This is an obvious one but many would be entrepreneurs try to invent the wheel. They think of a great product that we might need but will people want to spend money on it?
In reality, to chose a product to sell that people want is very easy: Find a product on a market that people are spending money on and then market it better than anyone else.
2) Wasting money on advertising that does not work
When a business is starting money is tight and the business must monitor their advertisement response and if it doesn’t work: STOP.
The entrepreneur needs to be ruthless and evaluate each marketing campaign. There is a danger that the growing business, under pressure of making money, will end up in a loop, throwing more money at bad advertising.
3) A website that nobody finds
It is not the quality of the website that will get you the visitors and sales. It is the marketing of the website that will do that.
Some businesses spend a large budget having their website designed but then spend almost nothing in money or time to promote the website.
Master one or two of the following techniques and your business will succeed, master them all and you will have a major online success:
a) PPC – e.g. Google AdSense, Facebook etc.
b) Traditional offline advertising
c) Inbound link campaign
d) Viral marketing
e) Article publishing (online)
f) Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
g) Inbound links
4) Unrealistic time and money pressures
This is a common problem of start ups. The entrepreneur needs to attain certain levels of income by an unrealistic future time. There are enough pressures within a growing business from unforeseen problems without the need to add to them.
In the UK 50% of new businesses fail in the first year and 90% do not reach the second year. Therefore this problem affects really good ideas that would otherwise have succeeded.
What are the solutions?
a) Plan for having enough cash to last twice as long as originally expected
b) The entrepreneur could find some other part time work that would help cash flow
c) Start the business part time. Online businesses lend themselves especially to starting part-time.
5) Not offering additional products to your customers.
When you study successful businesses from small to large, they very rarely sell an item to the customer and never again have contact with them.
The long term business profits are built by having a relationship with your existing customers.
Offer a “back end” product to your customer, if you do not have such product, team up with another company that have it and offer it to your customer.
The typical, traditional example on this topic is the hairdresser that offers his services and at the end sells shampoos and maintenance products.
Hasta la vista ….