Anyone starting a new business will make mistakes as part of the growing process. There are some mistakes however that can really set your new business off on the wrong foot, making it hard to rectify further down the line, if the business survives at all. These are nothing to do with choosing the wrong software or making shipping errors, mistakes like that can be expected as you are just learning. These are instead breaches of basic business practices. And yet many new business owners – and some established business owners as well – make these big mistakes all of the time. Here are three of the biggest:
Buying Love Rather than Earning It
Any business needs to build a base of leads and potential customers and, if done the right way, this take time. For example, an email list can still be one of a business’s best marketing and relationship building tools but a good one takes time to build. Therefore some people decide to take a big shortcut and buy an email list instead. This is a mistake for a number of reasons. The first is how do you know the people on this list actually fit your customer demographic? How do you even know that they are real? And, perhaps most importantly of all these days how do you know that you have permission to send these ‘people’ anything? The chances are your emails will go straight to their spam folder at best and at worst you will be slapped with A CAN SPAM violation that can be very hard to recover from. An opt-in email list is always more valuable than a paid one, even if it only contains 20 names at first. At least those 20 people have shown a genuine interest in your business and if they happen to forward the email to a friend ..
The same holds true for the newer realm of social networking. Contrary to popular opinion there is no SEO benefit from having 1,000 Facebook likes or Twitter followers and there is no benefit in buying followers and likes in terms of visibility on the sites themselves. Again, 25 engaged fans are far more valuable than 2,000 who visited your site once (because they were paid to) and then never come back again.
Being a Little Bit Too Much of a Scrooge
Every new business owner wants – and usually needs – to keep their costs down. There is a difference however between keeping costs down and being a downright cheapskate. For example a great website is, these days, essential for almost any retailer, even if they have an offline location. The new business owner knows they need a safe, easy to navigate site that draws traffic. But, for example, because it’s free, they opt for substandard web hosting, do not bother to invest the $20 (often less) it would cost to purchase a really good domain name or opt for the cheapest possible way to create a logo and image for their brand rather than biting the bullet a little and paying a professional. These are all indeed things that will save a few bucks now but they could really make it hard for your to build a business that actually, eventually, turns a profit.
Failing to Build Relationships
In the end, business is all about people and relationships, whatever the niche. Instead of engaging with their social media following websites and blogs just bombard with request to ‘like’, to retweet, or to repin? But why should they? “Tell Your Friends About Us” reads a sign in a shop window. Why? What did they do to make anyone feel that their experience is worth sharing? It is hard work but if you take the time to build relationships then, because people feel like they know you, even if it is just via a Facebook page or a useful email newsletter, they are far more likely to do what you want them to.Koehler Home Decor is a wholesaler of home decor accessories and unique gifts. Source quality wholesale merchandise at KoehlerHomeDecor.com and find tips for promoting your business on our blog.