Jon Taffer on the Top 5 Mistakes Small Businesses Make

Going into business for the wrong reasons

Taffer sees too many people open a bar because they love hanging out in bars, and not because they have the vision and expertise to build a business. The same is true in network marketing. Too many people jump in because they love the product, or love selling, or love making money. While those things are nice, they are not critical success factors. It is much more important to love people and to have a good “Why.” If you don’t like people, you’re in the wrong business. And if you don’t know “Why” you are involved, then it will be difficult to have sustained success.


Not taking responsibility for failures

The common denominator in every failing business, according to Taffer, is an excuse. Owners blame competition, the economy, even new laws, and refuse to accept responsibility. Similarly, network marketers will blame expensive products, over-saturation, lack of upline support, and a lack of quality prospects, among other things. Sure, it’s easier to promote an affordable product over an expensive product, but the reality is both products can be successfully promoted – both types of companies have successful leaders. The main difference is the distributor – there is no such thing as a company without flaws.


Not understanding the three essentials of marketing

According to Taffer, many business owners think too generically about marketing. He says the three main parts are getting new customers, growing repeat business, and increasing spending by customers each visit. In network marketing, we have two objectives: find customers, and find distributers. Finding customers is the simpler of the two. We just recommend and promote the products and/or services that we like – just like we’ve done since we were 5 years old. Finding distributors is a bit more complicated because there are three steps: plant, cultivate, and harvest. Most people are good enough at planting – or finding people to talk to and seeing if they have an interest in the business. Likewise, we generally know how to harvest – help people sign up when they are ready. However, most people need a little help with the middle step – cultivating – or building the relationship.


Not staying on top of the numbers

In the bar business, there are beverage costs, food costs, labor costs, and overhead costs. In network marketing, things are a little different. For most people, the biggest number to look at is the work versus reward factor. How much work do you have to do for a given reward? How many people, distributors, customers, etc., do you need in your organization to earn a certain amount of recurring income? In most companies, to earn $10,000/mo in residual income (excluding recruiting bonuses) you will need between 2,000 and 3,500 total active people. Some companies can be as high as 30,000 people for the same paycheck – so you’d have to either do 10 times the work or accept 1/10th of the pay.


Not having the necessary experience or help

Taffer says that for first-timers, only 1 out of 12 restaurants/bars will succeed, versus 1 out of 3 for second timers. He tells entrepreneurs to either work for someone else first or go into business with an experienced partner. The same holds true in network marketing – without the right guidance, it is a daunting task that most people struggle with. This is the number one reason most people fail in network marketing – lack of proper guidance. The best thing to do is work with an experienced mastermind group of professionals from whom you can learn the skills critical to your success. Avoid any group that pays commissions for recruiting new members – those are easy ways of getting ripped off, or terminated from your network marketing company (you did read those policies and procedures, right?) Get educated with a group of people who truly want to help you, because everybody knows that it’s by helping others that we help ourselves.