SCORE Small Business Blog

The Top 5 Regrets of New Entrepreneurs
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Recently I was listening to the “journeys” of several entrepreneurs in different industries – from their initial dreams to their current operations. Interestingly, each shared regrets, or actions they wish they had done differently.  Here is their retrospective wisdom — in the hope others will reach success faster:

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.”

What are some of your greatest regrets? Share below.

Jeanne RossommePresident, RoadMap Marketing
Jeanne uses her 20 years of marketing know-how to help small business owners reach their goals. Before becoming an entrepreneur, she held a variety of marketing positions with DuPont and General Electric. Jeanne regularly hosts online webinars and workshops in both English and Spanish.
www.roadmapmarketing.com | @roadmapmarketin | More from Jeanne

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Discussion (3) Comment


  1. Angus PryorVisitor

    Hi Jeanne

    I’d say my biggest regret is not starting sooner! My main focus now is on the sales pipeline and I have a mentor.

    Regards

    Angus


  2. Idris BusariVisitor

    This #blog captures all the #lessons I learned as a #naive #entrepreneur . I know it’s going to help you by showing you costly #startUP #mistakes so you don’t have to make them. #Guilty on all #five #counts but awesome lessons were learnt in the #process.


  3. John ElrickVisitor

    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.”

    After a previous experience of working through six businesses over a twenty year span of time, I’ve recently started speaking with a SCORE mentor and with a SBDC councilor. The greatest single benefit comes from talking with someone whose job it is to have the mindset of how to make businesses successful. That’s something you will not get from employees, from business partners, or (most likely) from family. It affords a sounding board who’s mindset will be one to help you identify the right problems and think through the solutions.

 

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