Top 10 Small Business Mistakes
Most businesses make lots of marketing mistakes that have the potential to kill their business. Here is a list of top 10 small business mistakes you may be making that could be costing you your business:
1: You don’t know why your customers leave you
You need to have a system in place to ask the customer why they left for another business. If you know the reason, you can work on it and fix it so that it doesn’t happen again.
2: You don’t know how to get back lost customers
If you know why your customer left, and if it is because of something you did or didn’t do, you can write him a note to tell him you have fixed the problem, and give him an offer to entice him to come back. If you make your customer feel important without being overbearing, he will certainly come back.
3: You fail to capture your prospects and customers details
Any prospects and customers on your website or customers to your store visit your website or your store because they were interested in your product or service. Not asking them to leave their names with you is costing you a lot of money. Not only do you have to find another person who will buy, but you can’t present any offers to them. Also, if they are not able to buy straight away, there will come a time where they will be ready and if you haven’t established a strong relationship with them, they are going to go to someone else. Work out how much you will lose if you have 10 people a week that will buy in three months’ time and you haven’t done the above.
4: You don’t know the conversion rate on your website and how to increase it.
It is not just about having a website: your website should be like a salesperson working for you. Instead of paying this salesperson top dollar, you have other responsibilities to it. You need to take measures to make sure this website can perform its duties, like having good content, a magnet offer that will prompt visitors to give you their name and email address, and a way to convert them to buyers. If you don’t know how to do this, it is costing you money. It would be better to spend that money upfront and get someone who knows what they are doing to do this for you.
5: You have terrible ways of answering the phone which turns customers away.
If someone phones in to your office to enquire about your products or service, and they are not met in a friendly, professional way, they are going to leave. That is all there is to it. Make sure your receptionist or telephone account manager has scripts to learn on how to answer the phone and handle enquiries. Do monitor them from time to time as well.
6: you think you have such a great product or service, customers will come automatically
No matter how great your product or service, people won’t come automatically. You will have to market your product or service to let others know about it. You need systems in place to attract customers, nurture a relationship with them, offer them your product or service, upselling to them, and especially a system to refer customers to them. If you don’t know how to do this, you need to learn, or find someone to do it for you.
7: you think your business is totally different from other businesses
Sorry to have to break this to you, every business is in exactly the same business you are in: The business of Marketing. If we do not effectively market our products and services, we will be out of business.
8: You do not clearly show the difference between your business and that of your competitors
If you can’t say anything other than: “Our service is better,” “We have great quality products” or “Our prices are competitive,” you are just a “me too” business. You need to know your Unique Selling Point so you can stand out as different from your competitor. There is too much competition out there not to do that.
9: You believe that marketing is too expensive
The truth is that you can market on a shoestring budget. It does not have to cost you more than a ream of paper and some printer ink at worst, and most marketing efforts can be free. If you don’t know how to market your business for free, you need to learn. If you don’t market your business, you won’t have a business, period. A great place to market from as little as $20 a month, is to get a PurpleBiz listing. Check it out.
10: You are not marketing to your current customers
Your customers already bought from you, they won’t buy again, right? Wrong! Customers who buy from you once is 98% sure to buy from you again. You may have an upgrade or a different product they may also need. In this case, not sending them the offer is losing you money. After all you already have them. It is more expensive to find a new customer than to service old ones.
Every business has three components: Distribution (or Delivery of service), Marketing and Systems. If you are making the above mistakes, you are concentrating on Distribution and forgetting about Marketing and Systems. If you make sure your business makes more marketing related activities and your systems are running well, you will reap the benefits. Most Common Business Mistakes Made By Business Owners discusses more mistakes made by small business owners.
If you don’t know how to do this yourself, you need to get a marketing coach or mentor; someone who can help you get started and teach you how to take it from there.