In preparing for my upcoming book “Going Out On A Limb”, I began compiling a list of all of the lessons I felt I learned through many business challenges and failures.  A friend suggested that I begin sharing them with you now.

When I started my first business I asked a friend for advice.  I was very lucky in that I knew the former CEO of major retail chain still in existence today.  He was one of the original founders.  However, I did not realize how lucky I was to know him. He helped me realize my first business by giving me advice on how to purchase a retail store.  However, as a newly minted entrepreneur of a small business, I felt I was taking advantage of our relationship and continued on getting business advice from other people.  They turned out to be the wrong people.

The first instance occurred when the salesman of one of my major vendors suggested I discount prices to attract more people into my store and increase my sales.  What I learned the hard way from this decision was that no new customers came into my store. Instead my sales increased from the same customers I had and but my profits declined.  However, the salesman enjoyed higher commissions due to my increased purchases from this vendor.  He benefited, I did not. When my friend stopped by to visit he was appalled at my decision to try to be the lowest price in town.  That is when I learned about the emotional value customers feel when buying your product or service.   This was a big lesson for me and I never made that mistake again.  For every business I started after, I told my partners this story and the importance of creating a niche marketing strategy.   I learned that business owners who try to please every customer can fail.

There are many more reasons why 85% of all newly formed businesses experience failure within the first few years of startup.  There are  many more business lessons I share throughout my webinars.   Review my Events Page and consider my Success through Failure webinar where I highlight many more lessons learned.  However, if you want to know how I avoided making that same marketing mistake again, check out my Easy as 1-2-3 Marketing Plan webinars.

Written by

Darlene Ziebell