Starting, running and growing a business is not easy. If it were, everyone would do it! And though it can be challenging, it can also be extremely rewarding. Entrepreneurs and small business owners may start out with a dream of owning a successful business and then find themselves struggling to pay the bills.
Here are 8 shocking mistakes that could be killing your bank account…
8. No business plan or poor planning
You may have a good idea, or a dream. Maybe an invention! And you may know all the reasons you think it will be great for the world! But it’s important to also have a plan of how to successfully bring it to market. What’s in it for your customer? How will they benefit, and how can you grow relationships and trust with people who might be willing to buy? Can you offer a quick and easy first purchase – an “entry point offer” to get your foot in the door for larger purchases later? If you’re a coach or consultant, have you clearly defined your services in terms of freebies, low, medium and high ticket items? And how do you plan to move people up the ladder? Many people jump into business without taking the time to make a plan or do the research first. Without a solid plan, it may take longer to get started than anticipated, which may leave your cash supplies depleted.
7. Not having a clearly defined Ideal Customer
It’s not just about what you’re selling, but who you are selling it to! It’s difficult to define the benefit you are offering your customer if you don’t know who your customer is! A common mistake that small business owners and entrepreneurs make is in not being specific enough about whom they serve. If you try to be everything to everyone, your message may get lost, and you may find yourself being nothing to no one. If your message is too broad, you may not be heard at all because people may not realize that you’re talking to them. So pick a niche! There are riches in niches!
6. Not enough leads and not filling your sales pipeline
Think of your business like a funnel. At the top of the funnel, you have lots and lots of people who may or may not know about your business. As they learn about your business and start to engage with you, they enter the funnel. As their relationship with you grows, they keep sliding deeper into the funnel, to your higher ticket offers. And at the very bottom of the funnel are your raving fans! Now imagine that at each stage, there are fewer and fewer people. You must start out with lots of people at the top of the funnel – your leads – to end up with enough people at the bottom – your sales. If you’re not getting enough leads, and not nurturing those leads to grow their desire to purchase your higher ticket offers, you will struggle to make sales. You must cast your net wide, collect your leads, and then nurture them along each stage of your customer journey!
5. Trying to do it all
There are certain things in your business that only you can do. And certain things that you could probably offload to someone else. Often, especially in the startup phase, we try to do it all. Unfortunately, not a lot of us are just naturally good at everything. We all have strengths and weaknesses, and it’s important to recognize the things that we may not be so good at, and delegate them to someone else. Delegating those tasks will allow you to focus on the things you are good at, allow another team member to focus on what they are good at and improve the quality of work done all around. It may even make for a happier and less stressful work environment!
4. Getting bogged down with busy work
Busy work is an unfortunate side-effect of almost any business. And there are ways to keep from getting bogged down in it! From online calendars and appointment scheduling to automated lead capture and nurture campaigns, marketing automation can help take the busy work out of your marketing and sales process! Automating or outsourcing busy work can help you free your time to grow the business.
3. Refusal to pivot or inability to adapt quickly enough
“We’ve always done it this way,” is not a good line for a business owner. Think of Kodak’s failure to pivot from 35mm film to digital photography…while competitors were popping up offering customers what they wanted – digital cameras, Kodak continued to focus on selling film. And they are no longer a major player in the photography market. This point is particularly important amid current market conditions, with the coronavirus pandemic causing rapid shifts in the way that people not only do business but live their lives. The needs and desires of your customers may have changed, and the way that they wish to do business with you may have changed. Ask them what they want! And then give it to them…
2. Lack of Data
Know your numbers! It’s important to have clear visibility into your monthly revenue and expenses, so you can assess your profitability and if there is a gap to close, you know exactly what is required to close it. If you are spending money on marketing, you should be tracking your monthly spend in each area or channel, and your conversion rates in each area or channel, so that you can measure your ROI or Return On Investment, and then optimize your strategy to spend more in the areas that are giving you the highest return.
1. Limited Mindset
As mindset coach Belanie Dishong says, “Nothing exists in the world that was not first imagined.” Ask yourself – do you see your wildly successful business? Do you have a clear picture of your desired end result? If you can’t see it and don’t have the vision, then how can you expect anyone else to? Become clear on what the business that you desire looks like, and then paint the vision for your audience, so that you can bring others along with you. BE the wildly successful business owner now, and your vision will be realized.
Download “3 Simple Tips to Put More Money In Your Bank Account,” or Schedule a Complimentary Consultation with ZMS today and we’ll share with you some actions you can take right away to put more money in your bank account.