The biggest problem with receiving advice from peers or mentors is that you never know what will work and what won’t. While a lot of successful businesses are born out of the intelligence and ability of their owners, sometimes, people pass on advice they’ve heard — or misheard — without any personal experience to add perspective. As a result, the advice they offer is based on a gut feeling, which may or may not be a boon to your own business: In some cases, the advice they share can be downright terrible for a budding entrepreneur.
To help identify some of the bad advice out there, we asked 15 members of Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) the following:
“What is the worst piece of business advice you’ve ever heard? Why is it so harmful?”
We recently interviewed Meeting Planners about what they look for in a potential Speaker for their events. Here’s what they had to share about the submission process.
1. Pay attention to the submission process and provide what is requested. The questions and information that is requested is required for a reason. If you don’t provide what is requested and don’t get selected, that’s a pretty good indicator of why.
2. Make your topic and description summary SIZZLE. Write your summary and take away points as if you were going to market the class to your own prospects. This will increase your chances of selection, keep in mind that several professionals are contending for the same spot on the agenda, so make your presentation stand out.
3. Don’t write the Bio or description in first person. Keep your bio updated and make sure it’s written in third person. The same is true for your description, it needs to be written in third person for the Reader.
4. Keep your information updated. The contact information that you provide during the submission process needs to be kept up to date. Due to the nature of the submission process, it may be a few months before you are contacted with an offer. If you are sent an email that you’ve been chosen to speak, and it doesn’t reach you, the missed opportunity goes to someone else.
5. Adhere to deadlines. Once you’ve been selected and agree to speak, its imperative to follow the deadlines provided to you and to read all the information that is sent to you. Last minute changes happen, it is appreciated when you stay on top of things. Be proactive, not reactive.
Many business owners think that EVERYONE is their customer, so they create a coupon, find a monthly delivery system (a coupon magazine or coupon mailer) and hope for the best. But, understanding your target customer can give you insights into how to price, how to promote, how to utilize media and what special offers will appeal to them.
If you are not in business yet, look at the neighborhoods where you are thinking of locating your business. What is the average age and income of the people in the immediate one mile radius? Check out the three mile radius also. If you have a retail business, the majority of your customers will be local to those areas.
If your answer is Generation X, have you made them the target of your marketing dollars? Do you know how to make your message resonate with them?
Building a successful business is typically done by trial and error, with many hurdles along the way. And when it’s your first company, every day involves making mistakes and learning something new.
We asked small-business owners around America to tell us the one thing they wished they’d known when they first started their businesses.
We’ve broken out some of the best to serve as a primer on getting as much as possible right the first time around.
When you’re trying to get a business off the ground, the people you surround yourself with matter. Keep these nine types at a distance.
You are what you eat, and you definitely are whom you associate with. The people closest to you make all the difference–in a good and a bad way.
Of course, it can be tough to find great new connections and friends to add to your inner circle; people who will support you, help you, and encourage, motivate, and inspire you.
It’s a lot easier to spot the people in your inner circle who are holding you back.
If you have people like these in your inner circle, remove them:
Connecting those with skills and those who need them is a perennial challenge in the labor marketplace, and there seem to be virtually infinite ways to make that happen. Just a few days ago we featured Beyond the School Run, which focuses on career opportunities during school hours, and since then we’ve come across KnowHowMart, an online tool now in beta that’s focused on helping skilled professionals sell their expertise to companies that need one-off advice.