There is a saying in politics that those who fail to remember history are doomed to repeat it. This philosophy applies to business ventures too, where there are an untold number of pitfalls awaiting even the savviest online marketers. The secret to success isn’t working hard, it’s learning to leverage the resources you have to get what you want. Entrepreneurs engineer their own failures frequently, but the successful ones understand that if you learn from those mistakes you can turn that knowledge into action.
But sticking to your business plan is not the only path to success. You must be willing to test the strategies you devise, make changes to impact conversions and grow your network all at the same time.
You Won’t Launch
The first step toward conducting any business is to actually launch the venture. Forget about launching with a fancy flash video that describes what you do. Instead, try to launch with the bare essentials: a form for customers to fill out, tracking code to track what they do on your page, and a logo or a banner for your website. Without data to build off of, any changes you make before you start getting customers may prove ineffective because you know little about your audience.
The solution is to set a date and stick to it. Get out of the “make it perfect” mindset, and turn it into “make it work.” The results are often not pretty, that’s true, but a product that provides benefit to the user will grow into a better presentation as time goes on.
You Spread Yourself Too Thin
Rich Gorman, a leading online marketing guru, likes to say that you can be a jack of all trades, but you’ll end up as a master of none. Instead, pick one thing you can do at launch and focus on doing that one thing well. As your business grows, you can add features to help entice customers outside of your core audience, but service those people with a half-hearted product and you’ll lose your audience.
Identify what you do best and put yourself in that role. If it’s tech, hire someone to do copywriting. If it’s marketing, hire someone to build your website. The more time you spend trying to do something outside of your core focus, the more room you have to discourage yourself from running the business, and the less chance you have to succeed
You’re too Obsessed with Returns
For those living paycheck to paycheck, it’s hard to get out of the mindset of pulling money out of your business to pay for yourself to live. Take a second job, or find other ways to market your skillset online as a freelancer. Supplement as much of your personal income as possible with side gigs and other work. Use the money that your business earns to grow the business.
Get an accountant and ask about tax breaks, set up a retirement account for yourself and get in the habit of doing some pleasure travel mixed in with a bit of business.
You Spend Too Much Time Planning
A well drafted plan includes competitive research, marketing strategies, sales goals and predictions. Avoid tunnel vision by setting deadlines for yourself and sticking to them. Hurdles will always arise that prevent you from executing perfectly every time, but if you hit most of your goals you’re sure to see some growth.
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