7 MAJOR MISTAKES MOST START-UP BUSINESSES MAKE AGAIN AND AGAIN.
1. Not following up after networking.
It’s not uncommon for us here at the Biz Expos to receive emails or calls in the weeks following a show from people commenting that the networking they did lead nowhere, and they made no sales/contacts during the show. It usually puts them off wanting to come back again. It’s infuriating to hear, not because they don’t want to come back, but because they are wasting a fantastic opportunity to build a contact list because they’re not doing the most important part of networking – Following up! Let’s face it, when we’re in an environment like a business expo, we don’t really have the time to spend too long with one person; we’re trying to meet as many as we can. Get in touch with the contacts you made at the show and start building a relationship with them. Don’t just send them an email with a sales pitch for your product – chances are, you’ll end up in their trash. Take your time and get to know a little more about them and their business before you try selling. It will be worth it!
2. Not putting the time into marketing.
You might have a product that would put everyone within a similar industry to shame. You could have a business plan that would make all the Dragons on Dragon’s Den scramble over each other to invest in. But the problem is; if no one knows about it, no one is going to miss it. You need to be constantly out there, promoting what you have for the world to see. Attend as many expos as you can. Go to every relevant networking event you’re invited to (you’ll miss them if the invites stop coming).
3. Marketing at the wrong time to the wrong people.
This is a legitimate issue that a lot of people don’t seem to grasp. As unbelievable as it is, there are actually good times and bad times to market on social media. It isn’t just about consistently posting on the various platforms. In fact, statistics show that there are certain times on Facebook, for example, that are more likely to gain attention from the right audience than others. If you were to post on Facebook between 1pm-3pm on a Thursday or Friday, you’ll have more success than if you post on a Monday morning. Statistically speaking, the closer you are to the weekend, the more likely people are going to check in on Facebook. Do your research. Find out what times are ideal to post on your chosen social media platforms and use them to your advantage!
4. Relying on an existing crowd to support them.
It’s amazing how many businesses fail because of this. You might have a large social media following and you might be well known within the groups you’re in before you launched your business, but you really mustn’t assume that these two factors are going to play a part in your success. Don’t get me wrong – it might, and you might find that it helps enormously, but don’t assume you don’t have to keep building to a more specific audience to help steer your business towards ultimate success. By all means, ask your existing following for referrals and help, but don’t rely on them to be the only way to make your business succeed.
5. Displaying arrogance about their product.
You might think you have the best product in the industry. In fact, it’s something of a mystery as to why anyone wouldn’t want to buy into what you’re selling. Is there something wrong with it? Maybe there’s a problem with how you’re marketing? If you’re stumped as to why you’re not already buying your second home in the Bahamas, maybe the issue is you. During my time at the Biz Expos, I’ve met many people from all walks of life who’ve come to our shows and demonstrated what they have to offer. Some people were a delight to talk to, and I found myself coming back to check in on them again and again. Some, however, thought they deserved more than everyone else because of highly they thought of their business. There’s nothing wrong with having pride for what you have, but can you guess how often I wanted to converse with them? Everyone is judging not only your product, but your delivery. So make sure you know how to present yourself in an approachable way.
6. Copying the techniques of someone else.
Marketing isn’t everyone’s key skill when it comes to promoting businesses. Some are just more adept at it than others. It can be really tempting to scope out your competitors and just copy what they’re doing. Let me tell you something – this is a bad idea. I can’t tell you the amount of times I’ve seen this happen, only to see those who have copied another’s idea crash and burn. What works for someone won’t necessarily work for you. You’ll only be doing more damage than good. It’s okay to be inspired by another’s success, but to outright copy them is only hurting your product.
7. Not delivering on promises.
You’d think this one would be a no-brainer, but honestly, one of the most damaging things you can do to your new business is promise your clients something that got them interested in you in the first place, just to pull the rug out from underneath them. Don’t promise something you can’t deliver. It’s not worth the fallout that will happen later on, and it’s not worth damaging your reputation. Just stick to what you can guarantee people, and not only will you find yourself with happy clients, you’ll also have loyal clients, who will be happy to recommend you to their peers.