I’m not one for reading entrprenuerial type books, but after seeing Duncan Bannatyne plugging his latest book on Sky News I got myself a copy. The main reason for picking up 43 Mistakes Businesses Make… was knowing I’d have a chance to actually read it (plane flights, sat in the sun etc).
However, there was also an element of curiosity! What has Bannatyne got to say and just how many mistakes have I (and Loquax) made over the years.
The book is pretty easy to read and the advice offered is mixed up with anecdotes from Duncan’s own business experiences , contestants on Dragon’s Den and recent business events.
Apparently Duncan started his entreprenuerial career in ice cream and now has a few fitness clubs. You’d never know this reading the book as he hardly mentions them (i’m kidding btw). This isn’t totally a bad thing as the information is relevant and mostly interesting.
For online entreprenuers the good news is that Bannatyne does occasionally mention things like SEO, Facebook and Twitter. One thing that frustrates me a little about The Apprentice is that “online” doesn’t seem to play a part in things. I’d just love a team to get themselves on Facebook or Twitter and try and flog stuff for Lord Sugar!
So what are the mistakes?
Many of the mistakes are basically just common sense things, or things many people overlook until it’s a bit too late. For example, is it a good business idea, profit vs turnover, staff, customers, location, thinking the market will never change etc.
Each mistake is described in a few pages – as I say many are common sense, but it’d be a surprise if one or two didn’t resonate with the entreprenurial focused reader.
The one mistake mentioned in the book that resonates most for me is hiding behind the desk – something we’ve pretty much done for the lifetime of Loquax. Relationships are very important now in affiliate marketing – probably more so than ever – but somehow we’ve got away without having to do too much “out the office” work.
The Extrapolation Trap is another one of the errors that stood out. I remember clearly chatting with affiliates back in 2004/5 about how we’d all set up 100s of sites, each site would earn ££s and we’d be able to sit back and watch them top the SERPS. If only we’d known just how much harder work running a site is now compared to then!
Another mistake we’re probably guilty of is “build it and they will come” – in many ways we got lucky with Loquax as we did build and they did turn up. And thankfully people still keep on coming. However, other sites have never ever had that – and we’ve rarely got out of first gear to attract them. Ooops!
Mind you, in the book it’s also a mistake to grow your business too big – and subsconciously we’ve always been wary of the overall Loquax business getting bigger than we can actually manage.
On the plus side, therefore, there’s a few of Bannatyne’s mistakes we’ve avoided – often without knowing we’ve avoided them. That kind of underlines the fact that many of the mistakes are purely down to not applying common sense.
All in all I’d say that the book is useful as a reminder of how things can go wrong and where they can go wrong. It’s not going to turn you into a top entreprenuer or propel your business into higher echelons, but there’s some good pointers to ponder upon.
If you do decide to buy it then the first mistake you’ll make is paying full price for it – an astonishing £13.99 RRP. Get it on Amazon for just £7.03.