I’ve seen impatience kill great ideas. Business owners will either give up or sometimes bite off more than they can chew, which ultimately leads to disaster. I think it is common for people to start a business, and expect to see success within 6-12 months. But that is rarely the case.
When it comes to growing your business, rushing and not taking the proper steps are two major mistakes. Rushing and not having a plan puts you at risk to fail fast and hard. Here are 4 tips to avoid making mistakes that can lead to the death of your small business.
Know your why and purpose.
This is a foundational element that is key when you’re first starting a business. And it also helps to ensure that your business is solid as it grows and evolves. Here are a few things that should be clearly outlined for your business upfront:
- Why does your business exist?
- What are your values?
- Why do you do what you do and what is your ultimate vision?
- What problem are you trying to solve?
- Do you have company beliefs?
During the initial stages of your business, the answers to these questions will help guide you in your overall business decisions, as well as marketing and branding initiatives. As your company continues to grow, these answers help to shape your overall company culture. As you hire people and gain more customers, it allows people to feel connected, and hopefully become brand loyalists.
Brand Recognition and Marketing
Brand recognition is the ability of someone to recognize your brand over someone else’s. It is the ability for someone to identify your business by its ‘visual grammar’. Brand recognition takes time to build. On average, it takes 7 times for someone to see or hear your brand/message to recall or take action. Marketing, is the strategy behind getting your brand/message seen 7 times that in turn, lead to them taking action.
Failure to put a marketing strategy in place early on doesn’t even open the door for an opportunity to grow. If you don’t inform, educate and engage, how do you expect people to take action? A strategy that is measured and optimized is key for growing your business. You need to know what is working and why it is working, to determine what changes to make and where to invest more money. A marketing strategy needs to be consistent, scalable, and updated on a regular basis.
Hire the right people.
Whether you are looking for full time staff or outsourcing, hiring the right people is key to the success of your business. For full time staff, you want to make sure that you are hiring someone that cares at the very minimum. Someone that will show up, and represent your business in a professional manner. The staff you hire, is ultimately a reflection of your brand.
When it comes to outsourcing, professionalism and experience are what you should look for. For example, when hiring a graphic designer, brand or marketing consultant, that person should be invested in making sure that your business is represented in the best light. In order to do this, they’ll need to go through the proper steps to make sure that they have a solid grasp on what it is that needs to be communicated. A reputable professional knows this, and exactly how to do this. Hiring someone for a quick turn, or a quick solution, is not the path that you want to lead your business down. Rushing for instant gratification won’t help to ensure success for your business in the future.
Don’t forget about retention.
When most businesses start, the goal is to find new customers. Most initiatives are geared towards acquisition, and retention goes overlooked. Only 6 percent of small businesses focus on customer retention. Failing to give attention to customers that have already shown interest can be a huge miss when trying to grow your business. By focusing on retention, you’ll be able to organically grow your business, when you have repeat business from loyal customers. Those loyal customers also tell their friends and family about your business as well.
Having a firm foundation to stand on, creating a scalable marketing strategy, utilizing the right resources and being attentive to current customers are all best practice for building your business, no matter what stage your’re in. And if you’re just starting, these best practices will help make your road to growth a lot smoother. If I can be of service to you along the way, schedule a call, I’m here to help.