Thursday, January 22, 2015

Lesson #195: Entrepreneurs Speak Out on What They Would Have Done Differently

Posted By: George Deeb - 1/22/2015

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Back in Lesson #120, I wrote about the importance of planning ahead for proof-of-concept marketing based on my first-hand experience seeing the same consistent mistakes being made by the hundreds of startups calling Red Rocket for help:  too much focus on product, and not enough focus on planning for a proof-of-concept around that product (which is what most venture capital firms are looking for before they make an investment in a company).  And, to achieve such proof-of-concept, it requires inexperienced entrepreneurs to seek out experienced coaches or mentors to help create smart customer acquisition strategies and to budget for them accordingly.

Now, there is a 2015 survey conducted by The Alternative Board (TAB) which backs up that claim with hard data. They polled over 500 entrepreneurs about what they would do differently, if they had the chance to start all over again. Over 86% of the entrepreneurs responded that they would invest their time and money differently, with more focus on sales, strategic planning and marketing. Which is exactly what I would have guessed: 80% of respondents concluded customer development strategies were more important to success than product development strategies for long term success.  And, 54% would have created a better plan to increase leads out of the gate.

Other predictable datapoints from the survey:

  • 60% would have raised more money:  72% for sales/marketing, 35% for hiring.
  • 40% would have invested more time:  78% into sales/marketing, 47% into planning.
  • And they could have used a lot more help:  42% around finding better mentors or coaches, 33% around business modeling and 32% around finding and delegating to better employees.

So, lots of juicy tidbits in this survey that I thought were worth sharing with you.  Make sure you digest what this data actually means for your business, and make the appropriate changes.  We are happy to help you think through all your options here, so don't hesitate to reach out to us.

If interested in reading the full results of the survey, along with a detailed analysis and infographic, it can be found on the TAB website.

For future posts, please follow me on Twitter at: @georgedeeb.


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