CSUDH Marketing Expert Explains How Entrepreneurs Can Navigate Early Development and Avoid Common Pitfalls

Newswise – The Big Quit – which has seen millions of workers leave or change jobs since the start of 2021 – has ushered in a wave of new entrepreneurs. However, since startups have an average survival rate of only 20%, they are very risky. Mistakes are costly and common, especially among the inexperienced.

To help start-ups avoid these pitfalls, Allan Colman, assistant professor of marketing at California State University, Dominguez Hills (CSUDH) writes The Revenue Accelerator: the 21 boosters to launch your startup, published August 2022 by Made for Success and Blackstone Publishing. Drawing on interviews with dozens of startup entrepreneurs and business leaders, as well as decades of his own business development experience, Colman shares some key lessons here.

Colman is a speaker, author and CEO of Closers Group, a business development consultancy.

You mention a potential wave of entrepreneurs in the United States. What changes have we already started to see?

First, there’s the Great Quit, as I call it. A significant number of people who have quit their job will be looking to start their own business. On top of that, there is a huge increase in the number of people aged 55+ who have already retired or will be retiring soon – many of them could be going into entrepreneurship to earn an income. additional. Finally, since the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a sharp drop in the number of women in the labor force. We see new entrepreneurs from each of these groups.

Why do you think start-ups struggle to survive?

The experts I interviewed were unanimous: the biggest problem they see is that entrepreneurs don’t research if there is a market for their product or service. If they don’t look at the market before they start, they’re already way behind.

Once a new entrepreneur knows there is a market need for their product or service, they need to find out where they can get free assistance – development centers, the US Small Business Administration, and community college programs. .. There is a huge amount of free and inexpensive advice for startups out there.

From interviews with entrepreneurs you conducted for the book, you developed 21 accelerators. What are your essential tips for selling?

The most important thing is to listen. By not listening and just thinking about what you want to say, you miss opportunities to gather important information. By asking good questions, you find out what people’s needs are and how you can meet them. You convert their needs into your values.

The second thing is trust. Trust increases sales. It generates expectations, successful delivery, repeat sales and referrals. An example of how to do this is to address customer dissatisfaction immediately. Recognizing it and correcting it quickly can lead to a higher level of confidence. Once an issue has been addressed and resolved promptly, occasionally remind your customer that you have done so. This is another form of invisible marketing.

Third, develop your unique selling proposition (USP). What do you have to offer that people can’t find anywhere else? Ask your peers, prospects, friends and family to pitch in. Your USP should be the central message of all your marketing and sales efforts.

Fourth, always build relationships. Where do you have people you meet regularly? Maximize your networks. Are you a member of a Chamber of Commerce, APE or YMCA? Let people know what you do. This is a perfect opportunity and it costs you nothing.

How should entrepreneurs market to different generations of potential customers?

Understanding the optimal tactics for reaching each of the four generations in today’s market is critical, as the differences between them are remarkable.

Baby boomers (55-73) are hard-working, solution-oriented. Gen Xers (38-54) are pushing employers to balance their work and personal lives and prefer value-based selling. Millennials (25-39) are laid-back, environmentally and globally conscious, and prefer digital marketing and transactions.

Gen Z (24 and under) is very pragmatic, digitally programmed and very versatile.

Spend time researching the demographic details of each group. It’s important to know when sealing a deal with an in-person handshake might be best. Asking prospects how they prefer to receive information (via text, email, phone call, or in person) can lead to future interactions.

Learning to apply generational preferences will hit the mark, while taking a one-size-fits-all approach will result in failure.