If Only I Had Done It This Way …

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?

  1. “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.”
  2. “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.”
  3. “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.”
  4. “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.”
  5. “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.”