New Business Owners Say They Would’ve Focused More on Marketing, Strategic Planning

Starting a new business can be a difficult endeavor, no matter the industry or circumstances. The Alternative Board (TAB) recently polled hundreds of entrepreneurs who started a new business to learn what they would have done differently, if they had the chance to do it all over again.

There were a few common areas that most participants wish they had spent more time, resources, and money on: Strategic Planning, Sales, and Marketing. 27% of owners wish they would have spent more time on strategic planning, with 20% and 18% also mentioning sales and marketing, respectively. Along those same lines, 15% wish they had spent more money on strategic planning, versus 18% and 17% for marketing and sales.

“What do you wish you had done earlier in your business?”

This was another question that was asked of the study participants. These answers highlight a need, again, for better planning and marketing strategies. The most common answers were:

  • 35% mentioned creating a system/plan to generate more leads
  • 20% recommended to form an expert network for advice
  • 10% highlighted the importance of maintaining a detailed customer database and evaluating consumer demand for products and services
  • 9% said investing in measurable advertising was important

Besides the infographic below stating these and other interesting findings from the study:

Lessons learned when starting a business

Missing from findings were strategies for generating independent reviews or visibility in trusted publications, though marketing in general, was a top priority that business owners would reconsider in hindsight. The Alternative Board released a separate study on the occurrence of customers to trust independent reviews when looking for B2B vendors, which we covered in December 2014.

infographic via TAB.

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