Warning: I have made most of these mistakes. Please do as I say in this blog and avoid these business mistakes!
Starting a business is tough, confusing, and exasperating. There are loads to think about, lots of new things to learn, many questions to ask, may more that you think of right when you hang up the phone with your mentor...
As I've said many times before, When I began my business, I had zero dollars and zero support. Everything I know I've learned through well over 12,000 hours (yes, I figured it out...thanks Malcolm Gladwell!) of studying, research, observation, listening, questioning, reflecting, trying, formulating, pursuing, crying, giving up (for a few minutes), pivoting, ruminating, creating, recreating, re-recreating, doing, doing, and doing lots more!
The sole purpose of Bonnie L Frank Coaching & Consulting is to make your entrepreneurial journey a smoother one than mine has been by providing you with all the resources and support I can. Please don't make these mistakes:
Mistake #1: You must have an expensive and unique website. You absolutely don't need an expensive website and it in no way should it be unique when you first start your business! You will literally waste thousands of dollars because when it's finished (I promise you, trust me on this!) you'll still want to make many changes to your site within your first six months of business. Unless you're a web developer and have coded the whole thing yourself, you'll need to go back to the web guy or gal who designed your site and likely need to pay more money now that you want changes to your gorgeous one-of-a-kind website.
Mistake #2: You must have a website to be in business. If you have a product or service that people are willing to pay money for, you're in business--the website is gravy. You actually just need somewhere for your potential and current customers to go, and a landing page will fit that bill.
Mistake #3: You think that everyone wants your products and services. Although I'm sure your products and services are desirable to some, they are definitely not desirable to all. You must know who your ideal client is, who is in your target audience and then market to them.
Mistake #4: You think everyone wants to hear about your products and servicesthe moment they meet you, especially at networking events. People attend networking events for different reasons, and somewhere on each person's list is the ability to do business with others; however, NOBODY does business with people they don't know, like, and trust. You cannot go from "zero to sale" within two minutes of meeting someone at a networking event. All business relationships, just like every other relationship, take time and even after what you feel is "enough" time, that person may still not buy your stuff.
Mistake #5: You start each day with the mindset of "Sell, Sell, SELL!" and "Always Be Closing" and you think this is the correct approach. This is absolutely the wrong minset! The correct mindset is of service. How can YOU help THEM? What can you do for THEM? When you use this approach, you'll have a much higher likability score as well as conversion rate.
Mistake #6: Telling someone goodbye at the end of a business meeting or networking event (or blab or scope...) is enough. No need to follow up. Remember when your mom and dad made you write thank you notes when you received a gift? When you spend time with someone at a networking meeting or business event, that person IS giving you a gift--the gift of their time! It's really common courtesy (and good business practice!) to follow up after each of these meetings with a note or email saying that you enjoyed speaking with them, look forward to the next time, etc.
I hope knowing these six mistakes helps you, and, if you've already made some of them (For the record, I'm guilty of Mistakes 2-6), I hope these are great reminders about what not to do again!