Are You Making These 5 Business Mistakes?
Entrepreneurship is a wonderful journey and also one that is dotted with early business mistakes that eventually will leave us a whole lot wiser. But as we strive to avoid the big blunders, we often forget to look out for the smaller slip-ups.
Many of my clients who have been in business for years are always taken aback to discover that they are still committing very basic business mistakes. Here are five common ones that have repeatedly come up in our coaching sessions.
Mistake #1: Using A Generic Email Address
Do not use your personal email address or a business address with a Gmail, BigPond, or Yahoo account. Your business email needs to be aligned with your brand and website, and should clearly state yours and your company’s name.
Using a generic email address whilst corresponding with clients and prospects is not only unprofessional but gives an impression that your business is lacking in some way. It seems elementary but you would be surprised at how many people still overlook this basic yet crucial rule.
Google surveyed businesses that started out with a generic or personal email address but later switched to an address with a business domain. About 60 per cent of these businesses reported an increase in customer engagement and 42 per cent reported an increase in sales after the switch. Those are massive results for something as simple as changing the words after the “@” symbol.
Mistake # 2: Keeping Yourself Hidden On Your Own Website
Your website is the frontline of your business and potential customers’ first experience with you. Before feeling a connection to your brand, they need to feel connected to you. The easiest way to spark this connection is to upload videos of you talking about your product or service.
Your first videos should be about who you are and what you do. Then follow up with videos that explain the value that potential clients will receive from your product or service. Keep the videos under 90 seconds.
If you are camera shy then either start practising in front of the camera or consider other alternatives, like recording a podcast or writing a blog. Choose a medium that will let your personality shine through.
My clients often tell me that they felt a connection with me just by watching my videos. When they finally meet me, they say it is like meeting a friend.
Mistake # 3: Being Vague About What You Offer and To Whom
This is the core of your marketing strategy. Ask yourself who your target market is, what socio-economic group they fit into and other demographics like gender, age range, location and background. This will form the basis of your marketing plan and ensure you attract the ideal client.
Next, identify your product offering based on this target market. What do they need and are you passionate about delivering it? Both must match up. I discovered early on that I loved helping adolescents and young adults who suffer from depression to be able to fully participate in life again.
Then find out where your target market hangs out and what they read. This will determine where you place your advertisements and publish your articles. Prioritise the mediums that can sell your message.
Mistake #4: Not Offering A Valuable Freebie
A freebie can take the form of a downloadable report or an eBook in exchange for potential clients’ contact details. I offer two types of freebies. The first consists of reading material like eBooks and reports. My most popular downloaded content is Eliminating Anxiety in 3 Easy Steps.
The second freebie is a complimentary Needs Analysis consultation where I provide potential clients with enough information for them to make an informed purchase decision.
I have a 70 percent success rate with these two methods. It is all about creating rapport and establishing how you can help each person solve his or her specific problem.
Mistake #5: Chasing Perfection
Do not wait for perfection in your business to take the next step. Do it now and improve as you go. Waiting for perfection will send you into a spiral of inaction.
My personal experience taught me that it is better for a good product to be available now than for a perfect one to be ready in two years. My first e-book, 10 Golden Rules For Weight Loss Success, was not perfect when it was first released but it has continued to provide value to my clients to this day. The book has gone through many edits since then, and is now a piece of work that is as close to perfection as it will get.
So let go of the need to be perfect. Your best will still provide value to your clients who need your services now and who cannot wait a few more years until you are “better” at what you do.
Helen Mitas is the founder of Hypnofit, a thriving wellness clinic in Melbourne. She specialises in taking start-ups to a six-figure turnover within 18 months just as she has done with her own business. Helen is also a clinical hypnotherapist, business mentor, speaker and the published author of Mindset Dominance. She can be reached at www.helenmitas.com
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