Let’s be fair. You read a lot of business articles. Too many business articles. Seriously, how do you have so much time to read business articles. Shouldn’t you be business-ing?
That’s a story for another day.
I’m going to get down to brass tacks. You’re going to screw up your first business. It’s going to happen. You’re going to overspend on things that is unnecessary. People are going to sucker you into buying crappy products. You’re going to blow thousands of dollars on useless things.
How do I know this?
Because I did it. Heck, I do it still.
And more so, every person I know that runs a business does the same thing. It’s inevitable. I can’t help that.
I mean I can mitigate it through coaching, but I can’t complete avoid it. You will come up to me adamant about trying a product. I’ll tell you not to do it, but you’ll do it anyway. I can’t help that.
I can tell you exactly what you’re going to do, though, so at least it won’t scare you when it happens. So how about we just get down to it.
I’m going to tell you the five biggest mistakes you’re going to make before launching your business. That way, you can just do it, push through it, and come out the other side.
That way, maybe you’ll just do it and quit reading these articles.
5. You won’t spend time validating your idea, but you will spend time reading books about validating your idea.
You can plop in any business term and replace it with “validating your idea”. It could be “getting a prototype made”, “building a website”, “hiring a consultant”, et al. The main thing is you spend lots of time reading things and not much time doing things. I get it, reading things is easy and cheap. Doing things is expensive and hard. You’ll never fail reading things, except that not doing is also failing.
4. You will make a horrible website, if you make one at all, and wonder why nobody buys from it.
You think you can design your website and logo on your own, so you try it. After all, you read all the books and watched all the videos about designing something. Maybe you took a class once.
Here’s the thing. You will fail at it b/c you don’t understand buyer psychology. You don’t understand why websites are set up how they are to maximize somebody clicking that all important ecommerce button.
It’s okay if you fail at it, just know that hiring a designer to make your logo and build your brand is one of the best things you can do to improve the professionalism of your brand.
3. After your website fails, you’re going to hire somebody who costs way too much money and does way too little. It will be your first huge mistake and make you want to give up.
Here’s the thing. People will screw you. Even people with good intentions will screw you. Maybe it’s because they overreach, or maybe it’s because they don’t know the scope of your site, or maybe it’s because they are swamped, but you will get screwed.
It takes years to hone your radar to find people who are appropriately priced AND will deliver the work. Even then you’ll get screwed sometimes.
2. You’re not going to calculate shipping costs, warehousing, distributor fees, or other hidden costs before you ship your first product.
It’s going to almost bankrupt you. It might bankrupt you. Because you’re not thinking of all the pieces yet.
Again, that’s okay. It’s not great. It’s not ideal, but it’s okay. You’ll definitely think about all that crap on your second product, and you’ll already have a distribution pipeline set up to make it easier.
Just make sure, even if you have to kill yourself for it, everybody gets paid and everybody get their product. Otherwise, your reputation is done for and will take years to rebuild.
- You’ll develop a great product, and pay no attention to marketing, sales, or how to get people in the door. Contrarily, you’ll develop great marketing skills, but have a product nobody wants to buy.
If you have to pick one or the other. Develop a great product. You can learn sales and marketing. However, sales and marketing can help even on a sub-par product. You don’t want to be known as the person who has slick marketing and crappy product through.
That’s it. They’re all going to happen. And so what? If those are the worst things that happen, guess what? You can survive it. It won’t be fun every day, but you’ll come out the other side better for it. All except #5. If you’re still reading articles and not making things, stop now. Do it. Worst that happens is you’re a monumental failures.
I’ve been a monumental failure before. On a long enough time horizon I’ll probably be one again. There are worse things to be.
Russell Nohelty is writer, publisher, and entrepreneur. He runs the publishing company Wannabe Press, and coaching people about how to kickstart their careers at Kickstarter Univerisity. He believes the best thing you can do is get a coach early because every business is different. He also believes you are awesome.