3 Biggest Mistakes Entrepreneurs Make When Starting a Business

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Do you have a business but not seeing the results that you expected when you first started?

If you're still struggling to get more traffic, leads and sales for your business, then it's likely that you're making one of the 3 mistakes below.




1. You Don't Really Know Your Target Audience

One of the biggest mistake entrepreneurs make when starting a business is thinking that they know who their ideal audience is.

Usually they'll make a guess based on some past experiences, but the reality is that most won't know who they are until they dig deeper.

The only way to truly know who your true prospects, potential customers and clients are is to first ask them what they need or want.

Instead of trying to create a need by creating a product and service and then promoting it, you'll first want to find out what your audience's needs are and then create your products, services, advertisements, and content around that.

This way you'll be certain that you're targeting the right person.

How do you find out what your customers really want?

One of the best ways to determine who your ideal audience is to survey them or speak to them 1-on-1.

If you don't already have a list of prospects to survey or speak to, then you'll want to do that first (see mistake #2). I suggest doing both if you're able to, but usually surveys are just as powerful if you ask the right questions in the right sequence.

When you survey or speak to your prospects, you'll want to know what their biggest challenges, fears, desires, and aspirations are.

Some questions you can ask them are:

  1. What is your biggest challenge in this area?

  2. What solutions have you tried before?

  3. What is your biggest fear?

  4. What do you want to achieve in the next year?

The reason why you need to ask these high-level type of questions is because you can't assume that you know more about your prospective customers than you really do.

You need to know them at a visceral level if you truly want to be able to create products and services that they'll truly want.

Try to make it a goal to survey or speak to 5 to 10 people before creating your product.

Also one of the most effective ways to know for sure if your product will sell before you even create it, is to ask your target audience how likely they would be willing to pay for a solution to their problem right now. If they answer right now, and are willing to pay you for it, then you may have a winner.

So this is why it's so important to first determine who your target audience and what their needs and wants truly are.

2. You're Not Building an Email List

One of the biggest mistakes I see startup entrepreneurs make is that they don't focus on building their email lists right from the start. 

Most people that land on your website -- even if you paid for the traffic -- won't buy your product or service. 

In fact, your chances are so low of converting cold traffic, that you're better off probably turning that type of campaign off as you'll end up losing a lot of money.

A more effective way to convert visitors into prospects is to offer a free lead magnet (checklist, book, resources, report, etc.) 

By providing value from the start, you are essentially creating goodwill with your visitors because they will feel that you're not just trying to sell them something.  You're providing a solution to a problem or need without any string attached.

When creating a lead magnet, you should always strive to create something 10x what it's worth.  Even though it's free, it should be something so valuable that you could easily charge for it and people wouldn't hesitate to pay you for it.

The purpose of doing this is to create rapport with your visitors -- to build trust.  People like to work with people who they know, like and trust.  And what better way to create that type of relationship than to offer them something for free?

One of the reasons this works so well is because of the the need for people to reciprocate. 

When you do something good for someone, they'll feel like returning the favor. 

So if you give them something valuable -- you solve a problem, answer a pressing question, give a value resource they can tap into -- they'll be much more likely to take action when you follow up with them.

Now I'm not suggesting you do this to be manipulative, but rather to provide real value.  Even if they don't buy anything from you in the future, they'd still get a ton of value out of what you provided them. 

Also, they are more likely to refer you to other people when they are looking to solve that particular problem as well.  But it's likely that if you provide something of real value, they will reciprocate in the future.

So when you setup your sales funnel, make list building a priority.  All you need to do is create a lead magnet and a landing page, and start driving traffic to that page instead of to a sales page.  Your conversion rates will improve drastically and will make it much easier to become profitable.

3. You're not attracting enough of the right type of traffic

Many entrepreneurs I work with focus on the wrong things, especially when it comes to getting more traffic to their websites.

They'll either spend too much time posting things on social media, or will be on the wrong platform all together.

The first step to attracting enough of the right people to your website, is to go where your target audience is.

So if your audience is primarily hanging out on Facebook, but you're spending most of your time on Twitter, then it's time to shift your attention to Facebook. 

It doesn't mean that you have to stop Twitter or whatever platform you're on all together, but rather to focus your time, energy and effort on a platform where you can expect a good return on your investment.

Facebook Ads

One of the cheapest, fastest and most effective ways to generate qualified leads for your business is to run Facebook ads. 

The goal with running Facebook Ads is not just to generate more likes for your business page (another mistake many entrepreneurs make), but rather to get more leads and subscribers to your email list. 

As I mentioned before, it's important to make building your list a priority.  So if you use Facebook Ads to drive the right traffic to your website, then you are much more likely to get some good results (more leads and sales).

As you may have noticed all of these 3 things work together. 

By first identifying your ideal target audience, knowing where they hang out (i.e Facebook, Pinterest, etc.) and then driving traffic to your landing page so that you can build your email list, is one of the most efficient and effective ways to build a sustainable online business. 

By doing these things you're not only going to get more qualified leads, but you're going to build an audience that knows, likes and trusts you.  Eventually many of them will also become raving fans if you provide enough value. 

If you don't focus on these 3 things, then you'll most likely end up being disappointed because you'll find that not a lot of people are buying your products or services -- even though you put so much time and effort into promoting your website or blog.  So by implementing these things you'll be much more likely to see success and build a profitable business online.

 

Mayank Gupta
 

Mayank Gupta is a certified digital marketer, entrepreneur and founder of SimpleStartup. He has over 8 years experience helping entrepreneurs successfully start and grow their businesses online. He is also a professional blogger and writes regularly for Medium, Lifehack, SimpleStartup and others. You can tweet him @simple_startup

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 1 comments
SaaS Junkie - June 23, 2016

Mayank,
I appreciate your writing style and taking these well known concepts and putting them into a easily digestible format for beginners to get started. Cheers to you.

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