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The Business Forum Journal

 

The Most Popular Mistakes Mid-Life Entrepreneurs Make

By George Carson

 

As a business entrepreneur, it is very difficult to know if you are making good or bad decisions. Or if you chose the right type of business. So how did you get started, and how do you avoid any of these mistakes?

Starting a business in your mid 40’s or 50’s can be fulfilling, but has its risks if you don’t have any guidelines, especially if this is your first venture. To help you avoid being one of the 80% of businesses that fail in their first three years, review these mistakes that many businesses have made over the years.

1   Start with a passion and keep it going.  When you started the business you might have thought you had clarity and direction. Try to not get caught up in the “BUT” excuses.  For example, if you are not a super salesperson or know how to generate sales leads, do not say “I don’t know how to do this”, instead go out and seek help and constantly do research to find how to improve your sales approach.  Do not make excuses for not knowing how to get things done.

2   Are you undercapitalized?  Do not rely on banks or other financial institutions lending you money because you have a great product/service. Banks are not in the business of loaning money to new businesses, it is just a fact in life.  So make sure you have enough capital to keep your business afloat for several months to a year before even considering jumping in.

Before starting, estimate the overhead to run the business, consult with friends or colleagues who have their own business and ask questions on how they managed their first year and what expenses they did not expect.  There are a few organizations available to help (such as SCORE) who are able to provide guidance and direction.

3   Build it and they will come. If you want to start a business based on the fact you have a unique product and people are just waiting to buy, think again. People have developed buying habits and the only way to break into that habit is to let people know you exist and have a great product. Offer compelling reasons why they should switch to your product.

Do your homework. Identify who your customers are, and then develop a plan how to sell to them. The two simple reasons people buy are to avoid pain and gain pleasure.  Not just aches, but the pain of not liking something, such as their kitchen, their clothes, or poor skin or hair.

4   Know when to quit. This is about an exit strategy. Even though you are just starting out, knowing how you plan to leave the business will help you develop a plan to grow the business.  Sounds weird, but this will help give you some clarity to building up the business.

Keeping track of your investment and what you plan to get out of it puts things in focus. Did you know that 90% of businesses that go up for sale never get sold? So have an exit strategy.

5   Support from those you know, especially family. Starting a business is a commitment, and that will put a lot of stress on a family. In the beginning most of your time will be dedicated to building the business, and that should be clearly understood when you take this giant leap.  After you get a foothold and the business becomes profitable then you need to take time off. If you are married and have children, you need to take a break from work. Vacations, even short, two day camping trips will re-energize you and keep the family supportive.

To sum all this up:   Keep the Passion, Cultivate Clarity and Continue To Learn From Others


George Carson is a Fellow of The Business Forum Institute  and he has been active in the advertising arena since 1973.  He has successfully developed unique concepts, programs, designs and corporate campaigns for a variety of local, regional and national accounts.  He founded his own advertising and publicity firm in 1980. Since that time, he has provided the marketing and publicity services to a wide range of clients including: Jeep Corporation, Sir Speedy Corporation, Yamaha Sports, Regal Medial Group, Bell Brand Foods, Laura Scudder’s, CBS radio, Uniden LPGA Golf Tournament, the City of Orange, Universal Studios, Snak King, ASICS sporting goods, La Reina Family Brands, Partition Specialties Inc., MVP RV, Yamaha Music Schools, Encryption Solutions, Inc., McMahon’s RV, amongst others.  As a designer in Los Angeles, California, George co-founded a design studio where he created materials for a variety of television shows and motion pictures: including: “The Sting”, “Kojak”, and “Lombard and Gable”. He also developed campaigns for Kenny Rogers, the Osmonds, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Budget Rent-A-Car, Transamerica and Occidental Life. George holds a Bachelor of Arts in Graphic Design with minors in English and Photography from Cal State University of Long Beach.


Visit the Authors Web Site  ~  http://www.carsonandcompany.com

Contact the Author:  ~  Click Here


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