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Don’t Make These Silly Mistakes with Your Business

Whether you’re a new business owner or you’ve been running a company for years, there are always potential pitfalls and struggles you’ll run into from time to time. Some of these mistakes are growing pains that are unavoidable and come with the territory. Others are major problems that can set your company back months, if not completely put it out of business. The more you know about these mistakes the easier it becomes to avoid them. Here are some of the silly mistakes you need to avoid making with your business.

Not Establishing Goals

It sounds simple, but you need to set goals. These goals shouldn’t be “sell as many as we can” though. That’s not a set, established goal. You need something concrete. Something to reach for and attempt to hit. Without creating a specific, obtainable goal, you won’t have anything to shoot for. So instead of “well as many as we can” you need “sell 100 by the end of the month.” This way, you have a target number and can approach it as needed.

Establishing a goal needs to be something you do with every aspect of your business. Every task needs to be done with a designated goal in mind. If you’re creating a marketing plan, what’s the specific goal for the plan? Do you want to sell products or increase your social following? Perhaps you want to grow your email list. Whatever it is, you need a predefined, established goal. Without one, you’re just a boat without a rudder and won’t have any specific direction.

Being Afraid of Marketing

You shouldn’t be afraid of marketing. It’s critical to the success of your business. Very few companies survive and thrive without an established marketing plan. There is the occasional business that seems to defy logic and the odds by excelling through word of mouth. However, why even take the chance? With Breakthrough Advertising you’ll quickly discover just how to reach out to potential customers and showcase your products.

When starting a new business there are all kinds of questions you’ll have. You also likely don’t have much experience in some of the avenues you’ll need to travel down. Even if you specialized and majored in business, you might not have specialized in advertising, or website design, or writing. When starting and running a business it doesn’t matter. You’ll need to wear a number of hats, including advertising and marketing.

There are many ways to take advantage of marketing, and the more familiar you make yourself with Breakthrough Advertising and how it can push your marketing material to the next level, the easier it will become in selling your product, your business, and yourself to customers. Just don’t be afraid of it.

Not Knowing Your Key Demographic

You might have a great product, but if you’re not marketing to the right customer basis than it doesn’t matter. There have been some incredible product failures in the past, not because of a company producing an inferior product, but because the company marketed it to the wrong demographic.

Knowing your demographic is critical to company success. Not knowing it will be one of the biggest mistakes you make (it’s beyond the point of silly). Now, you may not have exact knowledge of your customer type when initially going into business. This can evolve over time as you see who is buying your products. As you measure the analytical data of your customer you can then adjust marketing and your business approach.

However, have a strong of an understanding of who your product is for as possible, then learn as you go.

Not Setting A Budget and Overspending

Starting a new business isn’t cheap. You’ll invest a considerable amount of time and money into the company. However, with that said, you need to establish a budget. This is what you can afford to spend on monthly, weekly, and sometimes even daily. Overspending is one of the fastest ways to send your business into a tailspin.

You’re already behind the 8-ball in that you’re starting up a new company with other competition around you. You can’t put yourself further behind by increasing your level of debt to the point where your monthly payments are impossible to meet. Biting off more than you can chew is one of the ways new companies end up going out of business too quickly.

It’s perfectly fine to start off small if that’s all you can afford. Yes, you likely have grand plans for a thriving business and the tens of thousands of customers you have coming in through your doors (both physically or electronically). You don’t need to reach those goals in one day though. Go at the pace you can afford and budget what you have the money for. Yes, it might not be as exciting as going big, but if you don’t have the money for it and your company files for bankruptcy before it’s even off the ground, going big is what sent you home with a failed company.

Underspending

While you want to make sure and not overspend with your budget, you still need to invest back into your company, so it is possible to pinch too many pennies. The fear of going bankrupt can cause some to avoid even essential spending, such as on marketing. As you’ll learn with Breakthrough Advertising by Eugene Schwartz you’ll discover that you do need to invest in your advertising to better reach your customers.

You don’t need to go wild with your spending, which is what many new business owners are afraid of. However, as long as you follow the tips of the previous step, map out a budget, and stick to the budget, you’ll avoid not putting the necessary money you need into your company.

Not Being Committed

Plenty of businesses have been started by people who are only half committed. They see an idea and they go with it, but their heart isn’t completely in it. For a business to succeed you have to put in your entire effort.

Now, there are times where you are still working your main line of work but are focusing on opening a new business. Naturally, you can’t stop your other job just yet as you still need money coming in. Being committed doesn’t mean devoting 100 percent of your time into the business. You just need to be dedicated to the amount of time you are able to spend on it.

Those who are not completely committed will fold easily. When it gets difficult (because it will get difficult), they will back away and move back to their old life and their old line of work. If you are considering a business partner, make sure they are just as committed as you are. Because if they aren’t, they’ll end up pulling you down with them.

Running a business with a partner is a great way to divvy out the responsibilities, especially if one of you is great at marketing and the other is great at sales. However, if one person drags their feet and isn’t willing to put in 100% effort, the other will suffer. It’s like trying to tread water while you wait for rescue. If the other person stops treading and you’re forced to try and hold them up, it does nothing but finish both of you off.

So, pick your business partners wisely and only move forward with someone as dedicated and committed as you are.

Avoiding New Technology

Technology is your friend. In fact, by adopting new technology you may be able to position yourself in front of the larger competition. Larger businesses take longer to adapt to new technology. It is difficult to integrate it into the entire company, so even if a larger business wants to bring in new technology, it may take months, if not longer, to fully harness it.

As a small business, you can use this as an advantage. You’ll take the new technology and focus it on drawing in new customers. Perhaps it’s utilizing new application development for Internet of Things devices. Or it’s offering new push notifications on the latest operating system updates. Whatever it is you’re considering; new technology is your friend and you should be open to it.

While avoiding new technology may not be a “silly mistake,” it is a missed opportunity. It presents you with the potential of gaining on your competition, as they are slow to respond.

In Conclusion

Mistakes happen as a business owner. Sometimes there’s just nothing you can do about it. Like learning to drive a car for the first time, it isn’t always going to go smoothly. However, by following these tips and suggestions you’ll discover easy ways to avoid silly mistakes. The more mistakes you avoid, the smoother your learning process is and the faster your business will turn into a success.

Mike Giannulis

Guest Post by Mike Giannulis. 

Mike Giannulis is an entrepreneur & coach specializing in business growth and digital/direct response marketing. Mike runs a small coaching & consulting firm (OnlyOneMike.com) helping businesses achieve maximum profits. In 2012, Mike was on a weight loss TV show called Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition.
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