June 10, 2011

Link Love: The Most Valuable Small Biz Articles Posted This Week

Happy Friday! Below are my recommended reads from around the web for the week:

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April 27, 2010

Take Their Advice For What It’s Worth

Filed under: Growing Your Business — Tags: , , — Meredith @ 6:12 am

Last week I ran a series called “The Best Thing I Did for My Business.” I interviewed entrepreneurs and collected their experiences and shared them with you. I hope you noticed that they all had different answers to that question. While it’s absolutely a great idea to learn from others’ experiences and get advice from other business owners, their business is not your business. What worked for them may not work for you. What failed for them might be a huge success for you.

I see so many conversations on business owner forums that go something like “Don’t use Adwords, it’s a waste of money” or “Advertise on Craiglist, it got me 10 wholesale orders this week!” You kind of need to ignore this sort of talk.

Sure, take ideas away from other business. If they say coupon codes helped them grow their sales, feel free to give it a shot. If they say Adwords failed them and you have a similar type of business don’t go whole hog and start on Adwords with a $1000 daily budget. It’s important to learn from others, but never take their experiences as gospel.

The thing that worked for them may not work for you because you have a different type of business or a different type of customer or a different price point or a different brand image. The thing that failed for them may have failed because their product photos or web design are sub-par and anything they try is going to fail.

This is why it’s extremely important to really understand your business, your customers, your market, your path to success. You can learn from others’ experiences but always be objective and consider whether their advice or experience truly applies to you. Also think of ways to extrapolate what they say as it applies to your business.

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