Young Upstarts

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[Review] The 51 Fatal Business Errors And How To Avoid Them

First up: a warning. “The 51 Fatal Business Errors and How to Avoid Them” by author and business coach Jim Muelhausen is not an easy book to read. And I don’t mean it’s terribly written – it’s just that the book is chockful of rather harsh business lessons that will lead you, the business owner, to plenty of potentially painful soul-searching.

As the title suggests, “The 51 Fatal Business Errors and How to Avoid Them” offers 51 key reasons why many businesses fall flat on their faces. Muehlhausen explains, in concise terms, what each mistake is, gives a real-life example as well as offer some definitive action steps for you to take to avoid, or rectify, that error.

Here are just some (of my favorite) examples enclosed within the book:

Fatal Error #1: Hiring Your Competitors Rejects

When you hire the “perfect person” from the competition, however, you are hiring a reject… this strategy is a disaster because you are making an incorrect assumption, that your competitor will let a truly great employee leave.

Fatal Error #9: Smalketing

Many entrepreneurs confuse sales and marketing… the real problem occurs when sales go south, and the CEO then says “We need more marketing.” Many times, more selling is what is needed. More marketing only exacerbates the problem. Why bring in more prospects who do not buy?

Fatal Error #11: Herding Cats

The customer is always right? Hogwash! If you allow the customer to always be “right”, you allow the customer to completely dictate the terms of the relationship and create one-off transactions… When you herd cats in the business sense, you create a high-cost, low-efficiency model that is not good for you or for the customer.

Busy entrepreneurs often don’t stop and think about some of these errors that will create problems for them and their businesses in the long run. “The 51 Fatal Business Errors and How to Avoid Them” eschews fancy theories and “business concepts”, and instead gives you valuable lessons gleaned from real world lessons that would be painful – and potentially crippling – to learn for yourself.

Do I have a reason to recommend this book? How about 51 of them?

Daniel Goh is the founder and chief editor of Young | Upstarts, as well as an F&B entrepreneur. Daniel has a background in public relations, and is interested in issues in entrepreneurship, small business, marketing, public relations and the online space. He can be reached at daniel [at] youngupstarts [dot] com.

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  • Jim Muehlhausen

    Daniel- Thanks for taking the time to review the book.  The real lessons in the book came from business owners.  Their lessons learned from the school of hard knocks as well as the solutions needed are the core of the book.