Michael Houlihan and Bonnie Harvey – Workplace Culture Experts & Barefoot Wine Founders

By Michael Houlihan and Bonnie Harvey – Workplace Culture Experts & Barefoot Wine Founders

A New Entrepreneur Is an Easy Target for Unreliable Merchants

A New Entrepreneur Is an Easy Target for Unreliable Merchants 150 150 MIchael and Bonnie Harvey

We have an old saying in California that goes, “The only people who made money during the Gold Rush were selling shovels!” Someone on the hunt for gold needs a lot more than a shovel. He needs a map—the people selling shovels can’t help out with that, because they’d be mining the gold themselves if they knew where it was. They wouldn’t be selling shovels!

There are far too many people today “selling shovels” to entrepreneurial “gold miners.” They’ll help out with your website, your online business, your social networks, and even your sales pitch—but you have to make all the sales.

These merchants want to find people who are excited about new possibilities, hyped up by the media, and perhaps over-simplifying what it takes to make a sale. If you’re a new entrepreneur, you might be like the gold miner without a map. You might buy a shovel because you think you’ll need it if you will eventually mine gold (assuming you even find any). These merchants will stock you full of goods and services you think you’ll need—everything except a map. Bonnie has an expression that really hits the nail on the head: “If we had ham, we’d have ham and eggs, if we had eggs!”

Many products merchants will sell are untimely for your business growth, based on wrong assumptions, or simply pointless. A lot of these require subscription fees and might even need “experts” just to use them. Many of these services try to be all things for all people, so it’s easy to pay for things you’ll never need or use. And they still need a ton of plug-ins to navigate around their shortcomings, but what does it matter to the sellers? They have your money and they’re on their way.

The map to find gold can only come from other successful gold miners! When it comes to entrepreneurship, this is someone who has started and successfully run a business, someone who is now looking to share the secrets that brought him or her to “gold”. These are the people you should be looking for, especially in the beginning. For one thing, they can help you save on premature overhead and costly fees since they’ve also made those same mistakes. They can help you build a strategic client base that will justify services and identify exactly which ones you need. And, more importantly, when you actually need them.

Recently funded, new startup owners, are sitting ducks for those shovel-sellers who target people looking for the next big gold rush. These days, entrepreneurship is the next big gold rush. Don’t get carried away by the hype. Just focus on getting and keeping your customers. Understand that reality first! No tool or service will guarantee those customers, but acquiring them is essential to be able to afford any additional overhead. And how exactly do you get these customers? Have a conversation with successful entrepreneurs who’ve already done it themselves! They have the gold maps!

We can’t even begin to count how many failed businesses we’ve seen load up on unnecessary overhead before they even made one sale. They just ran out of money. Today’s openness to crowd-funding for capital seems to intensify this problem. Neither the recipient of the funding or the crowd doing the funding really understand how to achieve positive cash flow. They are both fogged up by the hype surrounding the product itself. They’re convinced that taking on major overhead is required to be successful, so they typically don’t analyze overhead investments until it’s way too late!

So, before you buy a shovel, invest in a map!

For more, read on: http://c-suitenetworkadvisors.com/advisor/michael-houlihan-and-bonnie-harvey/