Young Entrepreneur? Do These Simple Steps and Set Yourself up for Success.

No one begins a business journey expecting to fail, but, statistically, most do not succeed. They come to a point where they must pivot, retool or just scrap it all and start from scratch. No harm, no foul. There are a great many moving parts in a successful business, and you can’t control all of them. While many fail because of self-imposed issues, there are a plethora of ancillary factors that can sink even the most well-piloted vessel.

The best you can do at the beginning of any venture is to take all the steps you can to set yourself up for success.

Honesty really is the best policy. Be honest with your customers, your employees and … most of all, with yourself.

Many CEOs have ended up broke because they let themselves get away with lying to themselves. Don’t be that guy. As for your customers, just ask GM or VW owners how they feel about a company that isn’t transparent. While it might “save” you in the short run, lying will come back to bite you. As a general rule: be good all the time and be better than you were yesterday … then you don’t have to worry about what you need to say.

Find the right price point. I know this sounds like business 101, but trust me when I tell you, a lot of people get this wrong…and most of them are UNDERselling their product. If you had asked anyone twenty years ago if they would be willing to pay five bucks for a cup of coffee, how many would say, “sign me up!” Yet, millions go to Starbucks every single day.

Another example — Apple. Every single day, Apple sells computers for more — sometimes much more — than their competition. Sure, they sell fewer machines, but they sell them more often. Mac users LOVE their computers, and they are willing to buy them more often. So, would you rather try to beat EVERYONE on price or would you rather deliver a product, so good price was not the biggest concern? You decide.

The key is not to find a price point you hope people will pay. You need to position the product so people care more about having that product than they do the money it costs to obtain it.

Monetize your public relations. Many CEOs make the mistake of treating their PR like any other communication. You put your message out there and hope people appreciate it. That’s not how public relations should be approached. PR is an exchange, a conversation.

No matter what you put out there, the public responds one of three ways — and two of them are very bad. First, they could love you. That’s great. They could hate you, and that’s bad. They could ignore you … and that’s worse. Spend time on your PR. Make it matter. Make it connective. Use your communication opportunities to draw new customers and mobilize your fan base. Remember, PR is a transaction. You need to have a profit margin every time.

One last thing to remember. No list, not this one or any other, can guarantee your success. The biggest asset you must bring to bear is a willingness to get up, dust yourself off, learn from your mistakes, and do better next time.

Ronn Torossian is the CEO and founder of New York based PR Company 5W Public Relations. 5W PR is a top 20 US PR Agency with offices in NYC, Denver and Los Angeles.

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