The one mistake every entrepreneur must avoid

No matter the potential of a product, why do some entrepreneurs fail, and others succeed?
Written by Charlie Osborne, Contributing Writer

No matter the potential of a product, why do some entrepreneurs fail, and others succeed?

Fast Company documents the tale of Salemi Industries, a startup that believed it had a sure bet on a money-making product. Something needed? Check. Something saleable worldwide? Yes. In the days of mobile phones and public areas, entrepreneur Anthony Ferranti created "The Cell Zone," a plastic pod which could be opened to become the equivalent of a phone booth to give mobile users privacy.

In the early stages, restaurant owners showed interest in the product -- but in the end, Salemi Industries sold less than 300 and lost $650,000. Space and a price tag of $3500 proved the deciding factors which sunk the product.

But what could Ferranti have done differently before sinking his savings into a failed product?

Sell them first.

The Harvard Business Review recently surveyed 120 entrepreneurs worldwide to ask them what their biggest mistake in business was -- and over half said that not selling quickly enough proved to be the just that. As one entrepreneur commented, "Don't make anything until you sell it. Get people really interested in buying it before you invest too much time and effort."

It's not all about the fancy company name or pitch. Take a step back and look at the product -- getting people interested in what you have to sell and conducting the proper market research are the only ways you are going to be successful in the long term.

According to Booz & Company, 96 percent of all innovations fail to deliver results for investing parties -- so perhaps more entrepreneurs should take the traditional route and simply attempt to sell their wares.

Read More: Fast Company

Image credit: Flickr

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com

Editorial standards