The Mistakes Entrepreneurs Make

28 June 2016

A lot of Entrepreneurs make the same mistakes. They don’t spend time on the (tedious) foundational work. They spend too much money on a website that isn't always user friendly. Results take time, decisions shouldn't be jumped into, but at the end of the day, it all boils down to -- will they take the advice or not. 

Fast results for Minimal Effort
It’s human nature to hope for a secret easy way to be successful. Who doesn’t want “6 weeks to success” or a magic product that makes the pieces line up? We all would love that!
It doesn’t exist. It’s hard, it takes specific steps and a lot of help.
If it was easy to build a business -- everyone would quit their jobs, build a website with massive traffic and drink martini's on the beach in Thailand. Truth is, the site looks beautiful, but users can’t figure what what action to take when they get there. Test your website with multiple and many people, take feedback and make changes -- willingly! It takes time and effort to get where you want to be. 

They focus on Social and think eMail marketing is an outdated Marketing strategy 
The internet is a crowded place. How many amazing sites have you seen that you forget to go back and visit? Too many to remember, right? The way smart businesses remind people that they are there is to have an email marketing strategy that works to serve their readers. When the time comes to sell a product/service, publicize a special promotion, email is the way to go. It is a more intimate medium and the business owner has the ability to take their message right to the customer.

Sure, Facebook and Twitter and Pinterest are fine for building awareness and driving traffic, but those who rely on Social Media marketing to drive sales may need to sit down for this next fact.
Only 1.55% of all traffic going to ecommerce sites was driven by Social Media and even then only .71% of that converted to a sale. 

Their websites are not mobile responsive
If a website doesn’t automatically resize itself to the device it is read on, then it is actively driving people away. In 2013, all websites should be mobile-optimized and should look great on an iPhone, an iPad and any other device where it’s viewed.
Google’s study from September 2012, of what mobile users want from sites had some illuminating stats:
    •    61% of users said that if they didn’t find what they were looking for right away on a mobile site, they’d quickly move on to another site
    •    50% of people said that even if they like a business, they will use them less often if the website isn’t mobile-friendly
Sidenote: If your developer/consultant hasn’t insisted on mobile optimization (and a mobile plugin does not count) then you need to re-evaluate that service provider.

Doing what you love, may not be what you love doing
This is where the “do what you love” advice to potential entrepreneurs falls flat. Just because someone loves making graphics doesn’t mean that person would love running a graphic design business. Having passion for your business is fabulous, but don’t mistake loving watercolor painting to mean you’ll be great at running a watercolor painting business.
A business needs a manager, a sales person and someone who produces the product (or service). It’s very common for someone who loves doing something as part of a business to leave to start their own business, only to learn that the act of running their own business keeps them from doing the one thing they love.

Know your audience
Naturally we all want the entire world to be our customer base. New business owners tend to fight the concept of identifying a target market and serving them directly. It’s not about excluding demographics, it’s about serving one client persona in the best way possible. It’s about finding a niche where you can shine.

Support system
Without a mentor or a coach, who has been successful in business themselves, small business owners lack a crucial element for success- wisdom! There is a reason why people seek out a slot on Shark Tank to sell equity in their businesses to the Sharks. The Sharks are good at what they do and offer a world of support to their entrepreneurs, while keeping their entrepreneurs accountable.
Don’t get over confident, everyone needs advice and there is always room to grow and get better.

TIme is Money
Your whole day can be spent reacting to things instead of building on opportunities. This doesn’t mean you have to have a strict schedule. It does mean you should know where to NOT spend your time.

Ask the right questions
People who are successful focus on discovering what is good and can be learned in any situation. They ask questions that lead to continued momentum and greater opportunities and productivity.

Traffic Will Magically Equate To Money
If you have inconsistent traffic patterns - it is worthless. Traffic without a goal for the traffic is a wasted goal. It’s not about the traffic number, it’s about how useful the traffic is.
Will these individuals sign-up for the email list? Will these visitors become customers? Those who have no specific goal for their visitors can hope for tons of traffic all day but it will never make a difference in their business in the long run. Instead of spending time posting content multiple times a day and trying to hit viral gold, successful entrepreneurs focus on building a great product and serving their market.

Don't waste time & money on the wrong things
Without signing fans up on an email list at minimum, and eventually converting those readers to customers, the tactic is wasted energy. The most successful business people understand that spending money to build and scale their business is a smart choice. Don’t throw money away, but don’t squirrel it away when it could be spent achieving success. Don’t cut corners and wonder why your business has no traction.

Networking is not a contact sport
Successful business people know that networking is about investing in others and building real relationships. It’s not about throwing business cards at other people and sizing them up to see how useful others will be for their business.

Focus less on Social Media platforms and more on serving your customers / readers
Social media is your friend and a powerful tool in your arsenal. It’s not the end-all be-all. It’s great for expanding your brand, customer service, and engaging with the community at large.
But don’t go overboard relying on it. You need to work and not lose focus on the stream of chatter.

 

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