10 More Mistakes Entrepreneurs Make
A few months ago we looked at 10 mistakes entrepreneurs make in the hopes that by knowing what you could be doing wrong, you can find a way to prevent it. But there are many more mistakes that an entrepreneur could make - we've listed 10 more below.
1. Not having a Support System in place
Who do you run to when you need help? Maybe you've got a question you need to ask an accountant or you want to take the business in a slightly different direction and have questions for other's who have tried it. This is where a support system can come into play.
You may think that it's your business and you know what to do for the best but by having someone you can talk openly and honestly to, you may be surprised by what can happen. You may find that you're losing money by having too many members of staff and that some systems can be automated; or that you're in the wrong market for the area you're in. Business help can come in a variety of forms, from mentors to small groups of like minded people.
2. Focusing on Web Traffic
We all know that in our very well connected and digital world, every business needs a website. But if your website is getting a few thousand clicks a day; that's good right? Not necessarily. It's promoting your brand and your business, but how are people actually interacting with the website? If they're going on there, staying for under a minute and leaving again without clicking anything then what have they done? It's too short a time for them to have gotten information and they haven't tried to contact you.
This is why you should be focussing on useful clicks and not just the number of clicks you're getting. In order to drive more useful clicks on your website you should be building useful content and directing people to a call to action - such as "Contact Us" or "Get a Free Quote". This way you're achieving something useful from your website.
3. Focusing on the "wrong" things
There are endless articles out there exclaiming that there's a new product out that will change the way you work or make you more efficient or even make you money. Did they though? Did you download an app that stopped you using the internet on your phone during working hours, did that honestly make a difference when you have a computer you can use instead?
By spending all your time looking for ways to improve the way you work, all you're actually doing it distracting yourself from the work you're trying to improve. It doesn't make much sense when you put it like that does it? All you need to do it focus on the important things that will actually be game changers.
4. Waiting for Permission
It's your business, why wait for someone to tell you what you can and cannot do? So long as you abide by the law and pay your taxes you can do what you want. There's no need to wait around for someone to tell you to do this or do that - it's your business, run it your way. In the world we live in there are no barriers for learning new techniques or getting support with a new venture. Just dive in and go for it.
5. Not testing assumptions
You have an idea for a new product and want to start building right away. After you've made your product and go to market with it, will it change the world and will everyone want it? Who knows? There is a way you can find out before investing your time and money into it. Market research - test the idea with a few consumer groups. Approach your target market and ask if they would buy the product you're looking to make. Maybe take a prototype with you so that they can see it and interact with it. This way you're not putting all of your effort into something that may not work or take off in the marketplace.
6. Not realising how people read online content
Some people write long and boring content that goes on and on with seemingly no end in sight. Just long jargon filled sentences that bores most people down to the bone.
So what do people like to read?
- People like bullet points
- This makes it easier to skim read too, which is another thing a few too many of us are guilty of
- People like headings, by reading the heading you can see if the paragraph, or section, is worth reading.
- People like bold typefaces which are used to highlight the important parts
- Keep it simple, have short sentences that get to the point.
- Arrange your short sentences into short paragraphs of no more than about 5 lines.
- Non-readers may get put off with too much information and feel they won't read all of it to get to the point.
Also write for the audience not for the search engine. You may feel that you have to have keywords crammed in so that search engines will pick up on the page. This is no longer true, Google, for example, has now programmed their search engine to discount websites that keyword cram and to promote websites that write naturally, for the reader.
7. They stop learning
You've gone out and gotten a degree in your field. That's good. But did you stop learning there and call it quits? By stopping the learning process you're stagnating. The rest of the world is moving forward with new ideas, new possibilities and looking for ways to improve processes. By staying where you are and not learning anything new how can you keep up with the world?
Let's not get ahead of ourselves and say you have to go back to university and get another degree, just go to seminars or listen to podcasts. By improving yourself you are, essentially, improving the business.
8. Thinking Tactics are better than Mindset
You should be thinking tactically in business, but none of your tactics will matter if you don't have the right mindset.
Let's use the example of a runner entering a race thinking they're going to lose. Are they going to win the race? Probably not. Not because they aren't fast, but because they're going to be thinking negatively throughout the race and not thinking about the technique and tactics they should be using.
The same can be said about business. If you think negatively, how can you think about tactics?
9. They focus on the short term
You're getting opportunities left, right and center. Which ones do you go for? The ones that make a quick buck but don't mean anything to your business? Or the ones that are going to take longer but push your business in the direction you want it to go?
When thinking about taking up an opportunity think to yourself, is this the direction I want the business to go in? If the answer's no, then look for a different opportunity.
10. They don't always make it to the end
They probably made it halfway through and thought that none of this applied to them. It's likely to be their loss at the end of the day. If you find a post giving free advice that you may think is useful, try and read it all. Well done if you made it this far!
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- 15 Jun 2017 - How to Write a Business Plan: Things to Keep in Mind