Just say no (to unrealistic expectations)
Consumed => “Destined to Fail: How To Spot Terrible Client Business Ideas?” by Addison Duvall on Speckyboy Design Magazine.
My value add (i.e., left a comment)…
Re: “the one that says upwards of 90% of new businesses fail within the first 5 years.”
Yes, we’re all heard versions of that stat. However, making a decision to shut down and moving on to something else isn’t a “fail” any more than switch employers or switching careers means you failed. The rate is certainly high but 90% isn’t entirely accurate either.
As mentioned, most accountants / experts say that business fail because they are under capitalized. Now before you say, “Duh?” I just want to add there is – or should be – more to “under capitalized” than just cold hard cash. For example, if your client-to-be is talking about a 30 hour workweek and not a 50 or 60 hours then hit the road before the that red flag falls down and hits you in the head. Remember, the belief of the working-for-the-man masses is that the self-employed watch TV all day or go to the beach. Funny, right? Don’t assume they share your common business sense.
Another trick while you’re listening is that some of the best things you’ll learn about a client is what they don’t say (i.e., you have to read between the lines). A great example I experienced recently was that as we zeroed in on launch the client spoke nothing about marketing. It was as if we were going to launch and with zero effort he/she was going to be the next YouTube or Instagram. As the robot on Lost In Space used to say, “Run Will Robinson. Run.”
The bottom line (pun intended) is…Business aren’t about ideas. They aren’t about some new fangled innovation. Or some infinite amount of cash or promise of mega-riches. Businesses are ultimately about people and execution. It’s not what you think of the idea and can it be done. That question is, does the leader(s) have the wherewithal to get the job done. Remember, “Talk is cheap, ” and, “Actions speak louder than words.”
In other words, saying, “No thanks,” can be as profitable as saying, “Brilliant. When can I start?”