Entrepreneurs - 9 Top Mistakes to Avoid

 


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1. Isolating Yourself
When setting up a business, you can get so overwhelmed with the administration that you don’t focus on building up your network. Networks can provide a way to catapult your business forward through referrals, joint ventures, or providing industry knowledge. Networking does not need to be through formal events but can come in many forms. Even using websites to become aware of who and what is out there is useful. Giving time for self development and training activities to grow your skills, can be one area that is given a lower priority which can often lead to unwise decisions.

How may you take more time to mix with people who you think can contribute to your business?

How may you increase the priority given to grow your skills?

2. Not Having an Overall Marketing Strategy
Instead of developing a comprehensive plan that has been thought through and well researched, many entrepreneurs just dive in with a few good ideas, using a try and see approach. Often these ideas are not suited to your niche or business type, or it is the wrong timing for the stage of growth you are at. Working from the start and considering what you offer and to whom, your branding, differentiation and positioning can all be crucial steps to work through for success.

Have you a comprehensive plan that is constantly reviewed and improved?

3. Not Sticking With a Marketing Strategy
Many entrepreneurs try a few marketing strategies and when these strategies don’t work in the first few weeks or months, it is assumed this is the wrong strategy and something else is tried. Often the strategies have not been tried for long enough to fully see the benefit, or for the entrepreneur to become skilled enough to make the strategy successful. Focusing on two key strategies to market your business can really test whether these are right for you. Another mistake is to focus too much on passive marketing, such as websites, articles, ads, etc, and not enough on active marketing, such as presentations, workshops, networking, and referrals.

What percentage of time are you spending on passive and active marketing?

4. Not Leveraging Your Time
The trap that all entrepreneurs are faced with, once a business starts to grow, is that they can’t do everything. Many will keep the business small rather than recruit help, outsource or delegate. Leveraging is one key to successful growth. This is a skill you need to learn to become comfortable with in order to grow your business.

Are there tasks that you need to delegate to successfully grow your business?

What sort of people do you need to turn to for assistance?

5. Not Generating a List of Leads
On beginning a business, you are constantly meeting people. If a database is not started in some form, many of these contacts can be lost and the opportunity to market to them is wasted. Providing an opportunity for people to sign up to a regular newsletter can be a valuable tool to develop a relationship with prospects that may eventually be interested in buying your products or services. To get you started, excellent free ideas on developing successful marketing emails, and other useful marketing ideas, are available from the Ezine Queen, Alexandria Brown.

Do you have some system to collect leads and contacts?

If not, what would be the most appropriate system for you?

6. Not Having a System to Follow
Developing a system that is repetitive, simple and that works, is crucial for success. Many entrepreneurs have a number of different ways of operating, and do not record information that can help them determine what is a successful marketing method; or do not develop a system that will keep their time commitment to a minimum.

Do you have systems that you know will work for you?

7. Lacking Confidence
Believing in yourself is crucial to successful marketing and gives you the ability to put yourself out of your comfort zone and grow. Confidence in your product and yourself is infectious and attracts clients. Most people who are successful do not wait for success before they feel confident. They have confidence in themselves and their ideas first; and then the success follows.

Have you decided you are worth something, even if you have yet to prove it?

8. Taking on Any Job
Distractions and following secondary goals are some of the main ways you can sabotage your behaviour and not concentrate your efforts to make a difference. Often called the “Shiny Light Syndrome", it is easy to be sidetracked into accepting many opportunities that come your way, just because you have been asked. Some of these may not fit your niche, experience, or passion. The end result can often be a poor, halfhearted job that reduces the amount of quality time you can put into projects that more closely match some of the above criteria. Being clear on your niche, your values, and your strengths can help you avoid “Shiny Light Syndrome".

What projects have you been involved in that were a distraction from your primary goals?

How can you avoid this trend?

9. Selling Only One Product
Having a product funnel can be a key to obtaining a regular source of income. Many prospects will be reluctant to purchase a highly priced product first, but may be willing to build up to this, by purchasing several lower priced items that give them confidence in who you are and the quality of what you do. For example, if a coach only sells coaching. Success is far more likely if a coach starts by having a free ezine, then some low priced ebooks, or a subscription website; followed by higher priced products such as a course, manual, or group coaching programme; as well as the highest priced items, such as private coaching.

How wide is your product funnel?

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This article may be reproduced in its current form provided the following credit is included.

Jane Johnson is one of Melbourne's leading Women's Performance Coaches. She has worked with many solo entrepreneurs, small business owners and executives, to enhance their success in their chosen career or business; and improve their income levels. She has also helped many clients find more fulfilling work. Jane is author of the home study course “Finding your Life Purpose” and several ebooks. She also runs teleclasses and workshops in these areas.

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