When your business is just getting off the ground, you’re bound to make some mistakes. But the wrong mistakes can cost you time, money and relationships. If only there were a way to accelerate the awkward adolescence of your company and jump faster into the vision you have for your business!
Here’s a secret: There is! In fact, today we’re looking at five easy, but powerful, actions you can take to minimize your business mistakes.
1. Work With Someone Who’s Been There
There’s an unbelievable benefit that comes from real conversation with someone who’s been where you are, who knows where the obstacles live and who’s gotten to where you want to be. And when you work with the right business coach, mentor or mastermind group, you put yourself in a position to skip over years of unnecessary trial and error while learning from the best.
Hiring a business coach is absolutely an investment. Most coaches worth their salt charge $100 an hour or more for their time. But one-on-one access to a business guru might be just what you need to take your fledgling company to the next level.
As a word of warning, just about anyone can claim to be an expert-for-hire. So before you sign on with a self-proclaimed thought leader, do your homework. Choose someone who’s got legitimate credentials, who can back up her methods with lots of real-world evidence and who’s spent enough time in the business to weather the ups and downs of the industry.
And if you can’t afford a coach right now? Follow your dream coach’s blog, subscribe to their newsletter and look into any courses within your budget.
2. Get The Right Team In Place
On day one, your business might have been just you. Your money, your time and your sweat building it from the ground up.
But getting past those infancy years and making your mark in the industry usually means upping your game. And to do that, you need the right team—people who will add their own expertise to yours and strengthen your company in ways you never could have.
When you hire the right people to work in your company, you set yourself for new efficiencies, innovations and heights of success. Of course, how you hire depends on the type of business you run. So be sure to tailor your search for the perfect candidate to whether you’re hiring for a Profit Business or hiring for a Legacy Business.
3. Find Your Tribe
Running your own business can be a recipe for loneliness. Worse, it can isolate you in a way that makes you dangerously out of touch with what’s happening outside your door. The solution? Joining a knowledgeable business community.
Look for a group of non-competitors in your industry. You may track down an existing community or start your own. Depending on your area of business, you might have the opportunity to meet up in real life or you may get together strictly online.
Some great things to discuss with your peers include the following:
- Industry news and how world events impact your businesses;
- What services, products and tools are invaluable to your companies;
- What the going rates are for raw materials you need, experts you might hire and price points for your own products and services;
- Courses, conferences and subscriptions that are worth the money; or
- Business horror stories that you just can’t share with anyone else!
(If you’re looking for a place to start, check out our very own Business Owners Only community!)
4. Take Advantage Of Competition
Everyone knows competition is good for the consumer. To beat out rivals, a business needs to offer a compelling message, high-quality products, fair pricing and a superior customer experience.
But competition is good for you as a business person too! Because, when other people operate in the same industry space as you, you have the benefit of seeing how they succeed . . . and how they fail. By keeping an eye on what your competitors are up to, you can see what’s resonating with customers and avoid costly mistakes.
With an eye on your competition, you may gain some insight into . . .
- Whether you’re selling the right products;
- How to market to your preferred audience;
- What features are most in demand from consumers;
- What vendors and service professionals are trouble; and
- . . . so much more.
5. Never Stop Learning
Education isn’t something that stops when you’re handed a diploma. In some industries, continuing education is actually required. You may need to participate in webinars, book learning and formal tests to receive or maintain professional certifications.
But education is critical even when no one makes you do it. Here are a few ways you can make learning a priority for you:
- Follow blogs and subscribe to newsletters from industry bigwigs;
- Sign up for well-reviewed courses that will give you new knowledge and tools;
- Make a list of the skills you want to acquire and create a plan to make it happen; and
- Talk with people who are where you want to be in order to find out what learning they recommend.