bad startup advice

7 Terrible Pieces of Advice About Running Your Own Business

By Stefan Lang

When you’re starting your own business everybody will give you advice on how to succeed however it won’t always be great advice.

Advice from people who have experience in business is valuable but you must learn which advice to take and which to ignore. Some advice is great and will get you far but there are some cases where you are being fed a load of nonsense. Here’s a list advice that falls into the latter category.

1. Want it Done Right? Do It Yourself

No one man can do everything perfectly. Every person has their own skills and knowledge that makes them better at doing some things than others, so you have to be able to find people who have different skills and get them to work for you. As an entrepreneur, time will be one of your most valuable and limited assets, in order to succeed you must learn how to delegate and trust your employees.

Be prepared to outsource complex tasks like bookkeeping. Many entrepreneurs find it difficult to share the responsibilities but when done right, delegation can free you up to pursue more opportunities.

2. Quit Your Regular Job, or Don’t Quit Your Regular Job

This piece of advice is tricky because the right decision is different for everybody.

Going all in on a new venture is a tough choice to make because you never know for certain how the business will work out. Some people will be quick to remind you that 90% of startups fail; therefore, you must secure a backup source of income just in case. Others will tell you that because starting a new business is such a difficult task you should quit your day job and give it your full attention.

Ultimately, only you can make this decision for yourself. Consider all factors involved, whether your new business requires your full attention or not and act accordingly.

3. Established Markets are Best Avoided

Established markets already have all their big players and you will struggle if you try to compete. Some people would have you believe that you don’t stand a chance against the heavyweights so there is no point in trying. This is not true because there is always room for new businesses to succeed in established markets as long as they are able to give something unique to their customers. Remember to offer something that other businesses can’t and you will be able to carve out a slice of the pie for yourself.

4. Undercut Your Rivals’ Prices

Introductory pricing at low costs is a pricing trap that is too easy to fall into. As a new competitor you want to win over customers by offering a more affordable alternative however this type of thinking can be dangerous if you are not careful. What you really want is to be setting the pace at the top of the pack rather than propping up the bottom.

Psychologically, pricing your products at a level lower than your competitors may work against you because potential customers will see your product as inferior. Focus instead on providing quality products to your clients and set your prices according to the profits that you set out to achieve.

5. Do What You Love

Doing what you love ensures that you are passionate about what you are doing and that passion will keep you going when times get rough, but passion will not always be enough to create a sound business plan.

You could start a business that tests and rates couches for comfort but even that will require you to get up and find out how to reach your customers.

6. Stick to What Works

Other people have succeeded in their businesses and you might be tempted to use their blueprints to success on your own business model. Learning from successful people is wise but your business is unique and you’ll have to find out what does and does not work for you.

Innovation breeds success so you must be willing to try new things. Doing things your own way is risky, but it offers great returns.

7. Give Up

Hard times are almost always guaranteed when you decide to run your own business and some people who see you suffering may advise you to quit. This may be good advice in some situations; however, if you really want to succeed you must learn to replace the thoughts of quitting during hard times with ideas on how to improve your business model to make it successful. When to give up is something that you must decide on your own. Never let anyone else tell you when to call it quits.

Listen to advice, but don’t always take it.

Advice should always be welcome however you have to be sure that what you hear applies to your particular situation. Countless entrepreneurs have been told that their ideas won’t work by people who are considered experts in the industry and still gone on to succeed, despite ignoring the advice of those who supposedly know better.

In business, as in life, experience is the best teacher so spend more time making your own mistakes and learning along the way than you would listening to everyone else’s opinions. The success of your business is dependent on you, so make all of the hard decisions on your own.

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Stefan Lang
Stefan Lang is the current owner of DBAFilingOnline.com, which was started as a resource to help people file their DBA’s online. We have the latest State DBA information, and up to date articles so you can make the informed decision when it comes time to file your DBA.

2 comments

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  1. I really like this post. I had to record a video for Youtube of the co-founders of my current position, they are a startup, and they talked about some of the things you have mentioned. Your post really shows that there is never a perfect answer for everyone. Great post!

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