Launching a business can be an exciting time. In my opinion, the process itself is what makes it fun. But keeping the ball rolling is a lot easier said than done. No matter how prepared you are, unexpected occurrences can easily pull the rug out from underneath you. This is why it’s crucial to be able to keep your focus and have a sound game plan. With that said, here are 6 things business owners overlook when developing a product or service.
1. Don’t Plan on Having Many Sick Days.
As an employee, calling in or taking a sporadic vacation isn’t uncommon. Staying in bed because you’re not motivated to get up or you don’t feel well isn’t that big of a deal. The operation still functions without you. But when you’re calling the shots, you better be able to overcome a bad day or night’s sleep. The business is going to need your attention and leadership throughout the infant stages.
Not only is it your responsibility (and what you signed up for), but your attitude is contagious. A lack of passion will most certainly influence employees, customers and any partnerships. If they’re having a rough day, you need to be able to get them going. It’s easy for frustration, doubt and discouragement to creep in. So make sure you have a way to deal with it professionally.
Vacation days aren’t a pipedream – you’re just going to have to work really hard and put a lot of stuff in place before considering a break. When new business owners overlook the minor details, it affects everyone around them. So manage your work/life balance on the front end to keep yourself in the right mindset.
2. The Passion of the People They Hire.
Employees and contractors are not going to have the same passion as you do. You’re the business owner, not them. Expecting everyone to match your energy and tackle everything with zeal is pretty ignorant. They’re not going to care about the brand, service or values like you do. On top of motivating yourself, they need to be led, nurtured and managed. Handing out autonomy without a trial can set you back big time.
Every person is different. They all have different desires, emotions and needs. So instead of forcing them to embody your “perfect representative”, find ways to encourage them to uphold your standards. If they were ambitious enough to take initiative, they’d probably start their own business. But they’re working for you. So do what you can to make them comfortable with accountability.
When you understand people, it also gives you a chance to explain your passion and values so they can respect your vision. It’s all about relationships. So if you’re bad with people, start working on it.
3. You Can’t Do Everything Yourself.
One of the most common things new business owners overlook is multitasking. There is plenty of published content about this topic on the world wide web. Wearing too many hats or prideful attempts to do it all yourself can have devastating consequences. Not only can you mess something up and have to pay an expert to fix it, but errors or inconsistencies can negatively impact first impressions.
It may seem like you have everything under control in the beginning, but you can quickly become overwhelmed and inattentive to the business itself. Although it can be tough to trust people these days, it’s important that you develop a process that fills holes, plugs gaps and covers your weaknesses. This way, you can focus on value and the experience. Working harder while repeating mistakes will never fix the problem.
4. The Importance of Judging Character.
Nobody likes the extensive process of hiring. But today, you have to stay on your toes. Resumes, product descriptions and service presentations are extremely craft and sales-heavy. If you’re not a critical thinker or good at reading people, it’s going to be tough to not get burned. Unfortunately, contractors and coaches prey on start ups and hope new business owners overlook their reviews. It’s really bad in the marketing realm.
So do your due diligence before making decisions. Take time to establish brand standards, expectations and what an ideal representative looks like. Good questions provide great insight. Taking the time to find the right people allows you to build upon the foundation instead of constantly starting over.
5. The Value of a Quality Experience.
There’s a big difference between presenting something as a qualitative option and providing a quality experience. I’ve spent a lot of time talking about this already – but the key is to be memorable from start to finish. You can have a great sales process and terrible product. You can have a great product but unappealing marketing. Both scenarios leave money on the table and hurt you from the get-go.
Unless you’re walking through every phase of the customer journey, it’s difficult to have clarity on what the problem is. So do this beforehand to make sure you’re not dropping the ball somewhere. When new business owners overlook the experience, consumers start to overlook them. Waiting for someone to leave a bad review and point out your flaws is hard to overcome.
6. Initial Struggles and Contingencies.
If you don’t get the results you’re looking for right out the gate, what are you going to do? Are you expecting success? If so, why so? Like I said before, not everyone is going to be willing to feed off your passion. Despite your personal excitement, people may not care. How are you going to respond to overcome or bounce back if you struggle? This is where a sound contingency plan comes in handy.
New business owners overlook this possibility because many are taught to be optimistic and positive. But the reality is, you have to expect the operation to fail. This way, if it doesn’t, you can take those vacation days.
Be purposeful with everything you do guys, and always remember to PreFocus.