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What You Wish You Knew

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Subject: What you wish you knew when you started your business
From: Dave Navarro <dave@davenavarro.com> (Add as Preferred Sender)  
Date: Mon, Dec 31, 2012 10:15 am
To: Bob@mistersalesman.com

 One of my favorite questions to answer is "What do you wish you knew when you started out?" 


I've got a few things to say on that subject that you might find useful in your business. :-) 


Before I go into those, however, I have a quick thing to say: 


     ==================================== 
      We've been getting more than a few questions from people 
      who are just about to start their business. 


      They want to know if our "Let's Fix Your Business" classes 
      are good for people who haven't started their enterprise just yet. 


      The answer is yes. 


      If you don't have your business up and running yet, this will 
      show you how to get it right the first time. 


      If you fall into this camp, you should head over here: 


           http://ittybiz.com/letsfixyourbusiness 


      ... and check out all the details. 
      ==================================== 


Now, back to the advice. :-) 


1. Spend more time creating your own assets than you do leveraging others'. 


It's easy to get caught up in doing joint ventures and writing guest articles and trying to get other people to promote you. These are all good things to do, in the grand scheme of things, but it's much more important to build assets that are 100% your own. 


Content on your own site, products that are fully your own, and a list that grow organically (rather than funneled to your list through a joint venture) will always net you more money over time. Attention from other people's audiences will generally underperform attention from new people who have been referred by your existing people. 


2. Don't get too spread out in who you serve. 


Bill Cosby once said "I don't know what the key to success is, but the key to failure is trying to please everyone." 


Many business owners try and make products and services with mass appeal. That can work if you're big enough and you're catching volume, but when you're a small business you'll get more traction targeting a particular TYPE of person to sell to. 


By type I mean personality type or general attitude. Look around at the brands that you're most loyal to. Chances are they exclude a lot of people based on price point, tone and approach. Keep that in mind and remember that when you don't target the masses, you can make one type of customer extremely loyal. (And they tend to bring a lot of referrals.) 


3. It takes several years to turn a profit, unless you're very lucky. 


A typical startup takes a few years before they have enough traffic to be profitable (and in this case, I don't mean "they made a dollar of profit" as much as I mean "the business is sustainable now.") So many solopreneurs wonder why they're not making good money 12 months out the gate. 


It takes time. Focus on making your business consistently grow, rather than looking for the jackpot, and your chances of success go way up. 


4. Run your idea past people and ask them to shoot holes in it. 


It's easy to fall in love with your idea, or your implementation of it, and think it's a winner. But when you're that close to it, you can't be objective, and you'll rationalize a lot of weak areas because you don't want to see them. 


Take your idea to people who you trust to tell them the truth and ask them to run it through the wringer. Better to have them point out potential problems than go in the wrong direction for years. 


5. Reinvest early profits. 


Many solopreneurs see a profitable month as a chance to spend money. In your early days, that profit can buy you traction, and you should take advantage of that. When I invested a profitable month in a website redesign, things started to take off. When I had an unexpected check arrive, I bought truing I couldn't previously afford. It made the difference. 


When you commit to the growth of your business, profit is an opportunity to embark on further growth opportunities you didn't have before. If you reinvest in growth, you'll have more pocket money sooner rather than later. 


======================= 


That's plenty for now. :-) 


I've got a few more lessons I'll be sending to you in the new year, but chew on these for the time being and ask yourself if any apply to where you are now. 


And while you're doing that, check out the "Let's Fix Your Business" classes - they'll give you a lot to work with to get more customers coming to you in 2013. 


It's 50% through Thursday, and you can get the details here: 


      http://ittybiz.com/letsfixyourbusiness 


I hope to see you in class. It's going to be a very good time. 


Yours, as always, 
Dave 
















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