8 Common Mistakes Many Start-Ups Make

Over 5,000,000 new businesses are started each year, but millions will fail, and most new businesses fail for the same sets of reasons. Here are 8 common mistakes why start-ups fail. Please avoid them. 
  1. Choosing a bad business opportunity
  2. Choosing the wrong customers
  3. Trying to sell the wrong product
  4. Selling for the wrong price
  5. Overestimating the number of and the speed of the customer purchases
  6. Mismanaging the business
  7. Failing to hire and retain the right people
  8. Being unable to grow or scale the business to accommodate growth.
Basically, there are two ways to increase your chances to entrepreneurial success. One – learn the business – work in and learn a business before starting a similar business. Learn about the suppliers, the customers, how to operate the business for some years and then go and start a similar business. Examples: Starbucks, EDS, Wal-Mart and Intel. Two – start your part-time business – keep your day job and begin your business at nights and on the week-ends and build it up before quitting your day job. Examples: Ford Motor Company.

Remember three business rules:

#1. Follow the money – cash is king.

#2. The sole purpose of business is to serve customers.

#3. Customers know best what they need.

Who Are Those Who Made It Without a Degree?

There are many multimillionaires and billionaires who made it without a degree. In fact, many of these entrepreneurs amassed their fortunes without gaining any academic qualifications.

Universities are fine. It’s great, even. Universities teach useful and powerful things. Doctors, lawyers, architects etc. It’s great. But not for everybody. The academic treadmill is actually harmful to the entrepreneurial drive. For one thing it gives you the false sense that you know a lot of stuff, when you don’t. You may know about a lot of stuff, but in terms of actual skills based on experience, in terms of real, how-to knowledge that leads to confident action, you know nothing.

For another thing, it raises the mindset of dependency. The academic treadmill ingrains a tolerance for tedium, reverence for hoop-jumping and the habit of thinking small.

Who hasn’t heard of Richard Branson?

Sir Richard Branson, born 1950
Billionaire founder and owner of the Virgin group
Education: Left school at 16 with one O level

Being mildly dyslexic and bad at school he decided to quit at the first opportunity – a decision that cast him straight into business success. With his daring lifestyle and charitable activities, he is probably one of the highest profile billionaires around.

John Caudwell, born 1953
Billionaire mobile-phone tycoon
Education: Left college at 16 without taking his A levels

Bullied at school, he terminated his A levels at the age of 16, three months into studying Maths, Physics and Chemistry. He told interviewers he just wasn’t academic. He wanted to be in the real world.

Sir Philip Green, born 1952
Britain’s richest self-made billionaire, owner of the Arcadia Group
Education: Left school at 15 without any formal qualifications

Green’s story is all about know-how, guts, vision and luck. It’s not about degrees, training courses and qualifications. His guts and vision didn’t come from higher education. They came from time spent in the real world, mucking in and learning how business works.

Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber, born 1948
Multi millionaire composer, songwriter, theatre director
Education: Left Oxford soon after starting a course in history

He started writing his own music at a young age and put on productions with his brother in his toy theatre. Although he went to Oxford University to study history, he soon abandoned the course to pursue his interest and love for music theatre.

Do You Need A Degree To Make Millions?

The short answer is – definitely not.
For the last 30 years or so, young people have been aggressively pushed onto an academic path leading to university degree and entrepreneurship has been ignored. In the 1960s, the percentage of young people going to university was five per cent. Today that figure is closer to 45 per cent, and rising fast. And the government’s target had been for 50 per cent of school leavers to go to university.

Why do we think getting a degree is so great? Because we are told that people with degrees have far better prospects. They get better jobs, better wives and husbands, adapt healthier habits and are generally more successful. Whereas people who don’t get degrees are poorer and get stuck in crummy, dead-end jobs. As a nation, we worship at the altar of higher education because we think it will enable people to become effective system users.

Unfortunately, it’s pretty much an open secret now that many degrees are useless when it comes to getting a good job, and graduates are the first to admit it. With the tuition fees rising soon, what else they are to do? Learning doesn’t just take place in the classroom or lecture room. The point is that anybody can become an entrepreneur – with or without a degree. And there is no secret in saying that you can start your business and get rich - without going to university. Whatever you are doing now, you can do it. I believe that everybody can become a successful entrepreneur.

When you feel that what you’ve got is somehow, not enough and when you ask yourself constantly: Is this it? Forget about getting a degree, if you don’t already have one. Get back to where the real action is. Get back to having a good time. Get back to where your potential matches up to the growing reality and start running a business.

Are You An Entrepreneur? Have You Got What It Takes?

Here are some basic questions you can ask yourself:

1. Are you basically self-motivated in at least a few constructive pursuits, like music, a job, or a hobby of some kind?
2. Do you like having money?
3. Do you have a realistic perception of money?
4. Do you sort of know and take an interest in what is going on around you?
5. If you hit a brick wall do you give up or do you persevere?
6. Do you look after yourself or do you need to be nagged?
7. Do you mix OK with people?
8. Do you try new things and learn from them?
9. Can you take criticism?
10. Are you a sincere and honest person?
11. Do you enjoy dealing with the public?
12. Are you an organized individual?

If you answered ‘yes’ or ‘sort of’ to at least six of these questions, then congratulations!
The truth is, it’s not that hard to set up a good business

How To Run Your Business Without Making Those 3 Basic Mistakes?

When you decide to run your own business you should not do the following things:

· You should not re-mortgage your house or go to the bank or venture capitalists for a start-up loan.
Usually when people start out in business they have a very specific picture of how it will look. There is an office, a receptionist, carpets, desks, computers, headed stationery, cool business cards, a nice marketing budget ... and so on. The most important question is not: “Where will I find the start up capital?” The most important question is how are you going to get, and satisfy, your first 100 customers? Filing cabinets and pictures on the wall do not make you money. Customers make you money. If you have chosen your business well – narrow, cheap, unoriginal and early – you should need much money to get your first 100 customers.

· You should not invite your mate or spouse to join you as a partner.
If you have a good business idea, keep it to yourself. Why? Two reasons: You need 100% ownership, always and forever and nothing less will do.
Going into business with a friend or spouse will not only kill the business, it will probably kill the friendship or marriage as well, so you are left doubly bereaved.
This is one of the most common reasons for business failure. It happens time and time again. For one thing, being mates is a whole different game from being business partners. If you want to be rich, you have to embrace this mindset. And it will ruin your friendship (or marriage). Although you are totally equal as partners, however, inequalities show up very quickly in the harsh and unforgiving light of business. By all means, you can employ them and pay them well. You don’t need to make them joint owners of your wealth machine.

· You should not spend weeks writing up a detailed business plan
The only reason you would do this is if you went to the bank for a loan and we decided that it is not on. But some people do it anyway. They seem to feel it will help clearing things, work out in advance strategies for dealing with unforeseen circumstances etc. It is a waste of time. Why? Because analysing the market and the competition, projecting sales, cash flow, and profit and loss, is all guesswork. It is imagined response to imagined events. Your business plan should be five words long. Ready? “Get and keep more customers.”

How To Market Your Business For Free?

You don’t need to spend money on advertising. You don’t need focus groups or expensive brand awareness campaigns. All you need to do is put few sentences together in plain English and be able to create a web page.

If you can’t do it yourself, ask your friend to do it for you or pay a little money for a proper web designer to create your page. Then just write stuff and make web pages. You know that information is King. People are searching for information all the time and this phase is important because it is part of the buying cycle.

The first thing anybody does now when they want to buy something is Google it. The internet has been with us for years now, and we all feel like old hands t it, but the truth is that very few companies know how to use it properly for marketing.

The internet is amazing. For next to nothing, for pennies, it allows you to reach people all over the world who might have an interest in what you have to offer. It is the single most ground-shifting invention in media terms since the printing press. And yet hardly anyone out there has grasped how to use it.

So what is the answer?

Very simple. Just start talking to people. There is a bit of a trick to this, but not a huge one. You have to begin to think like your potential customers. You have to understand them and start giving them what they want, which is information. If you don’t know what they want – ask them. Talk to them. Pay attention to what they say. Make a list of the questions they are asking. Use the words they use.

Then you write simple articles that answer those questions and you publish them as separate pages on your website.

There it is, the big secret weapon.

Set the pages up so that Google can find it easily for people who are searching and write good articles.