Sunday, April 03, 2005

Ajarn's Top 15 Business Myth

Ran across this list of the Top 15 myths about starting and running a successful business.

Now some of these aren't myths I've heard anywhere: who actually says "To be successful, you have to be cheaper."? I think most people recognize that being the low price leader is a hard row to hoe, and that if price is your only differentiator, you're in trouble. I would also question whether there is a real business myth that "I'll just open my store and people will stream in off the sidewalks and buy from me."

If Ajarn were saying that these are myths, well really fantasies, that would-be business owners make the mistake of indulging...that would be one thing. But he's actually saying that people perpetuate these myths in print and publication...and when it comes to those two above I don't think those are generally accepted pieces of business advice.

But leaving that aside, there are other myths that are important to be busted, notably that cool ideas necessarily make cool (and profitable) products, that quality necessarily wins out, and that customers are always right and all equal.

This last one is the only part of the post that might generate a little controversy. It is really the conventional wisdom these days that the customer is everything, and that everyone is a potential customer.

BUt having been in business quite some time, as part of larger companies and on my own, I can understand the reasoning that some customers are just not worth it, and losses should be cut along with the ties that bind.

The only point I would add is that a company has to acknowledge their own role in creating monster customers. Did you over-promise and under-deliver? Did you sign on to a contract you weren't happy with figuring you could adjust it later?

Unhappy, demanding, angry customers usually are created by something going awry between expectations and reality. You have just as much of a role in setting expectations as the customer does. Be clear. Protect yourself. And DON'T think you can work around unfavorable or undesirable contract terms once the work is underway.

Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?