Top 10 Stumbling Blocks that Limit Business Growth
Never in history have more entrepreneurs launched more new businesses! In America, thousands of business open their doors every single day! Unfortunately, most of them (over 90% of them) also close their doors within two years. Businesses are started with high hopes and glorious dreams. It is easy to start a business. It is much more difficult to build it, to make it succeed, to avoid the traps and pitfalls and frustrations, and enjoy the fruits of success over the years. In working with hundreds (probably two to three THOUSAND) entrepreneurs over 25 years, here are the mistakes I see most often. Avoid them!
1. Fear and Confusion. There is either a sense of being over-whelmed by the size of the tasks, or a refusal to master the work of being an entrepreneur and business owner. There are specific skills to owning and running a successful business. Learn them! You can master this! You can focus and succeed! (This is often the time to hire a coach!)
2. Lack of Capital. Capital comes in three forms: Time, money, and energy. Some people have one or two, but not all three, and they fail because they simply can not sustain the growth phase of their business. EVERY business is a commitment of everything you have. You may start "small", but that does not mean casual or part-time!
3. Lack of Courage or Commitment. Building a business is always risky. Some people perceive the risk as frightening, others see it as an exciting challenge, but there is always risk. Manage it. Limit your potential losses. Understand the risks and enjoy the process. You will make mistakes. Learn from them and go on.
4. Refusal to select and target an audience. No one can sell their services to "everyone" - a message that goes to everyone is unlikely to create a sense of urgency in anyone in particular. Attorneys focus on one type of law. Physicians specialize. So should you.
5. Choosing the wrong audience. A market that can not or will not pay or an audience that is too small or dispersed is a recipe for disaster. The "poor" desperately need medical, dental, legal and other services, but who is going to pay you? The same problem exists when trying to reach an audience that is dispersed over a large geographic area and not easily identified.
6. Fuzzy or unfocused message. What exact benefits do you provide? To whom? Under what circumstances and at what cost? How can people contact you? Be precise, be clear, be specific.
7. Lack of planning - too many random efforts. Many entrepreneurs try a little radio, a direct mailing, join a service organization, offer free samples, and then report that they have "tried everything and nothing worked". Pick one, and stay the course! You become identified with your marketing techniques. Choose a logo, a color-scheme, and a marketing technique and stay with it!
8. Too much advertising, too little relationship building. Advertising works best for tangible products because customers can see the results. Intangible services are very difficult to advertise and are almost always purchased based on the quality of the relationship. The more people know you, and the more they know about you and your caring, your professionalism and your quality, the more business you will do. Build networks of relationships!
9. Laziness and/or Greed. Your business ONLY exists to serve the customer! You must make a profit in order to continue serving the customer, but service is the key to success. Everything must be focused on that. The statement, "I want to be my own boss", or "I want a business that supports me" may be true (and be totally honest and reasonable), but they are a dangerous focus for your business. Customers first!
10. Having a product or service that fails to produce adequate benefits, or fails to serve as promised. Some professionals are incompetent. Some don't use current technology, or are sloppy in their delivery. Particularly with services, even ONE mistake will undermine client confidence, loyalty, and trust. Do your best - every time!
Four Democratic women targeted by Trump accuse him of following an ‚Äėagenda of white nationalists‚Äô at a press conference
Four Democratic congresswomen of color targeted by Donald Trump‚Äôs racist attacks have accused the US president of following an ‚Äúagenda of white nationalists‚ÄĚ and asked that Americans ‚Äúdo not take the bait‚ÄĚ of his divisive rhetoric.
In a joint press conference at the Capitol, the congresswomen spoke out after Trump said they should ‚Äúgo back‚ÄĚ to the ‚Äúcrime infested‚ÄĚ countries they came from, prompting condemnation in the US and across the world.
Next PM will be told in ‚Äėno uncertain terms‚Äô that axing backstop amounts to no deal
Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt‚Äôs Brexit plan to axe the Irish border backstop from the withdrawal agreement will be rejected outright by the European Union, EU sources have said.
Informed sources say that it is doomed to failure and if the next prime minister goes to Brussels with such a plan, he will be told in ‚Äúno uncertain terms‚ÄĚ that it amounts to a declaration of no deal.
Evelyn Beatriz Hern√°ndez was jailed for murder after she was ruled to have induced abortion
A 21-year-old woman who gave birth to a baby in a toilet in El Salvador has returned to court for a second trial for murder in a case that has drawn international attention because of the country‚Äôs highly restrictive abortion laws.
Evelyn Beatriz Hern√°ndez, who says she was raped and had no idea she was pregnant, had already served 33 months of her 30-year sentence when the supreme court overturned the ruling against her in February and ordered a fresh trial with a new judge.
Platinum cards of former Malaysian prime minister used for spree at jeweller in Italy, say prosecutors
Credit cards belonging to the disgraced former prime minister of Malaysia were used to spend more than $800,000 at a jeweller in Italy in a single day, a court in Kuala Lumpur has heard during his corruption trial.
The spending spree took place at De Grisogono, a Swiss luxury jeweller, in Italy on 8 August 2014 where items worth 3.3m Malaysian Ringgit ($803,000 or ¬£645,000) were purchased on Najib Razak‚Äôs Visa and Mastercard platinum credit cards, the court was told.
Candidate to lead European commission seeks to win over MEPs and seal knife-edge vote
The woman seeking to replace Jean-Claude Juncker as the European commission president has made last-minute pledges on the climate crisis, Brexit, an EU minimum wage and gender quotas for company boards as she faces a knife-edge vote on her candidacy.
In leaked letters to the leaders of two of the EU parliament‚Äôs main political groups, Ursula von der Leyen, who was nominated two weeks ago by the heads of state and government for the top EU post, has sought to win over critical left-leaning MEPs at the risk of alienating some on the right.
Human Rights Watch calls on Croatia to end illegal practice of forcing people back over Bosnian border
After months of official denials, Croatia‚Äôs president has admitted that the country‚Äôs police are involved in the violent pushbacks of migrants and asylum seekers apprehended inside the country.
The best chance for thousands of refugees stuck in Bosnia is to cross its border with Croatia to make it to the European Union. For the past year there has been repeated evidence of police using force against those who have made it across the border and then dumping them back in Bosnia.
Budget airline says it plans to close some bases and will carry fewer passengers
Ryanair has warned delays to deliveries of Boeing‚Äôs 737 Max aircraft will reduce passenger numbers next year and it plans to downsize or close bases at some airports as a result.
Europe‚Äôs biggest budget carrier has ordered 135 of the 737 Max models, which remain grounded after two crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia killed a total of 346 people. Boeing has yet to convince regulators that software modifications are sufficient to ensure the plane‚Äôs safety.
Daily Stormer publisher incited his readers to contact Tanya Gersh, who received threatening emails, texts and voicemails
The publisher of a neo-Nazi website, who organized a ‚Äútroll storm‚ÄĚ to target a Jewish woman and her family with months of abusive messages, should have to pay more than $14m in damages and remove all posts that encouraged his readers to contact her, a US judge has recommended.
The US magistrate judge called the harassment campaign, launched by the Daily Stormer publisher Andrew Anglin a month before Donald Trump‚Äôs inauguration, ‚Äúegregious and reprehensible‚ÄĚ. Anglin targeted Tanya Gersh, a Jewish real estate agent in Whitefish, Montana, a town where the prominent white nationalist Richard Spencer and his family have sometimes lived.
Thousands of Aleppians are using a Facebook group to share their way of life before the Syrian war
Going to the hammam was once a beloved ritual for Aleppo resident Atef Shikhouni and his friends. Recalling the boisterous, joyful experience, the 55-year-old wrote: ‚ÄúHere is a man shouting, ‚ÄėWhere is the soap?‚Äô while another one is asking for the shampoo and a third wants someone to rub his back. It becomes very noisy. After spending some time in the sauna, it is time for the ‚Äėrubbing man‚Äô. He uses a rough loofah to rub my body mercilessly and I pray it will end without any damage.‚ÄĚ
But that was before the outbreak of war in Syria. ‚ÄúToday, the bath is cold and has no soul,‚ÄĚ the sports teacher wrote in February 2017, shortly after the worst of the fighting in Aleppo had ended. ‚ÄúCruel are our days, exactly like our bath today.‚ÄĚ
Perth really is about as bland a built environment as you could imagine, luckily set on amazing natural beauty. But its planning is still rooted firmly in 1950s style suburbia and auto dependence. Car ownership is one of the highest in Australia, which nationally is one of the highest in the world. Vibrancy is lacking, community occurs despite, not encouraged by, the built environment. Walking is hardly done, and the streets of suburbia are deserted as everyone drives.
Will a $60bn development to house 1.1 million people help to ease the world‚Äôs most unaffordable property market or is it simply ‚Äėpouring money into the sea‚Äô?
‚ÄúReclamation is unavoidable,‚ÄĚ Hong Kong‚Äôs leader, Carrie Lam, told journalists in a Q&A session on land supply last year. ‚ÄúIn the long term, many developing cities have to adopt this choice.‚ÄĚ
Hong Kong suffers from chronic overcrowding and housing shortages ‚Äď a situation made worse by the 150 residence permits a day that have been issued to mainland Chinese citizens since 1997. Additionally, 62% of land is ‚Äúlocked up‚ÄĚ or ‚Äúsemi-locked up‚ÄĚ by law or regulatory constraints due to environmental reasons in terms of land development, according to the thinktank Our Hong Kong Foundation.
More than half of all textiles produced each year include plastic. Now the urgent search is on for a more sustainable way to clothe the world
It was probably the only time a 93-year-old has stolen the show at Glastonbury‚Äôs Pyramid stage. Sir David Attenborough had important things to say when he warmed up for Kylie Minogue last month. After showing scenes from Blue Planet 2, the wildlife series credited with inspiring a sea change in attitudes towards plastics pollution, the broadcaster thanked festival goers and organisers for banning single-use water bottles. ‚ÄúThis great festival has gone plastic-free,‚ÄĚ he said to cheers. ‚ÄúThank you! Thank you!‚ÄĚ
Kylie‚Äôs crowd was right to feel virtuous ‚Äď single-use plastic is an oil-derived menace to marine life ‚Äď but how many paused to look down at the elastic in their waistbands, the polyester in their T-shirts and the nylon in their shoes? Plastic in what we wear may be less visible than it is in bottles or straws, but it is no less toxic. Yet somehow we have woven it so tightly into our throwaway society that we barely notice it, even when it is on our own backs. Now there are moves ‚Äď at the top and bottom of a complex global supply chain ‚Äď to do something about it.
Twenty seven per cent rise to 1,187 deaths puts country on par with US in terms of per capita fatalities
Scotland‚Äôs drug-related death toll has increased by 27% over the past year to reach a record high of 1,187, putting the country on a par in terms of the fatality rate per capita with the United States, where synthetic opioids like fentanyl have devastated drug-using populations.
The death rate is now more than three times that of England and Wales, and has more than doubled since 2008, when there were 574 deaths.
The Resolution Foundation have produced some neat charts showing how wages are growing across the UK economy... but still not fast enough to reach their levels before the financial crisis (once you adjust for inflation).
New @ONS data on wages released this morning (THREAD). The good news is that real pay growth continued to strengthen ‚Äď rising to 1.7 per cent over the past year. This is the fastest growth since October 2015 (when inflation was close to zero). pic.twitter.com/FHxXyM68jT
While real pay growth is still slower in the public sector, it is now growing at almost the same rate as in the private sector (1.6% vs 1.8%). pic.twitter.com/rfYp2yxCs0
Rising real pay growth comes from both strengthening nominal earnings ‚Äď which at 3.6 per cent is growing at the fastest pace since the financial crisis ‚Äď and slightly slower inflation (which dipped to 1.9% last month). pic.twitter.com/SxwXnfgigJ
But the recent good news has not changed the long-term picture of a decade of poor pay growth: real weekly earnings are still ¬£5 below the pre-crisis peak. pic.twitter.com/1UUpKn4uRy
From second-hand train seats to old school cupboards, the artist has transported discarded objects from his west African homeland to create a ‚Äėparliament of ghosts‚Äô
‚ÄėWe‚Äôre haunted all the time by ghosts of the past,‚ÄĚ says Ibrahim Mahama as we sit on dirty old plastic second-class Ghana Railways carriage seats in Manchester‚Äôs Whitworth Art Gallery. Even these seats from an abandoned railway? ‚ÄúEspecially these,‚ÄĚ he says, smiling.
Mahama, a junkyard utopian whose art involves recycling stuff that‚Äôs lost its purpose, bought up rows and rows of these seats. He packed them into shipping containers and sent them on a 5,000-mile trip, from his west African homeland to the Whitworth, along with some school cupboards no longer fit for purpose, exercise books of children now grown up, and the minutes of Ghanaian parliamentary debates now deemed obsolete.
Chief of leading aid agency warns that halfway through current funding year, less than a third of required money has been donated
The head of one of the world‚Äôs leading aid agencies has issued a stark warning over the ‚Äúalarming lack of funding‚ÄĚ for global humanitarian crises.
Jan Egeland, secretary general of the Norwegian Refugee Council, noted that halfway through the current funding year, humanitarian organisations had received less than a third of money ‚Äď 27% ‚Äď needed to provide relief to people affected by crises worldwide.
Ripping off the bandage of food aid and investing in self-sufficiency is the only way to fight malnutrition
Billions are spent on humanitarian aid, yet nearly 60 million children across Africa go to bed hungry.
Efforts to alleviate the constant cycle of droughts, poverty and war have caused new problems. The biggest of these is a crippling dependency on food aid that is undermining much of the continent‚Äôs efforts to feed itself.
India and Bangladesh drive progress but UN study identifies vast inequalities between countries and among poor
The UN‚Äôs key global poverty index has identified that conditions for the world‚Äôs poorest 40% are improving more quickly than for those just above them.
The positive trend has been identified in the latest assessment of world poverty collected by the UN Development Programme, which quantifies relative impoverishment across the globe by multiple factors.
The president seems to regard divisive, nativist rhetoric as his best chance of staying in the White House. Analysts say he may be right
It was foul and repugnant. But was it a vote winner?
Donald Trump‚Äôs bigoted tirade against four congresswoman of colour, telling them to ‚Äúgo back‚ÄĚ to the countries they came from, prompted widespread revulsion ‚Äď the comments ‚Äúdrip with racism,‚ÄĚ said the Senate minority leader, Chuck Schumer ‚Äď and yet will not necessarily damage his chances of reelection.
Trump telling four politicians of color to ‚Äėgo back‚Äô to countries they came from shows more than just his own nativist instincts
In an unfashionable corner of Washington, with African American community activists standing behind him, House speaker Paul Ryan described Donald Trump‚Äôs view that an American-born judge was not qualified to preside over a case because of his Mexican heritage as the ‚Äútextbook definition of a racist comment‚ÄĚ.
The cost of keeping China out of the region is too great. We must build forces that could counter its operations instead
Let‚Äôs be honest: Australians have never had much time for our South Pacific neighbours.
The island nations that lie to our north and north-east, stretching from Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands to Vanuatu, Fiji and beyond, may be close to us geographically, but we have not found them especially interesting, important or profitable.
Donald Trump has said that his tweets on Sunday were 'not at all' racist after he was questioned by the media as he walked up the podium at his Made in America showcase speech.
On Sunday, the US president used racist language to attack four progressive Democratic congresswomen, telling them to 'go back and help fix the totally broken and crime[-]infested places from which they came'. Trump did not name his targets, but the attack was directed at a group of liberal congresswomen who have had a run-in with the House speaker, Nancy Pelosi, and who are sometimes referred to as 'the Squad': Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Ilhan Omar of Minnesota
Arriving in Brussels on Monday, the UK‚Äôs foreign secretary said there was still time to save the Iran nuclear deal. European powers are trying to preserve the landmark deal, which the US abandoned unilaterally a year ago. Iran recently announced it would start enriching uranium beyond agreed limits
Officers dressed in riot gear have fought with demonstrators inside a shopping centre in the residential district of Sha Tin, as they tried to disperse tens of thousands of people rallying against an extradition bill that would allow suspects to be sent to mainland China to face trial. Millions have taken to the streets in the past month in some of the largest and most violent protests for decades
Thousands of homes have been left without power after Storm Barry battered parts of Louisiana early on Sunday. The storm flooded highways, forced people to scramble on to rooftops, and dumped heavy rain as it made landfall 160 miles west of New Orleans. Authorities have warned of disastrous flooding across the Gulf Coast
The death toll in Nepal from flash floods and landslides in the past three days rose to 47 on Sunday, with dozens more injured or missing. Incessant monsoon rains have pounded many areas in the mountainous country, submerging large portions of land, inundating homes, and destroying bridges and roads across the country
Members of the public stepped in to direct traffic in central Manhattan on Saturday night after a power outage knocked out traffic lights and other infrastructure in the heart of New York. Thousands of people streamed out of darkened buildings, crowding Broadway pavements next to bumper-to-bumper traffic. The outage came on the anniversary of the 1977 New York City blackout that left most of the city without power
RELATED ARTICLESSeven Questions to Improve Your Business, Your Relationships, and Your Life
Seven Questions to Improve Your Business, Your Relationships, and Your Life
One of the most powerful tools we have as humans is our ability to ask questions.† The more adept we are at asking them (and waiting for and listening to the answers), the more effective we will be.
7 Super Ways To Drum Up More Sales
1. Use subheads throughout your ad copy.
10 E-mail Organization Tips
Who doesn't have issues with organizing their inbox!? I receive close to 600 e-mail each day due to the variety of activities and contacts I have online. Some I am truly interested in their content - most I am not.
Increase Business Profits - Ten Ways
How do you increase business profits? Answer the following questions carefully, and you'll have a good start.1.
Top 7 Tips For Writing Your Marketing Plan
A lot of people are at a loss when it comes to deciding how to approach the marketing plan process and how to stay within time and budget constraints. To make for a less stressful marketing plan process, keep these 7 tips in mind:Think Strategy First
An overall marketing strategy drives many decisions.
5 Tips to Manage and Organize E-Mail
How do you focus on your urgent e-mail and organize the rest for your review? Think about how you handle your paper mail. You probably sort your paper mail quickly before you read it to figure out what to look at first, what to read later, and what to throw away.
Top Ten Tips for Improving Your Cash Flow
Cash is king-so they say. If you work for yourself or someone else, you need to be aware of ways to improve the cash flow.
Ten Tips For Starting A New Job
1. Get to know people.
7 Steps Toward a Better Website
Creating a website is one thing, making it better is another. Matt shares 7 steps to help you gain a better website.
Making Money over the Internet : 5 Cool Tips
The Internet is a fast growing medium, trancending the personal ,geographical, political and cultural barriers. Because of its popularity and diversity, for an ambitious and hard working person, it is the right medium to make unlimited wealth th the only thing is that you should know how to do it, the knack of doing it comes only with practice ,but a non-starter doesnt get any practice.
Top 10 Ways to Turn Clients Into Raving Fans
Do you find great joy in being a coach? If so, you will find that your enthusiasm is contagious and will attract clients. Be sure to develop a superb and supportive community.
Ten Tips for Cross Cultural Communication
Here are some simple tips to help you improve your cross cultural communication skills:
Even when English is the common language in a cross cultural situation, this does not mean you should speak at normal speed. Slow down, speak clearly and ensure your pronunciation is intelligible.
7 Reasons Why Training Doesn't Produce the Desired Results and What You Can Do To
Seven Reasons Why Training Doesn't Produce the Desired Results and What You Can Do To Improve Your Results
OverviewAbraham Maslow said, "If the only tool you have is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail."† As managers, leaders and change agents, we want to improve our organizational performance.
The 10 Biggest Mistakes People Make Managing Organisational Performance
mistake #1: rely just on financial statementsProfit and loss, revenue and expenses these are measures of important things to a business. But they are information that is too little and too late.
Ten Reasons to Implement Choice Theory in Your Organization
What is Choice Theory (CT)? CT is a theory of the explanation of human behavior. CT has applicability to both a person's personal and professional life.
Business Attire: 10 Tips to Perfect Your Look
Being appropriately dressed is essential in making good impressions in the business and corporate worlds. A polished image is important in business survival and can be an important factor in career advancement.
Top Ten Things to Do to Make your Signature File Sell
Always include a powerful signature on every email you send out, even to friends. It's even more important when you send out articles to opt-in ezines (no spam) and top web sites in your field--more important than your article's message.
How To Use Bartering To Gain An Advantage Over Your Competition
If you have a business on the Internet you should be bartering goods and services with other businesses. You should always try to trade for something before you buy it.
Top 10 Items to Review & Build Your Business Now!
In building and runnng an independent private practice or small business, there are many items that need to be monitored closely and should be reviewed periodically. Year-end is a traditional time do this, and this week's Letter is a "Top Ten" of items to review as the year draws to a close, or whenever you decide to pause, reflect, take stock and re-assess.
The Top 7 Marketing Tips You Dont Want To Overlook
1. Combine Emotion and LogicConsumers buy because the want to experience the benefits of the product or service you have to offer.