19 Mistakes Entrepreneurs Make That Flush Out Non-entrepreneurship
Usually, I don’t write mistake entrepreneurs make and such kind of posts but lately I started receiving many questions from fellow entrepreneurs and my readers saying ‘I tried all the techniques but it just doesn’t seem to be working, please could you shed some light on my strategy or see what I am doing wrong’.
Everyone makes mistakes, even entrepreneurs make mistakes 🙂 (they are still human) and that is not a problem, but the real pain and a serious problem is that if you don’t learn from your mistakes and still repeat them again and again.
So, I decided to list some classic mistakes entrepreneurs make which I have personally seen among my fellow entrepreneurs, consulting clients and readers. And to tell you the truth, I am not a clean silk piece either; I too made lots of mistakes in my business and career but you learn. Sometimes you win, sometimes you learn.
Let’s hit the dart and see what mistakes entrepreneurs make that flush out non-entrepreneurship.
1. Trying to make product for everyone
Not deciding and narrowing down on a niche but instead trying to reach everyone. That’s a big NO, by doing this you are not reaching anyone. This mistake will reflect on the product too; It will be a wrong product – a big elephant in your living room asking for food every day for no reason.
Here’s the thing that needs to be done – design or build a product which your ideal customer adores and not everyone in space.
We cannot satisfy everyone, so don’t try to make a product for everyone. Instead, invest your full time, effort, money and resources in creating an awesome product which genuinely satisfy your niche and your potential customer.
2. Not focusing on email list building
This one is a pure classic! I know many entrepreneurs and businesses who send me an email saying “Chintan, email is dead. It is just not working.” and I reply to them saying “What are you doing on my list?” Email may not be sexy but it gives one of the highest returns on investment in marketing channels.
Speaking of that, many entrepreneurs still do not focus on list building.
- Customers who buy from you but are not on the list
- Customers who buy from you and are on the list
Do you know the key thing that separates the above two categories apart from the list? It is LTV (Life Time Value of the customer). The customers who are on the list have high LTV compared to those who are not on the list because, that customer on the list will buy again and again and again. That’s the benefit and beauty of list building.
By designing the right sales funnel with fewer sales email (yes, not selling all the time :)) will help you nurture, cultivate and build that bro/sis relationship with your subscribers. Ultimately, high trust, more sales and space for growth.
If you are looking for an email marketing tool, I recommend two email service providers below:
For Beginners: GetRepsonse 30 days Free trial
For Intermediate: ActiveCampaign 14 days Free trial
3. Not taking feedback from your customers
Did you say something? I didn’t hear that. Please, can you say it again…
Ignoring customers’ feedback is a bad move in business. Speak, ask and listen to your customers. Feedback will help you shape and polish your product, revise your marketing and business strategy.
Of course, as a business owner, entrepreneur and product creator you definitely know what you are talking about and even customers are not always right though collecting feedback and cherry picking the right one from that pot is the right way to take advantage of feedbacks.
Ah, very important; please don’t do the survey and feedback process just for the sake of doing it.
4. Not hiring the right people
Ask me this one. I made this mistake not only once but twice. But I learned and became very cautious since then. Whether you are collaborating, finding a co-founder, hiring freelancers, employees or contracting with any agencies/businesses think twice!
Bringing wrong people in your business is going to ruin the process and business. I am not going to talk about the consequences in detail and don’t want to exaggerate too but it can even result in shutting down the business.
Think of it as a life journey with your partner. I am not trying to blame or tease any human character here but if the partner is not appropriate then it can result in divorce and divorces can be very expensive J especially if it is contestant divorce.
5. Website not mobile responsive
My parents especially my mum are not technology savvy people except some mastery in using kitchen appliances J even she knows what a mobile responsive website is.
Common, a responsive website is a big MUST. If content is a king then mobile is a future and a queen. Ignoring mobile issues and not fixing them will not only going to lose you customers but also going to affect your search engine rankings. Google uses the mobile responsive website as one of the factors to rank your website in search engine.
You can test your website mobile responsiveness using tool by Google called mobile-friendly test by Google
6. Not building a right system or model
Not focusing on building a right system or model but randomly picking and doing jobs, one day here, one day in Facebook groups or another day nowhere. It is vital to build a right system just like blueprint or SOP (systematic operating procedure).
Understand and find out which platform, marketing channel is good for you and your blog or business. Then after, create a step by step system to achieve your goals.
7. Waiting for perfect website design or product
In the beginning, spending three hours on one design tweak or colour gradient is one of the ridiculous decisions one entrepreneur can make especially knowing the fact that there are less than 10 people visiting your website. Your number one goal and main focus, in the beginning, should be building and engaging community and audience.
Facebook during their early days, the number one goal was JUST and JUST to grow their audience. They were not even tweaking the website design if it doesn’t help them grow. Tadaa!
Apple when they launched their FIRST iPhone in 2007, the iPhone was taking 1 minute to start and today, it takes less than 5 seconds with their most dynamic product iPhone 6S. It took them 8 years to build the finest product in the human history.
Even Facebook is iterating their product until today’s date. In March 2016, they have introduced their 50.0 version. 50 versions…
It is all about TESTing and ITERATing. Don’t wait for the best product; launch, get feedback and iterate.
8. Trying to do everything on your own
Not doing the RIGHT things, in fact doing everything. You need to do only what you are good at, no need to put your hands everywhere. You might be thinking that by doing all work by yourself you could save money. Nope, in fact, you give yourself a bigger headache.
If you are a blogger or online entrepreneur then delegate some work such as finding pictures, posting content, designing images etc. to your brother, sister, friends or anyone in your family. Or use technology, tools, automation – Today, it is possible to access the modern tools which weren’t 5 years ago.
If you can’t do something from above alternatives, then hire VA from Fiverr for $5 to do your tedious work. So you can FOCUS on the things which can help you grow your blog or business.
This will help you increase your productivity, ultimately grow your business.
9. Not learning on a regular basis to sharpen the skills
We know everything! That attitude is not to going to help anyone. Learning every day is shining and sharpening process. The day when you stop learning is the day of your death.
Invest in yourself! If you want to grow your business, then you need to grow yourself by investing in learning. It doesn’t need to be getting admission in MBA. Read different blogs to take quick steam, read books and for systematic, step by step and fast growth invest in some relevant courses.
If you really focus and work hard on your business using the knowledge gained through these books and courses, then ultimately your profits/income will pay off this itself.
10. Not learning fundamental skills
Fundamental skills are very important in any business or career. You failed! That’s fine, at least you tried. But learning from your failure is what you should do.
Many entrepreneurs try and then majority fail. They then change the product, market and business model but only few bother to look at the metrics or understand what went wrong.
Most of the time failure of business lies in the foundation of business and that is customer research, knowing your audience, targeting wrong people. All businesses work in the same way, there is no rocket science – You need product, customer and some kind of payment collection tool like PayPal. However, most important things are learning fundamental skills such as learning to narrow down the niche, proper audience research, understanding customers’ needs and want etc.
11. Not tracking the website or promotional activity
I have known some entrepreneurs who don’t even use free Google Analytics tool. Whatever you do with your business, whether it is promoting your content on social media or promoting the product through Facebook Ads – TRACK IT! If it is not tracked it didn’t happen, simple as that.
Thus, track every single thing, analyse and then make a smart decision in your business like a pro.
12. Make networking a low priority
Networking is one of the best ways to grow your business and entrepreneurs do know the benefits of networking but still tag it as a low priority. Excuse? Too busy. This attitude is killing you and your business. Networking is a secret sauce for your future growth.
If you are too busy to attend networking events or conferences, then there are many other creative ways to network. Work from Starbucks or any coffee shop, there are many freelancers, entrepreneurs or like-minded people who come and work from there. Network now!
13. Irrelevant marketing strategy
Trying to do everything starting from making a product for everyone, leveraging all marketing channels, targeting all types of tribes or people. Result? ultimately ends up with irrelevant marketing strategy.
Create a product just for your customers or ideal prospects, choosing a right niche and focusing on a right people leading to a right marketing channel will definitely result in a right marketing strategy.
Designing marketing strategy is not all rocket science, do your foundation work right way and rest will come along the way.
14. Focusing on multiple goals at any one time
Too many goals at the same time. This is not helping anyone; neither you nor your business because your focus is on multiple goals and that is not healthy for your business.
Focus on one single goal – measure, scale and finish. One goal at a time. If you want to grow your traffic, just focus on growing the traffic and forget about monetization and other things.
Focusing on a single goal at a time will help you achieve your multiple goals faster than focusing on multiple goals at the same time.
Don’t forget to measure and scale your goal on daily, weekly and monthly basis.
15. Mismanagement of business funds – too much vacation
Funds management is one of the crucial parts in your business. Buying unnecessary tools or software, investing in wrong channel or suppliers or company or too much vacations 🙂
Make a strict budget, think and analyse before buying any tool or software; check whether you really need these tools, find out if there are any alternatives? Check if there are any payment plans? And big one, calculate the ROI if investing in any tool or software.
If purchasing any wholesale product for your business, then find out the history of supplier before investing or giving them any money.
It is all about money. It is a number game.
16. Not focusing on building an audience
Not focusing on building an audience, too desperate to monetize and ultimately losing focus on building an audience.
The business equation is very simple, it is all about building an audience first and then selling the product to that audience. So the first step is to build the audience. No audience equals to empty stadium with just you and crickets. That’s the last thing you want.
Mainly, start building an email list and growing website traffic, these are the two masala ingredients of any successful business.
Related: We are not able to get new customers
17. Not focusing on foundation process
Let it go… let it go… is the story when it comes to the foundation process. Frontloading work is a must if you want to build a profitable and successful business.
Want right marketing strategy? Want right product? Want profit in your business? Then you must focus on foundation process.
So what should you focus on when it comes to foundation process? Well, there are many things but mainly doing a proper frontloading work to find out what’s your niche? who is your target audience? what are your audience needs and requirements? What are their pain points? If possible, speak with your potential customer in person or through Skype.
18. Not validating and testing the business idea or product idea
This is a classic mistake. Not bothering to test and validate the business idea. BIG NO. It is vital to test and validate your business idea before putting yourself and your money at the front line.
There are many simple, easy and fast ways to test and validate your business idea. For example, if you are planning to sell a physical product then create a simple landing page with your one product, connect with PayPal or any other payment collection systems and you are done.
Now, buy $50 Facebook Ads or Google Adwords to drive traffic to this landing page. If your idea, product is interesting then you will see that in the results. Measure and analyse the result and make a decision. If not sure, run one more campaign.
19. Instead of starting small, pushing for big from the beginning
Not interested in small, pushing it for big from the beginning. It doesn’t work like that. Always start small, see how’s everything working. If you see consistently positive results or outcome, then it is time to grow or expand the territory.
It is advisable to bring puppy first rather then bringing an elephant in the house. The last thing you want is feeding all your food to this elephant. Business is the same.
So what is your thought? let me know in comments below, I genuinely look forward to reading your comments.
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