“Business is bad.”
I hear this all the time. Funny thing, though. I hear it in both Good Times and Bad Times. I hear it during economic recessions and financial booms.
If you listen long enough to CNN, Fox News, and MSNBC, you’ll hear that business is always stinkaroo.
I sat in Starbucks for half an hour this morning. Here’s what I overheard:
“Matt moved back home. The kid’s business went belly-up, but you know how bad things are right now.”
“I’m cutting back my staff and shortening my hours because, well, business is just bad everywhere.”
“I can’t compete. Business is bad, and people are strictly price-shopping now.”
At the risk of being a spoilsport…
I think “business is bad” is usually just an excuse.
Larry Winget, everybody’s favorite maverick business writer, is even more hardnosed about this than I am.
“Business is never really bad,” he says. “People are just bad at being in business.”
There are three unfortunate traits I commonly see among failing new business owners. If you plan to start your own venture, make sure you don’t share them.
1) They’re unprepared for the entrepreneurial lifestyle.
No willingness to learn.
I’ll never forget the guy who told me, “I’m gonna quit my job and open my own shop. I want to free up more time to travel with my wife and kids.”
2) They’re undercapitalized for the type of business they’ve launched.
They make their first effort a high-inventory, high-overhead operation.
There are hundreds of businesses that can literally be bootstrapped together for a few bucks and built into six-figure companies and even seven-figure empires.
3) They throw their money at low-priority stuff, not high-priority stuff.
They spend big bucks on elaborate stationery and business card combinations, expensive telephone systems, computer networking programs, and web-design packages — while they slash their marketing budgets.
Tip: Marketing is the lifeblood of any business. Great looking letterhead ain’t.
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