What’s the number one thing that anybody wanting to go into business should have to increase their chance of success?

Budding entrepreneurs ask this question all the time. Unfortunately, many don’t like the answer. 

To increase their odds of success,future entrepreneurs should have industry experience. Having knowledge of how your given industry is like turbocharging your startup.

One of the main reasons for failure is that people go into industries that they have no knowledge. the learning curve required to learn a industry requires lots of time and money, which most startups don’t have.

How do you deal with clients who always want a deal or discount?

This is a very common situation faced by just about every entrepreneur and the answer can vary by industry. I say that because if every one of your competitors are giving discounts then you maybe forced into doing the same. Having said that, there are a couple of things you can try.

  1. Raising your pricing by the amount of the discount people are asking for and then give them a discount. this might not work if pricing is already competitive
  2. Find some way to move your products or service into a higher value category where there may be less competition.
  3. Just say no and let your competitors race to the bottom of the pricing ladder. 
  4. Give free service or product in lieu of a cash discount. Example: Lets say you charge $100/hr and a client wants a 10% discount on a $1000 job. Let’s further assume you pay your employee $30/hr. Add in some overhead and other expenses, the employee cost/hr may get to $50/hr. I would offer the client an extra hour of service instead. This way it only costs you $50 but the client gets $100 value.

Why do so many businesses fail?

This is a loaded question because businesses fail for all sorts of reasons.  The following is a list of the top 7 reasons:

  1. Bad Idea – there’s either no market (nobody cares except you) or conversely it’s too competitive.
  2. Cashflow – they run out of money.
  3. Lack of skills – individuals start businesses without any sales, management, operation skills.
  4. No plan – No business plan or lean canvas prepared.
  5. No industry knowledge – individuals start businesses in industries where they have no knowledge.
  6. Negative attitude – Having a negative attitude gets telegraphed to both employees and customers and is not a positive attribute. Entrepreneurs need to be positive
  7.  Burnout – Being self employed is one of the loneliest jobs in the world. It requires tremendous resilience and self motivation. 

What is the number #1 skill and entrepreneur should have to be successful?

Sales skills is without question the number #1 skill every entrepreneur should have. Every business is driven by sales. It’s what generates your revenue. You don’t have to be great, but you do need to good. If you don’t have the skill, go get some training. It’ll be worth every penny you spend.

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