We learn by doing and of course, by making mistakes. Mistakes are proof that you are trying and that you are learning. But sometimes it's really helpful if the experience can be avoided. We can save ourselves the badge of honor and fast track our success by learning from those that have gone before us.
A lot of the time we are so involved working in our business instead of on our business, that our mistakes are not blatantly obvious. Often we need the 'bigger picture' view or advice from someone who's outside of our business to identify where we can improve.
Here are eight mistakes to avoid in your business, saving you some heartache and a whole lot of effort.
1. Thinking Everyone is Your Customer
Seth Godin reminds us that 'Everyone is not your Customer.' We can often resist honing our niche for fear of missing out on reaching a customer but in fact the opposite happens. As you talk to everyone, your message of mass appeal is actually reaching and resonating with no one. Your people, your tribe, will identify with you, once you speak to them and only them.
Get clear on your niche and speak directly to them.
2. Offering What You Think Your Client Wants
It's easy to get caught up in our work, doing what we love. It can be just as easy to forget if we are truly servicing those that need what we have to offer. Often we think we know what our ideal client needs, and perhaps we do, at one point in time. Needs change, people change and experiences evolve. Have you asked lately what it is your audience needs most support with?
Check in with your client base and ask them what it is they need help with.
3. Giving Everything Plus the Kitchen Sink
As heart centered entrepreneurs, we are here to help others and intentionally make a positive difference. Sometimes, especially when we are starting out, this can translate into packing as much of what we perceive to be 'value' into our offering or package. This does not serve you, or your client. They become overwhelmed and end up implementing less and you become frustrated and exhausted.
Less, in this case, is more.
4. Speaking a Language Nobody Understands
When it comes to sales, many of us change our messaging, our communication style and our language choice. We get uncomfortable in sales territory and start using trendy buzzwords that really don't resonate or align with our work, or what we represent. When in doubt use a script. I get this. But it's also a big mistake. Your prospects want to hear from you, recognise you, not a pushy sales voice that feels ick.
Stick to speaking the way you normally do and focus on real conversations instead of trying to convert your prospect.
5. Using a Weak Business Model
Your business model is the process of how you deliver your value, your services and get paid in return for it. It's the architecture and the foundation of your business. Just like building a house, strong foundations guarantee the stability and sound structure of your business. Trading dollars for hours is not necessarily the best use of your time, or indeed the best way to get results for your clients.
Create profitable packages that attract the right clients for you and deliver solutions and outcomes for your client.
6. Hanging Out in the Wrong Places
It can be so tempting to stay social (in the name of research or business development!) and thanks to Facebook groups, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter and more, get sucked into a vortex, stealing more precious hours. There is a time for being social for sure, but ask yourself, 'how much of my time on social media has actually generated leads?'
If social media is not building your brand, credibility or generating leads, it's time to shake up your strategy.
7. Charging The Going Rate
Let me ask you, if the going rate in your industry dropped tomorrow by 30 percent, would your business be able to survive? If you're pricing is positioned purely on the going rate it's highly unlikely. Pricing is the pulse, the heartbeat of your business. Without profit, you have no business. Finger in the air pricing policies are not sustainable or indeed profitable. Factors to consider include the value you deliver, market demand, your experience, confidence and 'feel good' factor and of course costs and profit margins.
Pricing encompasses many variables so take a holistic approach when pricing your work.
8. Keeping Busy in your Business
Busyness is not effective or efficient and it's not helping your business. It also breeds procrastination and subsequently to-do lists start doubling in size before our eyes! The Eisenhower Urgent versus Important Matrix is a great tool to help with time management.
Half of our important things are based on someone else's needs. The urgent tasks are the ones that impact you. These are the ones that need to be prioritized.
"What is important is seldom urgent and what is urgent is seldom important."
Dwight D. Eisenhower
So check in with your business to ensure you're not making any of these mistakes. And if you are, turn it around and start seeing the positive difference it brings!
If you need more clarity, support and clients in your business then let's talk. Apply for your Business Breakthrough Session to see what's possible for you.