Why So Many Entrepreneurs Get Off On The Wrong Foot, And What To Do About It
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Starting up a business seems pretty simple on the face of it. Build a product, do a little marketing, grab an accountant.
But after a while you realize that it’s not just a normal process that moves from one stage to the next. Instead, with hindsight, you quickly find out that the whole thing is a lot more strategic than that. Decisions you make change the behavior of other players in the market, which means that you need to adapt what you’re doing and so on. In a world, it’s “dynamic.”
So it’s no surprise that many novice entrepreneurs often get off on the wrong foot. It’s not that they’re foolish - they’re just not used to thinking strategically, especially when they’re just starting out. Here’s how to start your company right.
Entrepreneurs tend to be creative, innovative people. They want to change the world, and they want their services or products to be so groundbreaking that they make everyone’s jaw drop.
The problem? Doing that is hard. Even the biggest companies in the world don’t try to re-invent the wheel with each product launch. Instead, they take an iterative approach, making small modifications here and there, but not fundamentally changing a design.
Entrepreneurs need to think a bit more like this when they start off. A good rule of thumb is to allow just “one new thing” per product. Your product needs to be different, but making something that is too different from everybody else will lead to supplier issues and customer confusion - and you don’t want that.
The last thing you want is to have a fantastic product or trademark, and then for somebody else to steal it from you. But, unless you’ve been to your trademark attorney, there’s nothing to stop this from happening. Many entrepreneurs put things like IP on the back burner, thinking that their businesses are so small scale that they don’t need to worry about legal protection for their brand. But in the world of social media and the internet, no brand, no matter how fledgling it might be, is totally safe.
Pro tip? Make sure you’ve officially registered any product names or branding so that it can’t be copied.
If you’re an entrepreneur, it’s highly likely that your business will make use of external agencies and freelance workers to perform various functions. It’s a bad idea to think of these people as a mere “service” that you’re buying in. It’s more like employees at a distance. As a result, it’s a good idea to do what you can to keep these remote employees happy. Think of them as traditional employees, just in a different guise - one where they’re free to bounce around between different companies, offering their services.
Lots of startups fail, which is bad news. The good news is that many of these failed entrepreneurs have written blog posts explaining what they did wrong. Often you’ll find these insightful and helpful for avoiding your own business disaster.
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