When you’re in the process of launching a new business, you’re bound to get advice from just about anyone who has any business knowledge whatsoever. Actually, the chances are that you may even ask business-minded people for their two cents so to speak. Even though advice from business owners is usually meant well, it doesn’t mean that the tips are right for you. When it comes to your own startup, you are the one person who knows your business better than anyone which means you’ll need to know what advice to heed and which tips to ignore. Here are 3 pieces of startup advice that while common, could lead you down the wrong path.
Your Business Plan Should be Perfect
People create business plans for all types of reasons – to gain funding, forge partnerships, evaluate future growth or to guide development. Unfortunately, the majority of business plans quickly become outdated. When launching a new business, it’s all-but-guaranteed that you’ll run into may roadblocks and opportunities that even the best business plan doesn’t account for. This is why it is important to be ready for these unexpected occurrences by being flexible. Of course, having a set list of objectives and a direction for your business will help keep you on track and in line with your mission statement. However, in order for a business plan to work successfully, it will need to be changed and altered during your business’s journey so that it remains relevant.
You should look at your business plan as a “living document” that evolves with time to ensure your business adapts and keeps pace with the ever-changing marketplace. There are many factors that can cause a business owner to make changes including new competitors, updated technology, regulatory changes and business growth. Without a doubt, flexibility is a key component to any well-devised business plan.
Just Do What You Love and the Money Will Come
While it’s true that we are the happiest and most successful when we’re doing work we love, reality tells us that doing what we enjoy does not necessarily mean we’ll make tons of money doing it. Many people who are passionate about their ideas fail miserably in the business world because they cannot turn their ideas and passion into viable business ventures. In the business world, passion needs structure in order to survive as passion alone simply won’t cut it and it certainly won’t make you rich. If you fail to build a solid foundation or structure for your business, you may end up disliking what you were once so passionate about wherein you lose focus and interest. And if that happens your chances of succeeding will greatly diminish to say the least.
The Customer is Always Right
Every business owner on earth has experienced those times when they silently say to themselves “The customer is always right” as this is a phrase that’s somehow made its way into the minds of most entrepreneurs. Following the idea that your customers are always right no matter what is wrong because sooner or later, you’re going to deal with customers who are unreasonable and demanding. No matter how hard you work every day at making your product or service what it is, somebody is bound to come along and cause problems. The fact is that sometimes the customer is just plain wrong and your business is better off without him or her.
Trying to please a hard-to-please customer will not only drain you emotionally, but it will also cause your employees a lot of grief and stress. Just remember that you didn’t start your business to spend your valuable time dealing with unreasonable customers who complain about your products, services, prices or processes. Sometimes it’s just best to say “no” even when it may seem counter intuitive and even scary to turn down money. In short, spending time dealing with the wrong customer can be a big mistake for your business and more so if you depend upon larger sales from a smaller number of quality customers. Instead of spending valuable time agonizing over trying to please a disgruntled customer, focus on spending quality time helping your business grow.
It can be difficult to know what business advice to heed and which to ignore as everyone with any business experience is eager to share tips with you. By signing up for your free subscription to Successful Startup 101, you’ll receive exclusive business advice you won’t find anywhere else.