No matter what stage you are in your business, you’re bound to make mistakes, and that’s how we learn and grow. However, there are some mistakes you can avoid and save yourself a lot of time and energy. Not to mention the money wasted on efforts that don’t work because you’re not clear on your messaging.
To follow are some general mistakes to avoid making in your business:
Disregarding the Competition
You may have an excellent product or service, but your competition feels the same way. There’s enough business to go around, but when you neglect to know what your competitors are doing, you don’t know if you’re differentiating yourself.
Conduct a Google search by typing in their company name and, if you want to keep up with their activities, set up an automated Google search, so you’re notified when they appear on the Internet. You can also check out their social media activity and see where they get the most engagement. Don’t “steal” their ideas, but if their efforts work, you can do something similar to make it your own.
Shying Away from Social Media
Many business owners have a love/hate relationship with social media. Social media is an excellent no/low-cost avenue to get the work out about your offerings.
The first step is to research the various social media channels to see where your product or service would best work. If your competitors are on there, you can be relatively sure it is suitable for your business. Limit it to one or two networks to keep it simple until you develop a flow for distributing information.
Don’t make your content all about sales. It’s more important to share information like:
This is where you demonstrate that you understand your target audience and offer helpful information, preferably to include advice that they can implement without using your product or service. By doing this, once the potential customer/client can see it works, you’re more likely to build trust, and they’ll pay for more.
Community involvement is a great way to show you’re invested in the areas you serve. Post about your volunteer activities while at the same time highlighting those organizations you’re helping so that it’s not just about you.
Not Being Clear About Why Your Business is Different
No matter how similar you may be to your competitors, there should always be points of differentiation that separate you and attract your target audience. Make sure you are clear about the product or service you offer and explain why they should come to you. If you’re not sure what sets you apart, spend some time doing the research and talking to others who represent your target audience.
Underestimating the Value of Word of Mouth
This type of advertising is one of the most valuable as it typically comes from a happy customer or client who has experienced what you offer firsthand. People are busy, so don’t take for granted that they will automatically help spread the word. Remind them how much it helps you and include any incentives you can offer, such as a discount or small gift for each time one of their referrals purchases from you.
If you’re making some of the above common mistakes, it’s time to adjust and recharge. When you do your research and have a plan, you will capture more of the market you serve.
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