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Old 07-11-2011, 09:35 AM
 
28,900 posts, read 48,809,195 times
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I just got off the phone with a new prospect of mine. The guy started his retail biz three years ago (When the market tanked) and has scratched out a living since then. I had tried to advise him from the onset, but he blew off all my suggestions--particularly about the importance of good marketing. Now he's back, and seems ready to listen.

So here's my question for all you entrepreneurs. What mistakes did you make during the early stages of your business? And what did you do to rectify them? I'll start:

Before starting my marketing/branding consultancy, I wish that I had waited two more years to network and built up a nest egg. I never counted on the long sales cycles involved in what I do. To solve that problem, I took my own medicine and began aggressively promoting myself and concentrating on high-margin prospects.

What's yours?

Last edited by cpg35223; 07-11-2011 at 10:10 AM..
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Old 07-12-2011, 12:19 PM
 
19,314 posts, read 58,631,163 times
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Oddly, I can't think of anything significant that I could have done better. I started WITHOUT a business plan, WITHOUT a startup loan, and used contacts to hone in on what was needed. A lot of it was luck, a lot was driven by sheer terror, but it worked. The big plus I had was a less than scrupulous promoter, who spent some substantial cash in hopes of stealing my software, rather than just taking a cut.
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Old 07-14-2011, 02:18 PM
 
98 posts, read 374,575 times
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Wish I'd never wasted a penny on 100% of the marketing services we bought during our first couple of years in business. We bring in WAY more business from our $100-a-year website than any of the hundreds-a-month services we paid for during those first couple of years.

My own advertising efforts, at a fraction of the cost of any marketing service that's ever been pitched to us, is several orders of magnitude more effective than those other services.

Figured it out pretty quickly, all things considered, but I did waste a few thousand dollars on services that I'd never purchase again.
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Old 07-17-2011, 12:42 PM
 
3,770 posts, read 5,847,564 times
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i wish i kept my job or gotten a part time job to keep me from spending my savings.
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Old 07-17-2011, 12:46 PM
 
5 posts, read 23,486 times
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I think, should I have started from the home and built a good client base before moving to an expensive office.
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Old 07-29-2011, 09:31 PM
 
401 posts, read 631,148 times
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Default spent too much on waiting for customers to respond to my advertising

That's easy, I spent too much money on marketing. Capitalism and the consumer are moving at the speed of light. Chasing the consumer through paper advertising, web based, and search engine are old school technologies as far as I am concerned. Of course it depends on your type of business, but for me I knew who my customer was, I just had to pick up the phone and call them. From there the doors opened wider than any marketing could have done.
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Old 07-29-2011, 09:49 PM
 
28,900 posts, read 48,809,195 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by midlifeman View Post
That's easy, I spent too much money on marketing. Capitalism and the consumer are moving at the speed of light. Chasing the consumer through paper advertising, web based, and search engine are old school technologies as far as I am concerned. Of course it depends on your type of business, but for me I knew who my customer was, I just had to pick up the phone and call them. From there the doors opened wider than any marketing could have done.
As somebody in the biz, I couldn't agree more. It really depends on the kind of biz you are in.
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Old 07-30-2011, 02:19 AM
 
18 posts, read 23,569 times
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Before starting my business I wish I could stand up a great view of all the markets and its views about my business stand up which will help me a lot after starting up of my business.
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Old 07-30-2011, 07:44 AM
 
455 posts, read 1,149,566 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by midlifeman View Post
That's easy, I spent too much money on marketing. Capitalism and the consumer are moving at the speed of light. Chasing the consumer through paper advertising, web based, and search engine are old school technologies as far as I am concerned. Of course it depends on your type of business, but for me I knew who my customer was, I just had to pick up the phone and call them. From there the doors opened wider than any marketing could have done.
Yea, very true. For my business its such a niche market product that I don't need to spend anything on advertising (its basically a waste). Instead I have to focus on developing the absolute best product for this market. Once I've accomplished that, word of mouth does all the marketing for me. Facebook anyone?
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Old 07-30-2011, 10:51 AM
 
Location: Baltimore, MD
3,879 posts, read 7,620,840 times
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Very insightful thread!

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