Magazine article Black Enterprise

Mr. (or Mrs.) Fix It: Avoid Mistakes by Heeding the Hard-Earned Lessons of Other Entrepreneurs

Magazine article Black Enterprise

Mr. (or Mrs.) Fix It: Avoid Mistakes by Heeding the Hard-Earned Lessons of Other Entrepreneurs

Article excerpt

MISTAKES--WE ALL MAKE THEM, BUT IN AN ECONOMY this tough, even a small misstep can lead you away from the road to business success. But that doesn't mean you should close shop until the street's been repaved.

"When the economy takes a hit, it's easy to play it safe," says Marcia Pledger, business columnist with Ohio's largest daily newspaper, The Plain Dealer, and author of My Biggest Mistake ... And How I Fixed It: Lessons from the Entrepreneurial Front Lines (Orange Frazer Press; $20). "But the people who innovate are going to emerge stronger when the economy recovers. Why avoid moving forward when you can avoid making mistakes instead?"

And who better to learn from than entrepreneurs who have successfully navigated roadblocks? Pledger agrees, saying, "The stories I've collected can save aspiring and seasoned entrepreneurs alike some headaches, heartbreaks and financial troubles."

What's the Deal?

In her 17 years covering business, Pledger has seen it all. Here are her top three lessons entrepreneurs have shared with her--and how you can apply them to your own enterprise.

1. Diversify your client base.

"It's easy to fall into the trap of relying too heavily on one or two clients," Pledger says. "Then, through no fault of your own, they're gone and you're in trouble. There's nothing like multiple streams of income." One small business consultant in the book had been neglecting seeking new clients; carving out time for marketing bolstered his bottom line. …

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