• How Entrepreneurs Make Big Mistakes With Products & Markets

    Entrepreneurial Mistakes

    Entrepreneurs are courageous souls. They ideate, launch, and hustle. But that’s assuming entrepreneurs are doing it right. If they don’t get the right push from the start, the path is rarely that linear.

    Ideas are not validated or don’t prove to fulfil demands that can give some momentum to the business.

    The launch isn’t well planned. Even if it is, your launch isn’t accompanied by the marketing vehicle that’s needed for your launch to ride on.

    The hustle part seems to be much like the good old days where Fuller Brush salesmen, or sales guys selling books (competing with Amazon, are you?) hit the streets.

    All this happens because although entrepreneurs start out with intentions that are worthy of a full dollar, the path is usually strewn with more self-made problems than external issues such as the economy.

    Here are some big mistakes entrepreneurs make:

    My product is awesome

    Maybe it is. Maybe it isn’t. No matter what it is, you’d need your market to tell you that. You’d need an avalanche of testimonials, reviews, and positive feedback from the market to get to that conclusion.

    The only group of people who can’t claim: “my product is awesome” is your team (including you).

    Startups have this mentality, and god forbid if every other business also starts this way.

    Entrepreneurial success depends on a variety of things coming together: idea, traction, acceptance, value perception, momentum, marketing, customer support, and your own attitude.

    Starting with the belief that your product is the best ever (not that you shouldn’t), could stop you from doing anything else about your business.

    My business doesn’t need marketing

    Take a look at some of the best products and services in the market and you’ll see gigantic marketing machinery behind the scenes. Don’t let that simple Apple’s home page or that fast loading Amazon site fool you.

    Behind that simplistic business proposition is the fine art of marketing. There’s years of research, studies on consumer behaviour, and insightful understanding of what thousands of customers have said or felt before.

    Your product needs more marketing than the product itself.

    I’ll try this, and then try that. We’ll see what sticks

    You don’t have time to experiment when you have to launch. Post paunch, there’s just too much to do and a lot more at stake. You can’t be “trying this and that”. There’s nothing left after your hit and trials for anything to stick.

    Start with Google Adwords or Facebook Ads to get some real validation from where it matters: your potential customers. That’s the best kind of market research you can do and every word of feedback you get is worth gold.

    Choose your budget, start with paid advertising, and then try other digital marketing (or traditional marketing channels) to see what works and what doesn’t.

    The startup dilemma

    One read through the startup literature and you’ll quickly see patterns emerge. “Product to market fit”, “Validating ideas”, “Looking for investors”, “rounds of funding”, “exit strategy”, and “scale”.

    Often, it’s the worst advice you can get. When you launch your business, your focus should be on your product and the value your customers are likely to get.

    Everything else happens later.

    What mistakes are you doing? Talk to us.


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