A Big Business Mistake I’ve Made (And Chances Are You Have, Too)

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Don't Make This Business Mistake

It’s important to know your business’ viability. Doing market research before launching your business is one of those things you must do. You must ask around to see who would or would not buy your products or services. You must check out your would-be competitors. It totally makes sense to ask around and ask the opinion of others before you delve too deep into building your biz. And you must count on the opinions of others when you sell your products or services. It’s helpful to get reviews. But don’t forget – while a big part of your success relies on other people, there’s a lot that relies on you and your gut and your opinions.

It’s easy to get caught up in what everyone else is doing and what everyone else thinks when you’re an entrepreneur. But stop. Don’t make this business mistake. 

Denise Duffield Thomas recently shared a video about the number one pricing mistake people make. The mistake she refers to is crowdsourcing.  Maybe you’ve done this or have seen posts on Facebook or Twitter doing this – someone asks a group of people how much they should charge for a service offering or product and then those people chime in. Why is this a business mistake? As Denise explains:

  • There’s a chance you’re asking the wrong audience (if you’re a dog walker people who don’t own dogs won’t completely understand the value of your service).
  • The answers you receive could be based on other people’s personal beliefs, which may not be in line with your own.

When it comes to setting your business rates, it’s important for you to trust yourself and know your audience. Just because one price works for someone else doesn’t mean it will work for you. It’s NOT one-size-fits-all! You need to value yourself and be confident with how much you charge. There will always be someone who pays for what you offer. And there will always be someone who thinks what you’re charging is too much. It’s human nature.

After I watched Denise’s video I thought about other areas we entrepreneurs often crowdsource answers for. In my industry, online marketing, I often see people ask others what their niche should be. Sorry, again no one-size-fits-all OR magic answer. You need to determine that for yourself. Who you work with will determine how well you do your job. Trust me on this. If someone tells you the tech industry is lucrative and you decide to work with tech companies based solely on income potential, you’re not going to provide your best work. I provide the best results when I’m passionate or at least interested or intrigued in a client. I used to accept every type of client. But, I’ll be honest, there are certain industries and sectors I procrastinated the most on and dreaded diving into work for. In fact, I recently took on a client that didn’t quite resonate with me. I thought I could do it but then felt the weight of it pulling me down. I felt unmotivated in all areas of my business. The energy just thinking about it was taking me down. A year ago I might have continued on because I felt like I had committed myself. This time I found a replacement and gently let the client go. The relief that came over me was amazing. I felt more confident because I made a business decision all on my own and knew it was the right one! And guess what? It opened up the door for more ideal clients (yes, that’s plural) less than a week later! Work with people and companies that motivate you and the money will flow in.

A camel is a horse designed by a committee

Social media makes it so easy for us to cloud our own opinions with the opinions of others. And the popularity of crowdfunding can make it confusing for us to understand when the right time and the wrong time to source the opinions of others is. The right time is when it comes to how you operate. Customer service and quality are definitely things you want opinions about. But, when it comes to the inner growth of your business – the innovation, how you set your rates, and who you serve, you’re going to find more success listening to your gut than searching for the answers from your peers.

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