Pitfalls of Business

First, let me point out that I still plan on kicking most business aspects to the curb and focusing on the geek realm for the time being, but I came across a good article recently and wanted to share some observations. Plus after a weekend of non-stop coding, business concepts are a nice refreshing breeze right now.

The article is entitled 8 Pitfalls To Avoid When Starting An Internet Business and it’s written by Yaro Starak, an entrepreneur who appears to have had quite a bit of success. His list of 8 is as follows:

  1. Don’t start a business teaching how to make money online.
  2. Choose non-Internet related niches
  3. Don’t focus on making money
  4. Don’t enter a tiny market
  5. Watch out for tiny margins
  6. Look for leverage points
  7. Avoid self-employment thinking
  8. Be aware of your own limitations

These are all good in my mind, and many of them have been ON my mind quite a bit, especially the last three. From number 8:

It’s important when deciding what business to start that you see how it is possible for you to stop doing the day-to-day business fulfillment roles (delivery of services/products, support, sales, etc) in the future. If you can’t automate, outsource, or hire people to do these roles, then you don’t have a business model, you have a job model.

This is something I took away from the Portland Business Fair as well. To be successful you have to be sure that you are working ON the business, not IN it. This may present a slight challenge for me. As will numbers 7 and 9 for that matter. I’ve always been a self reliant person so to go out seeking leverage and asking for help from someone else so that I can focus on the higher level tasks doesn’t come natural to me. Not because I need complete control or anything like that (wipe that smirk off your face Misty), but because I am used to solving my own problems. I am a “go-to guy” by nature who destroys/covers up problems for a living.

When dealing with the problem of how to build a successful business though, I need to venture out and seek help. I’m getting better about this and the more I do it, the more I find that it comes with added benefits you might not expect. When you leverage people and resources, you can often time find marketing opportunities along the way. For instance, by hiring a designer, not only do I leverage someone else’s skills (much greater than my own), but I also potentially get some good advertising out of the deal as the designer inevitably shows off their work on their portfolio and spreads the word. Heck, just putting out a help wanted ad on a couple sites got this blog quite a bit of attention. The same goes for leveraging a new product/technology. You stand a chance of getting mentioned on the products website/brochure/etc as someone who is excelling/revolutionizing with this product, if you do so of course.

So leveraging can help you market. I am becoming more and more aware of this as time goes on. To get out of the “go-it-alone mindset”, which is just a recipe for failure, I am consciously making an effort to involve more people in the process. I’m hiring a designer, networking more, considering partnerships, trying to use new exciting technologies, etc. These days anything that comes my way get’s processed through the “can I use this to help my marketing/leveraging strategy in any way shape or form?” machine.



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