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Thursday, April 10, 2008

Entrepreneur's Work Experience In A Supermarket

A lot of the teenager’s and young entrepreneurs who read my website will have a “real job” in the offline world (scary thought, isn’t it). I also had a job in a supermarket for a brief period.

young entrepreneur started working in a supermarket

I started working at a supermarket in September of 2005 and quit that job in the December of 2006 when I launched Retire at 21. I learnt a lot about employees and customers in my time doing this and indeed, I would recommend that every young entrepreneur gets a “real job” - as it is vital life experience for anyone who wants to be there own boss!

Here is what I learnt:

Employees are lazy - every chance they have, they will take a break, cut corners, go missing and call in sick. I have experienced so many designers, programmers and marketers who have done a half arsed job, not been online for days on end and go for a coffee every 10 minutes.

A percentage of customers will be a pain in the arse - they can’t do anything for themselves, they expect you to do there shopping, pack their shopping, pay for them and then drive them home. After you have done all these things for them they will still complain!

Appearance is everything - every thing must be in the right place, do not make people think. This applies big time on your website, put links, logo and content where people expect to see them! (I confess, this is something I am still working on myself)

You can never please everyone - at the end of the day, customers will always complain about something, employees will never think there paid enough and no matter how easy you make it to find, someone won’t find it.

So what can we do about this?

Personally I like website businesses because it allows me to have few if any employees. Also, some entrepreneurs are drawn to the Internet simply because it is a method of keeping themselves somewhat remote from their customers - but of course this is not practical for every business.

Here are two suggestions that I have found useful - on how to make your business life flow more easily:

1) Build a support system that answers customers questions without you having to be involved. (FAQ’s) Many times you will get emailed the same question - keep a template of your reply and just “top and tail” it to suit the client, rather than writing out a new reply every time.

2) If you get asked a question repeatedly - then do a Blog Post or article that answers it

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Monday, April 7, 2008

5 Soul Crushing Mistakes That Beginner Bloggers Make

by Dean Hunt Posted in Blogging

There is nothing worse than seeing someone give up on their blog before it even got started. Sadly this happens to hundreds of new bloggers every day. So here are the five main mistakes that beginner bloggers make.

1 - Not Launching

Ok, so for the past 6 months you have been meaning to launch your blog, but you never got around to actually doing it. Listen, it is action that defines success, talking about doing something is as useful as an inflatable dart board.

2 - Being Cheap

Do not host your blog on blogger, typepad etc… e.g - this will make you look cheap, and if you do become successful, it will mean that your blog is almost impossible to sell, as you don’t legally own it. You can get your own domain for as little as $7.

3 - Giving up

All good things in life take time. Don’t give up after a few weeks. Most successful sites are very quiet for as much as the first 12 months, so be patient.

4 - Early ads

It always amazes me when people plaster their blogs with ads, despite the fact that 2 people per day are reading it. What do they expect to achieve from this?

Do not put ads on your site until you are getting at least 10,000 visitors per month. It makes you look cheap, and can harm your brand. Think about it, is it really worth taking the risk for an extra 26c per day?

5 - All Design and No Substance

It is all the crazy to have a custom theme and a shiny looking blog, but your content is a LOT more important. Focus on making quality content for the first six months, and if you are getting a lot of visitors, then invest in a fancy blog theme.

What other beginner blogging mistakes would you add to this list?