become very valuable. But all of that can fall flat if you make this one costly mistake. You can have the greatest idea in the world, the perfect pitch, and the coolest logo man has ever laid eyes upon. But this mistake will wash away all of your hard work, and leave you in an office or store listening to crickets.
That One Mistake
If you poll people and ask what the hardest part of owning a business is, you will hear a wide variety of answers. Some will say making the sale, others will say working the long hours, and still others will tell you that the hardest part is getting it off the ground. These are all true. But there is one mistake that many people make that causes all of these hardships.
Too many business owners start out by going with what people say they need for their business. They spend a bunch of money on a website. They buy a ton of business cards. They set up a Facebook page, a Twitter page, an Instagram page, and countless other social media pages. They spread the word among family and friends telling them about their cool new business (most of whom never mention the business to ANYONE). And their business fails because they made this one mistake.
That mistake is not a simple one to correct. In fact, it is almost impossible to correct after the fact. That is why it is so important to get this done right before you move on to the other aspects of owning a business. In fact, this should be done before you register your business, before you put in any other work, and before you set up a bank account for your business. You have to do this one thing.
That one thing is research. You have to research your industry, research the product, research the customer, define the customer, narrow that definition, know what they want, know what they dont want, know that they would gladly spend $7 but would never spend $8. You have to understand what drives them, cater to THEIR needs, show that your product or service is far superior to any product or service they have ever had before, and make their lives better. Business owners focus on themselves and their product, but the customer doesnt care about that, they want it to be about them.
To avoid a costly business mistake, know the steps to starting a business. And know that your customer doesnt care about you; they care about how your business is going to help them.