You’re in the middle of a brainstorm and overly excited to flush out your idea…
You hole yourself up in a room researching, writing, make charts and lists…
You’re sure that if you just put enough time into building, THIS is going to be the next best thing.
Well, not so much.
Successful businesses aren’t started in a bubble – or just in your bedroom. And the fact is that something like 8 out of 10 new businesses fail (there are varying stats here… but you get the point).
IT’S A LOT!
And you don’t want to be one them.
While starting a new business can be overwhelming and confusing, there are specific things you can do to set yourself up for success. And there are other things you’ll want to steer away from altogether.
Today, I’m sharing 5 of the most common mistakes I’ve seen new business owners make, ultimately leading to their demise before they even get started.
Mistake #1: They don’t KNOW their customers. Maybe they’ve identified who they are on paper and know some basic demographics about them. But they aren’t really in tune with them. They don’t know much about their psychographics – what makes them tick, what they are seeking, what their habits and hobbies are, and other key aspects that make this audience unique. And, if they’re not in touch with what those customers need and want, they can’t properly engage or market to them.
Mistake #2: They haven’t taken the time to differentiate themselves in the market.
What’s my unique value proposition? What makes me unique amongst the competition? What do I offer that others don’t? What are my superpowers?
Businesses that see success have spent time delving into these questions and use their superpowers to mark their place in a crowded space.
Mistake #3: Lack of strategy. Strategy is fundamental to understanding our businesses, our priorities, and where we’re headed. As baseball player Yogi Berra once said, “If you don’t know where you’re going, you probably won’t get there.”
To hit the ground running without thought and planning yields wasted time, energy, and resources. It’s the strategy that leads to streamlining systems and processes, managing your time, realizing new opportunities, and enabling growth and profits.
And isn’t that what we’re all seeking?
Mistake #4: There’s no investment in marketing. Without a marketing strategy, a commitment of time, and some amount of money, it’s nearly impossible to deeply connect with your audience – even if you have an irresistible product. And, while there’s no one-size-fits-all way to market your business, it’s a MUST that you do it. Whether you focus on content marketing, word-of-mouth referrals, social media advertising, inbound marketing, or pay-per-click campaigns (or others!), it’s critical that you figure out the best combination of platforms and activities for your unique business.
Mistake #5: Inability to identify and execute a (or several) profitable business model. Just because there’s (what you deem to be) a good idea on the table, doesn’t make it one that people will buy. Exploring various business models and learning from others’ experiences/history/failures/successes will help you develop a model that works for your product or service.
It pays to be thorough and to dedicate proper time and resources to these 5 areas. You’ll thank yourself later. I promise.