SCORE is in business to help small businesses start, grow and achieve success. A recent posting on its site from the president of RoadMap Marketing shared regrets — or I wish I had done this differently — of several entrepreneurs.
Do any of these apply to you or sound familiar?
- “I wish I had not been so cheap. I should have invested in strong infrastructure like having my accounting set up properly and a decent website. I wasted too much time trying to cobble it together myself. And the result? My image did not look professional and my books had to be completely cleaned up later.”
- “I was unclear on my unique value proposition. By being ‘all things to all people’, how could I communicate value? That meant my marketing was wishy-washy and ineffective. And without being clear on who was my best customer, I picked up many poorly defined projects where I lost money.”
- “I should have focused first on my sales pipeline. It took me too long to realize that the only way to meet my revenue goals was to work the numbers – number of clients, means 5 times as many proposals which means 10 times as many touches with potential prospects each month. When I finally focused on these raw facts, I started making money.”
- “My prices were too low. I tried to compete against more established players on price which just undercut my brand and service value. I failed to track my time – much less account for it in my profit calculations. When I finally looked at profitability by product, service and even customer, I was able to focus on areas where I could grow.”
- “I wish I had sought out a mentor. I could have greatly benefited from someone with experience and some success – especially in my industry. An early mentor could have focused my efforts and held me accountable.”