At last week’s NB Entrepreneurs Summit in Fredericton, I talked about why entrepreneurship is a sunrise industry, how business is changing and becoming more human, and three Must-Dos for those who want to succeed in this new decade.
I also cited The 7 Deadly Sins in Business. Here’s a summary of that list:
Deadly Sin 1. Assuming that people want your product: Many people think their idea for a new product or service, or even a business, will sell itself. It just isn’t so. If you're going to launch something new, it should be because you know the market wants and needs your services. Not because you simply love it.
Do market research. Get customer feedback. Ask tough questions. Assume you're wrong.
2. Skimping on the business plan: Before you launch a new product, you have to understand who the market is, and why. And you must know the best ways to reach these prospects. Sadly, many entrepreneurs would rather do than think. So they waste a lot of time and money selling before they really understand who they should be targeting or how to get their attention.
For each product or initiative, you need to prepare a separate marketing plan.
The good news: when you sweat the details, you usually find you have many more opportunities than you thought.
3. Losing focus: Stick to what you know, and get the basics right before you diversify or start chasing shiny new opportunities.
Sin 4: Hire people who are just like you: Fussy, numbers-oriented people tend to hire other analytical people like themselves. If you're impulsive, fast-moving, and instincts-driven, you tend to hire people like that. Either way, you miss out on the balance that all organizations need.
Sin 5. Never make a one-sided deal: You can't build a sustainable business if you're not creating value for others.
Always ask if the deal you're working on will lead to a stronger relationship – or a weaker one. Only do the deals that make your relationships stronger.
Sin 6. Trying to do everything alone: Let your employees/team members know what’s going on in your business. They may surprise you by sharing the load and suggesting great new solutions. Don't keep them in the dark, especially when times are tough.
Sin 7: Not making time for yourself and your family: Entrepreneurs often justify their long days and hard work by saying they're doing it for their family. I have news for you: they’d rather have you around more often! Do the hard thing, and get home on time for dinner tonight.