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30 Tips for Avoiding Business Failure

Business owners: What advice would you share that you've taken away from starting a business?

We hate to speak of the devil, but the best way to learn is from others' mistakes — and what better mistakes than those of nine ultimately very successful tech startup founders? 

The Next Web quizzed the founders of EnvatoDribble and more about errors to avoid when ramping up a company: errors that could easily be applied to managing an already-existing company. Here are two of our favorites.

Have a mission and a purpose
Alan Johnson of Treehouse says, "The biggest thing I’d recommend is to start a company that’s on a mission, not just a company that’s building a nifty product." Treehouse's mission is to make education affordable and accessible. Knowing that, "it’s made so many things, like hiring and other decisions, significantly simpler for us, because we can always look to our mission for help."

Find your niche
Christian Reber of 6Wunderkinder warns against trying to be "everything to everyone." It's best to conquer a smaller market and gain loyal customers who can advocate for your brand before you try to gain a larger following. If you make a single (or a few) products and services your priority, or perhaps target particular clients (i.e. IT support just for law firms), you have a greater chance of being a stand-out business, as opposed to just another of the many available options.

Listen to your customers
We've harped upon this quite a bit on Small Business Patch, but take it from Gleb Budman of Backblaze - engaging your customers is essential, especially those who were the first to use your product or service. Budman expresses his regret at not going a step further to "engage, nurture, and build those early fans into advocates." A good way to do this could have been with feedback surveys, VIP service of some sort and special promotions. In order to show your customers you care, you have to be nimble in response to their feedback, so keep on your toes!

To read all thirty tips, visit The Next Web.

Business owners: Share in the comments your advice for avoiding failure. 

This article is sponsored by Wells Fargo Works. Watch the video series, then enter the contest where you could win a similar experience, including $25,000 for your business. Watch the videos and enter the contest here.

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