No matter if you are an experienced entrepreneur or are still new to the business world, mistakes are a natural part of managing operations, organizing processes, and essentially running a business. There are logical and obvious missteps, but there are also ones that you can hardly predict and “see.” Tough times are unavoidable, but you can forge your own business destiny and run a company that is more resilient in times of crisis.
Here are some common business mistakes that entrepreneurs often make and how to avoid making them yourself.
- Manage Remote Work – Set Realistic Expectations
- Make Memorable Business Cards That People Wouldn’t Throw Away
- Look out for Content Gaps
- Don’t Postpone Advertising Online
- Encourage Your Staff to Post on Social Media
- Explore All Income Options
- Listen to Advice
#1 Manage Remote Work – Set Realistic Expectations
Given the recent circumstances on a global scale, more and more people are working from home. If that includes you and your employees as well, here is your chance to avoid a common business mistake – thinking that the office environment is the same as the home office environment. It isn’t.
Of course, people can be just as, if not more productive when working from home, but there are bound to be external, non-office factors. There could be noise from kids running around the house when you are having a Skype call, and some employees may be slow to respond for various reasons. Either way, try to be understanding and set a routine. You can have scheduled catch-up meetings to help people get some structure to their new working schedule.
#2 Make Memorable Business Cards That People Wouldn’t Throw Away
This is such an overlooked part of marketing that many business owners often neglect, which leads to losing potential clients and/or referrals. You can’t expect people will remember your company name and details and will be able to recall them whenever they need your product or service without a business card to remind them.
So, what can you do?
Put time and thought into creating a card that represents your business and industry. Some tips include:
- Use different shapes to bring attention
- Use contrast to highlight what’s important
- Use color and design that complement each other. Experiment with that
#3 Look out for Content Gaps
It’s true that your main offer is probably a product or a service, but you’re also offering content. If your website and social media content aren’t bringing in convertible leads or at least generating an interested audience, something in your content is missing. Some tools like Ahrefs can analyze content gaps in your website when compared to your competitors and other metrics, so make sure to do that.
You may have forgotten to include a service page for your latest service or a product description of your newest product. As entrepreneurs, we all make business mistakes, but some can easily be fixed.
#4 Don’t Postpone to Advertise Online
Oftentimes, your content can be good, but if it lacks proper Search Engine Optimization (SEO), it still won’t see the light of day or generate leads. Getting in front of clients in the digital space matters now more than ever before. Everyone does their research nowadays, and you need to make sure your business shows up in that process.
Yes, you can try to create and optimize your online presence yourself, but you need to understand the time commitment and resources necessary to do it on your own. To learn more about SEO in general and what it covers, take a look at this blog post. It explains the process and benefits of optimizing your website and other platforms, as well as the reasoning behind finding an SEO partner.
#5 Encourage Your Staff to Post on Social Media
Most small businesses use their personal social media profiles to engage with clients, advertise the business, and share new offers, discounts, products, etc. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that. In fact, it is a great thing to do.
Using your own platform to boost the visibility of your business is a must, but that doesn’t mean it should be a substitute for creating a social media profile of your company. You need both. This is where many small business owners decide to skimp on the extra effort. Having a dedicated company profile on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, and the likes, is really important for boosting your credibility as a company and establishing a brand.
Yes, small businesses can have brands, too.
Make sure to ask your employees to share updates about the company and your services from their personal profiles. You never know who of their network will see those updates and become a regular customer.
#6 Explore All Income Options
In other words, don’t leave money on the table. If you have a website, why not include an entertaining, educational, and well-written blog section where you can both promote your service and possibly get affiliate income in the process. It all depends on how entrepreneurial you are and how much you are into writing quality content.
Let’s say you have a landscaping business. Aside from getting landscaping leads, you can also be earning from placing affiliate links in your blog posts. You can upload an article about decorating one’s yard for spring (of course, after the lawn has been mown). If you partner with an online store or a local store selling flower pots, you can link their website there and earn a little extra each time there is a successful purchase.
#7 Listen to Advice
It’s true that everyone has an opinion on everything, and not all business advice is good or backed by real facts. Nevertheless, ignoring other people’s feedback and suggestions can close you to important insights down the road. If an employee comes to you with a proposal on how to improve revenue, take the time to listen. Even if the idea isn’t feasible, it’s important to create an environment in which people are encouraged to share their ideas instead of keeping them to themselves. You stand only to gain.
The Bottom Line
Lesson number one when it comes to business mistakes is to never be afraid of making them. They are there to teach you and make your business more resilient. The best you can do is plan things in advance to avoid rushed decisions, as this is what often causes problems. Discuss important decisions with your business partner, and sometimes even your staff. Getting someone else’s perspective is a grounding process to help steer you in the right direction.
You got this!
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