1) Everyone is a potential customer
Whenever I ask business owners who their “ideal customer” is, they will often say: EVERYONE and ANYONE that wants to buy their product and/or service”. While I understand why they would want to sell to everyone, the truth is most people will probably not buy what they’re selling. This is why it’s so important to understand who your “ideal customer” is and focus your attention on just that customer.
2) Trying to do everything themselves
Another BIG mistake that many small business owners make is they want to do everything themselves. Well, unless you have more than 24 hours in a day you will never be able to do everything yourself. It is virtually impossible to be the head of sales, marketing, technology etc. and still be effective running the day to day operations. Small business owners must learn how to delegate (to their staff) or hire people that can get the job done. At the very least most small business owners need an assistant or perhaps a marketing person (even if its just part time).
3) Unorganized and lacking structure
As a small business owner, just getting organized and making sure you have the “proper structure” in place is half the battle. We live in a world that is moving so fast that if you don’t get a handle on things and begin to prioritize, life can easily get out of control. For example: let’s say you own a business, have a family, play for a softball team and volunteer at your local YMCA. That’s four major things you have to keep track of each week. To organize your schedule try creating a calendar and list every major activity you’re involved in over the next six months. I created several on Google calendars and they began to fill up rather quickly. Using the calendars organizes my schedule and adds structure and organization to my life.
4) Ineffective marketing strategy
Some small business owners think a marketing strategy is just handing out a few business cards and the phone will begin to ring off the hook. While handing out business cards is still effective (in obtaining customers) this is not a marketing strategy. A marketing strategy takes time, money and most of all STRATEGY. Two of the biggest mistakes I see small business owners make is: 1) that they don’t have a marketing budget and 2) they want to try and save a few dollars by marketing the business themselves.
5) Unwillingness to spend money (to make money)
“Whenever I meet a perspective client one of the first things I will ask them is: “Do you have a marketing budget”? And usually the answer is NO. My next question is: Do you want to increase sales and grow your business? And just about every time the answer is YES . The problem is they want to receive the “dividends” without making the “investment”. I get it, nobody wants to spend money on marketing but if you want to grow your business and reach more customers you will need to either invest time (which most small business owners don’t have enough of) or money. Although, spending money on marketing may seem like just another expense it is actually an “investment in your business”.
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