10 Mistakes That Small Businesses Make When Trying To Grow
Not understanding the needs of your customer
Do you really know what your potential customer wants? How well do you understand their pains? Who is your ideal customer? Before you get started on any marketing plan, you need to first understand what your ideal customer profile is. Once you understand this, you can better target them and “fish where the fish are”. I have seen countless companies fail because they were too broad with their target market and did not filter down to a specific customer type.
The shiny object syndrome
Instead of formulating a plan and sticking to it, you often chase after the next great idea until you do an average job of many things but nothing very well. Instead, pick a course of action and stick to it. Try different things closely related to that plan so that you can test what works and what doesn’t. But above all else, juggle one ball well instead of 10 balls poorly.
You don’t stand out
There are many businesses just like yours on the market today. What makes you stand out amongst the pack? You have to know specifically what makes your products, services, and ideas better than the best that the market is offering. How are you able to show this value and then back it up with evidence?
You don’t market yourself
People will not come to you with cash in hand… and if they do, it is far less than what could be. Marketing your business is a full time job in itself and if you aren’t prepared to invest in it, don’t worry. You didn’t need that extra revenue and profit anyways… right? The real scenario is this. It takes seven touches before someone makes a purchase; you either need to get their contact info so you can keep reaching out to them or you need to keep advertising in order to stay on top of mind. If you aren’t doing this, your competitors are.
Your idea around pricing is all wrong
You may have the best widget ever created, but if the value isn’t known, you are going to be too expensive. Please keep in mind that nothing is wrong with being priced higher than the other guy. Would you expect to pay more for a custom dress shirt over a store bought dress shirt? Why would you pay more for it? It’s that kind of value that needs to be known. Focus on the value of the product or service and not the price. That way you can charge more because you have shown that your service actually deserves to be priced higher.
You are not email marketing.
If you get 100 people a day to your website and 2 of them use the contact form you can have a total of 730 potential customers. If you have a 5% conversion ratio that’s 36 customers and if your average sale is $500 (for example) you will have $18,000 in new revenue. However, there are 98 other people that come and go and you never know about it. What you need is a way of capturing their contact information. Take this report for example… you can have something similar on your website for people to download for free. The only thing they would need to do is subscribe to your emailing list in order to get it. On top of that, they will get more useful tips and valuable information, which you can send them over and over again. So let’s say that 10 people subscribe to your email list a day. Since you are able to touch them at least 7 times you will have a higher conversion rate of 10%. Soon you will average out at least 1 sale per day from this list and that will bring you new net revenue of $182,500. Do you see the difference? The money is in the list.
You don’t set goals
Goals can be a roadmap for your success; however, you can’t just set any goal and hope for the best. You need to set Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-Based goals. This is the basis of S.M.A.R.T goals. You can read about these types of goals on a Wikipedia article here. Only with these types of realistic goals can you expect to achieve and your chances at being successful become much greater.
You don’t understand your competition
Do you think that your competition isn’t going the extra mile with their marketing/sales efforts? Do you understand their value pitch based on the information that’s readily available on their website? Who are they partnering with? What are they spending on their online advertising and inbound lead generation? If you can answer these questions you shouldn’t have to worry about your competition. If you can’t answer these questions, we should talk. Seriously…
You are trying to do it all
You started your widget company because you were an expert in creating widgets, not because you were a sales expert or marketing “guru”. If you can’t afford to hire a full time sales or marketing person… or any other needed position for that matter, you should look at outsourcing the work for a fraction of the price. This will allow you to have some time for your family and your golf game.
You are not managing your online brand
Have you received an email from an unknown SEO form promising to create 10,000,000 backlinks in order to focus on weird keywords that are guaranteed to get you to a page on Google in a very short amount of time… and all for $99? If it sounds too good to be true, it is. SEO, as we know it, is dead. Currently it is all about “Inbound Lead Generation” and that encompasses all facets of online marketing. In order to have a successful plan of attack you will need an optimized site, target “buying sign” keywords specific to your niche, very high quality and frequently updated content, a solid organic (not spam) link building strategy, creative advertising, as well as a method of capturing those leads. Once all of these and more are working like a well-oiled machine, you will see a dramatic increase in business.