5 steps to success. How to Avoid Mistakes in Starting a Business

Are you considering starting a business or are you already at the beginning of your entrepreneurial journey? If so, then you shouldn't miss the 5 most common mistakes people make when starting a business. Business and sales specialist, Petr Bernadič from Každý prodává company, brings you 5 steps to help you avoid these mistakes and achieve success in business. So - are you in?

My product is for everyone

A phrase I've heard probably hundreds of times in my career."My product is for everyone." "My product is needed and appreciated by everyone..." Are you sure about that?

By having a product/service for everyone, all you will achieve is that the sales and associated marketing will be too generic. Your arguments will be as vague as your target audience. "We are reliable, with us you will save...." But the question is - will it work? Are you communicating an emotion? Will these arguments get customers out of their chairs and lift them up enough to reach for their wallets and buy? For myself, I can say a resounding no.

Define your target audience as best you can. Feel into it, find out what moves the target group, what works for them and how you will achieve sales to these customers. Do a proper analysis, even using the VPC method. Once you have tested on the group to see if your efforts are working and what specifically is working, expand the group to include similar customers. Expand gradually and judiciously.

The perfect product is not necessary

Another very common problem is that aspiring entrepreneurs fall too much in love with their product/service and thus blind themselves. Enthusiasm and belief in the product is fine, of course keep that. However, many companies get so stuck on constantly improving, innovating and expanding the product that they fail to see the most important thing. And what is that?

You almost never hear from companies a reflection and analysis of what the particular product they are selling will bring to the market. What value will it give to customers? What effect will the product have on the market? At what price is the customer able to buy it?

Do your market research. Try to sell your product/service up front e.g. via Kickstarter, test whether the product is in demand, how much customers are willing to pay for it. Do it all with an MVP (minimal viable product), i.e. a product with the least functionality, but which is usable and you can get great feedback on it for further development. All this with a minimum of financial risk.

Get rid of the impression that you have to go to market with the perfect product. You'll improve it in the process, and much better, thanks to customer feedback.

Setting up the business process

Improvisation is enough when you have one customer, later on it can be chaos. The most essential thing in the whole business process is CRM (customer relationship management).

You may think that you can keep track of everything in spreadsheets and various documents, and at the beginning it may be. However, once you get the sale going, what will you do then? By being in control of the entire customer journey, you'll ensure that you don't forget anything, you can even then more easily innovate the parts of the process that don't work so well, and most importantly, you'll increase your company' s credibility.

The product has no legs

The assumption that customers will find your product on their own is completely utopian. We live in an age where almost every product has an alternative, a competitor. Have you only seen how many white yoghurts there are in the supermarket?

If you happen to invent something completely new, you will have a competitor in the world within a few weeks. I guarantee you that. So it's up to you to convince the customer of the value of your product. Why yours is the right one. Why should they buy it?

Find your first customer, reach out to companies, go to networking events, look for places where your potential customer is. Ask for feedback and improve the product based on it. In short, go to market with your skin in the game.

Without a goal, you're standing still.

"I want to make a lot of money, I want to have a successful company, I want to be number one in the market...." That all sounds great. But when you're acquiring new clients or recruiting new employees, are these arguments enough? Do they sound convincing?

Develop a clear vision and set clear goals accordingly. Once you back up your vision with clear action steps, it's immediately more tangible and easier to envision. Customers and employees want to see value.

Take the time to build a clear vision and answer questions like:

  • How do I envision my company in 10 years?
  • What will it all look like?
  • What will we offer as a company?
  • Who will work for me?
  • What will my job description look like?
  • How will our customers feel when they buy?
  • What emotion do we evoke in our customers?

Constructing a vision is one of the most essential things for any business. If you don't know where you're going, you're not going to get anywhere.

By following these basic 5 steps, you'll be well on your way to starting a successful business. It's not a walk in the park, but it's worth it. I wish you the best of luck, but most importantly, perseverance and the ability to learn from your mistakes.

Best regards
Petr Bernadič
Specialist in sales, team leadership and performance improvement

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