Recently I have encountered entrepreneurs who I feel are making some serious mistakes.
The first is a nice lady who was starting her own home assistance for the elderly business. She had recently acquired her first client, and was obviously very happy; unfortunately a few days later she was fired. No reason was given, she was simply told to never return.
When I met with her she was fighting off tears and was going through a lot of different emotions. After calming her down I asked if she believed in her business, which she did. I then asked if she believed in herself, and she said yes. Not sure I completely believed that, but I went on.
I told her that if she didn’t completely believe in herself no one else would. Just as animals can “smell” fear, prospects can “smell” lack of confidence.
If you don’t completely believe in yourself or your business no one else will either.
My second entrepreneur owns an established print shop. I’ve known him for several years and consider him to be honest and hardworking. The printing industry has been going through difficult times, the advances in computers and copiers is allowing a lot of businesses to take care of their printing needs and cut out the professional printer.
His solution: cut back on marketing. Rather than join a networking group, he opted out. Networking groups are great, you’ve got all those members out talking to businesses and referring their contacts to you.
It always amazes me when a business cuts back marketing when times are slow; that’s the exact time you need to increase marketing. Marketing brings customers, so when times are tough businesses of all sizes, (including major corporations), have a knee-
The last entrepreneur is a Doctor who is starting a healthcare business. He is a very personable individual, and I tend to like him. However, he is making two very bad business decisions in my opinion.
First, he is slow to pay or even refuse to pay businesses that have done work for him. Good luck getting them to provide you any additional services.
Second, while building mutually productive relationships with related healthcare businesses, he is secretly planning on going behind their backs, starting competitive businesses and then walking away from the relationship, taking the customers with him.
While certainly legal, I believe it to be highly unethical. He is intentionally misleading those businesses and attempting to pirate their employees and business. It would be simpler and less expensive to simply purchase those companies at a future date.