Do you feel like you’re spinning your tires?
As though, for all the hours and effort you’re putting into your business, you’re still not making headway?
You’re not alone.
There are some common business mistakes every entrepreneur makes…particularly when they’ve crossed the threshold of going from a good idea to a going concern. They find it hard to stop going in the wrong direction.
Let’s look at the six common business mistakes.
6 common mistakes that hold back your business
There are circumstances beyond our control – the pandemic is a glaring example – that can interrupt even the best business plan.
But there are some common, avoidable mistakes. Here are the top six.
1. Lacking direction
You came up with an original product or service, built a customer base, and started seeing revenue. What’s next?
What does growth look like to you? Is it opening a second location for your business? Expanding your product or service line? Finding new markets? Hiring staff?
There is no wrong answer to these questions…except, “I don’t know.”
Take time to chart a course for your business so that you know how to proceed when an opportunity arises to achieve growth.
It will also save you from being pulled off course by opportunities that pop up…you’ll be able to compare them to your vision and act accordingly.
2. Lacking trust
It’s a common disorder, especially among solopreneurs. You don’t trust anyone to do the job as well as you can…so you never delegate.
The result? At best, tasks are done quickly and sometimes poorly. At worst, you burn out.
There are aspects of your business that should stay within your control and a multitude of administrative duties that a trained professional could take off your hands.
Most entrepreneurs appreciate the need for a lawyer, bookkeeper, or accountant. But they overlook hiring someone with expertise in project management, event planning, even organizing their inbox and contact lists.
Handing these responsibilities over to someone explicitly trained for them frees you up to work on what you do best: creating a vision for future growth.
3. Lacking a marketing strategy
Your product or service is novel at the outset, and there’s an initial burst of interest. But it’s a common business mistake to count on novelty to build lasting momentum. You need a marketing strategy.
If that’s not your forté, find someone to help you. Whether it’s an instructor or mentor who can teach you how to create a marketing plan or a contractor specializing in marketing and promotion which works on a part-time or project basis, get a plan.
You won’t realize growth if you don’t know how to promote your company – to future employees, suppliers, or customers.
4. Lacking a target audience
You’re on LinkedIn. You’ve joined vertical social media platforms for mentorship. You attend tradeshows. You’re forming networks with like-minded entrepreneurs in the hopes of building your business.
But are you spending time where your customers are…? Do you know where they are…?
If you have a marketing plan in place, you’ll know exactly where your ideal client is waiting for your product or service. They won’t necessarily come to you…you’ll have to go to them.
This is an excellent opportunity to delegate. Hire someone on contract to work through your leads, answer email inquiries from your website, and follow through on the recommendations of your marketing expert.
Once they’ve found your clients, even made the introduction, you can take the lead and build a relationship with them. Leave the first steps to someone else…think of yourself as the closer.
5. Lacking professional growth
You might have started your business as an expert in your field. That doesn’t mean you can’t build on your knowledge and expertise.
It doesn’t matter what industry you’re in; continuing education makes sense at every stage of your career development.
Carve out time to attend webinars, consult with mentors, read books and blogs. It might seem like an indulgence to sit down and read a book, but it will be time well spent. You’ll connect with other people going through their entrepreneurial journey who can encourage, and you’ll read about people who’ve scaled the slopes you’re navigating.
6. Lacking support
This challenge points back to my second…lacking trust.
Many tasks can be automated or delegated. As a solopreneur, your inclination will be to stay involved in every aspect of your business…
Resist the urge!
Delegate the repetitive or routine tasks: updating your social media feed, invoicing, answering inquiries from your website. You don’t have to hire a full-time employee to fulfill this role. A contract executive assistant or project manager will manage the details that bog you down and stunt your business growth.
Build your business by letting go
It’s counterintuitive, but if you hand over the reins to someone else to manage the day-to-day tasks, you’ll have more time to plan and execute your vision for growth.
You can avoid the common business mistakes if you’re willing to bring in outside assistance – either on a contract basis, part-time, or full-time.
Would you like to learn more about our executive services? Contact us, and we’ll share our knowledge and expertise with you.
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