Checking the competition and selling: the mistakes I made in my first business

You would think that checking out the competition would be the first step you would take before setting up a business, but it isn’t, and seven out of ten businesses don’t bother. I didn’t with my first business; I had a product with an accurate costing for it’s manufacture, I added a profit and this was my selling price. I can’t remember the actual figures, but when I did eventually see my competitors’ prices, I was considerably cheaper than them. But the problem was that, despite the price advantage, I didn’t sell that many. Many years later, I now know the dangers of competing on price alone and that price and value are not the same thing.

Selling is another problem for the small business – we just don’t like doing it, which is probably why over 40% of us give up at the first “no” and almost two-thirds of us at the second “no”. Again, I now know the importance of finding out why they won’t give you an order; from personal experience I can tell you that it’s not just the price.

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