Starting a business is an exciting endeavor. Finally, being your own boss, getting paid what you want, and not having to worry about anyone holding you down.
It’s all good fun, but there are common mistakes that we as business owners can make that can lead to lost opportunities and not maximizing your business’ potential.
Here are some mistakes that you should avoid to make your business more efficient.
1. Not Having A Plan
Many business owners start a business without clear goals and get caught up in the excitement. Not planning well enough is a common hurdle and a part of the growing process as a business owner. It’s essential to set realistic goals and consequently can set themselves up for failure. It is crucial to make a list of goals and objectives based on a quarterly timeline.
If you do not have company goals and objectives, you are driving without a road map. It is vital to make sure all employees are on the same page when it comes to company objectives and goals.
When your employees or collaborators are not prepared, your company isn’t prepared. Not being a united front will hinder the likelihood of achieving company objectives, leading to wasted time, money, effort, and opportunity.
This can also hinder hiring help, such as contractors and digital marketing agencies. You won’t be able to get the most value out of the solutions offered because you’ll essentially be shooting in the dark. Even the most talented digital marketers, if they don’t know your full plan, won’t have all the facts they need to leverage your business assets to be more than a profitable way for you!
Create a business plan or have one created for you.
2. Not Understanding Your Customers
Not understanding your customer base can lead to many unnecessary problems. When you do not analyze your customers’ needs, you won’t be able to solve their problems efficiently. Lack of understanding can lead to poor communication, frustrated clients, pricing issues, scaling problems, a bad reputation, and the list can go on forever.
It would be like Mcdonald’s, a fast-food chain pivoting to sell furniture and becoming a competitor to IKEA. Wouldn’t that be weird?
Every successful business needs to understand targeted markets through marketing analysis to maximize its sales. Your digital marketer should be able to conduct marketing analysis to help you develop a marketing strategy or plan if you are having trouble doing it yourself.
It’s important to invest in understanding your target because it will give you a basic understanding of the kind of audience your content will be geared towards.
Know your audience. What tv shows do they like? What stores do they frequent? What pages do they follow? What content are they most likely to resonate with? Who is your competition? Do you know any businesses that you can collaborate with? etc.
Understand your audience inside and out.
3. Not Trying New Things
Not testing out new sales and marketing strategies can lead to losing out on potential revenue, opportunities, and growth.
You will be losing sales by not testing your sales copy and places you advertise with split testing your advertising. Split testing is simple to do, but many businesses fail to do this. Comfort zones can break people, and the same can go for businesses.
It’s better to have too much money coming in than not enough. Diversify your marketing. Try different platforms, marketing strategies, and advertising opportunities!
Don’t be afraid to try new things.
4. No Budgeting / Bad Money Management
82% of small businesses fail because of ineffective money or cash flow management. That’s insane.
Your business should never “run out” of money. It is especially true with your marketing and advertising ventures. It is important to have a monthly or quarterly budget for your marketing. Within your business plan, put aside a budget tied to your plan for your strategy. Start small, test, and then build on your own success.
Well, how small is small? Any digital marketing company, expert, or freelancer that is good at their job won’t be charging you $5 dollars to make you a decent return on investment, just like you wouldn’t sell a $2,000 dollar product for $30 dollars on your store. You would go under in a matter of days.
Budgeting your expenses in advance will allow you to stay ahead, leverage your plan, know where you’re at, and be great for understanding your needs regarding promoting your business and not over-extending yourself.
Also, don’t forget to put money back into your business. I know seeing anywhere from $1k to Several Million might seem tempting, but it’s important to invest back into the strategies and people that helped you grow in the first place. I have personally watched it happen several times, and it can turn a thriving business into a dying one, fast.
5. Giving Up
Companies go out of business at an alarming rate, especially now during these times. One of the more prevalent reasons is that the owners give up too soon, want profits too fast, and are essentially “tipping yourself and going overboard”.
When success might be just around the corner, they give up and decide to close the business down. In precisely the same fashion, marketing promotions can fail. Give your strategies at least three months before you decide to scrap them. Some will take longer than others to bring results. As always, test your marketing tactics before you launch more complex strategies.
Patience is one of the hallmarks of a finely tuned business owner managing a finely tuned business. Implementing this takes you to the next level.
NEVER GIVE UP!!!
6. Unpolished Messaging / Poor Branding
How often have you wanted a product or service but get serious doubts when you check out their lackluster website and non-existent social proof?
You know what I mean, right? The product seems enticing but reading their typo-filled sales pages, their dead Instagram pages, and terrible logo force you to think twice. It seems no matter how hard you look, there is very little chatter about their company anywhere.
The list goes on, missing reviews, content on their website you can read, and even an unclaimed Google My Business Page. Would you really trust buying from a place like that? Probably not.
Your audience will react the same way, if not even more harshly. Keep your messaging authentic to your brand and something people want to keep coming back to. Open a newsletter, and showcase content that your audience may find enjoyable.
DO NOT use brand awareness strategies to immediately SELL SELL SELL. This would just ruin all of the hard work you’ve done and potentially tarnish your brand. Think of it like the people who just constantly spam Telegram links on your favorite Facebook groups. It feels like that.
Professional copywriting, branding and social proof can be pivotal for landing high-quality leads and is critical to leveraging your business’ brand. It’s worth the investment to go with an experienced person or agency.
Not implementing plans the right way is more expensive than a logo, professional website, and branding package combined. I’m talking potentially tens of thousands of dollars in lost revenue. Putting the right foot forward is definitely a good investment with the right team.
7. Unify Your Team
No matter how talented you are, you will need other people to help you grow your business more efficiently. Your team will help you handle the extra load for the seasons, unexpected lead spikes, and day-to-day maintenance.
It is very important not to rush into hiring and to take the time to understand your team composition, your needs, compatibility. There is no shortage of people needing work, but you need to screen them carefully before hiring.
One rude customer service agent can cost you more than the purchase itself. Upset customers can turn a spotless reputation of 5-star reviews on Google to 3.0 stars. Not only that, but future companies could hear about these negative experiences and choose not to work with you.
Avoid unnecessary risks. You want to preserve the integrity of your company at all times, and screening employees is one way to achieve this. You will then be able to build a core of loyal professional employees that will be an asset to your company. Don’t forget to pay people what they are actually worth!
Getting everyone on the same page, contractors, marketers, and employees can make or break your business.
8. Invest In Diversifying Your Business
Diversify your business! It would be best if you continuously diversified your marketing strategies, funnels, streams of income, funding, and revenue sources. Even though things might be going well one day, it doesn’t mean that your company is forever immune to difficulty.
Although it feels like a never-ending uphill battle, the “it’s not broke so don’t bother” mindset sets you up for stagnation and ultimately failure that is much harder to come back from. Leverage assets in your business, other skills related to your business, and your business credit. Separate your personal and business finances!
27% of businesses surveyed by the NSBA claimed that they were not able to receive the funding they needed. For those 1-in-4 businesses, the most frequent primary impact that a lack of funding had was preventing them from growing their business.
46% of all small businesses use personal credit cards. Many small businesses fail to separate business and personal expenses, according to research conducted by MasterCard®.
Business Credit allows you to preserve cash flow and give you an edge for growing your business. Please use it responsibly. (not financial advice). Diversify your business and enjoy the increase in sales by avoiding these common issues.
Never give up!!!
BONUS: Don’t be this: