4 Mistakes Most Business Owners Make And How To Avoid Them
The following commentary is inspired from the free mini-course: Market Wise - Ironclad truth savvy business owners understand about marketing (and broke business owners learn too late).
Business failures can mostly be traced back to a common set of behaviours and actions. Hindsight, yes, but today we’re looking at them because smart people learn from the failures of others.
These common mistakes are made by most businessmen and women every day. Most of whom are good, hard working, honest people.
Don’t be ignorant or lazy.
If you’re the kind of person that likes to learn, celebrate, move forward, repeat - then this is for you. However, if you just want to set up a job for yourself so that you can be your own boss - feel free to pass on this one.
I’m writing this for my invisible clients I haven’t met yet. I’m writing this so that when we meet, we can get straight to the business of actually working on your business. I’m writing this so that you can get these lessons under your belt. I’m writing this so that you don’t have to suffer like so many others have, whether from ignorance or laziness.
While there are many - here are four mistakes that I see most business owners making. See how you go with this short list. Hopefully, you can only see these in your past self.
But should you begin reading and feel a sinking, defensive, dark cloud envelop you - here’s how you can avoid them. Of course, provided you’re not the proud, argumentative type 😉
Classic Mistake #1
You don’t value money
You think I’m crazy don’t you.
Well, let me ask you…
Do you know the amount of revenue you made last month? What about profit?
Do you know what mistake cost you the most money last month?
What’s your breakeven? What’s your average sale?
What’s your biggest business cost annually? Do you know which staff member is not making any money for the company? Do you know which staff member upsets the productivity of the team? Why do you still employ them?
How much time is spent quoting for new business in the average week? What is your conversion rate? Why don’t your customers buy more from you?
At the end of the business day is the email checked, the tea room tidy, the desk cleared - but still some leads not followed up and quoted?
Do you know your most profitable product/service? You do? Great - can you tell me the sales funnel for your “champion” seller?
Here is the cold hard truth: people who value money know these things, because they know that the drivers of the money ensure that it will be there tomorrow.
HOW TO AVOID:
Everyone of these questions above is a hint on what you could be doing. Copy and paste the above, put it into a new document, double space it and print it. Use it as a worksheet, and fill it out. Put this article away (save it first ;)) because you don’t need anymore right now. It’s too much. This lesson is the biggest.
This separates the winners from the average.
Classic Mistake #2
You overestimate your importance
Yes you are important - but just not as much as you think you are to the success of your business.
Your customers don’t care about you - they care about getting service, value and experience.
Your staff don’t care about you - they care about job satisfaction, acknowledgment of a job well done and opportunity for personal and professional growth.
Your supply chain doesn't care about you - they care about moving product, reaching their targets without being screwed on price, and being paid on time.
Your sales funnel doesn’t care about you - just because you created it doesn’t mean that you can ignore it, all it cares about is getting leads in at the top, processing, and bringing sales out at the bottom.
HOW TO AVOID:
Stop parking your car in the customer car park.
Find out what your staff really want and help them get it.
Meet with every supplier and ask how their best customers sell the most. And pay their bill before you pay yourself.
Follow your own company systems, and test them. Respect the sales funnel, don’t think you can go around it just because you’re the boss.
Accept that in your little world inside of your head - yes, you are the most important.
But realise that out in the world that surrounds your business - you are a side note. You are just an accessory slung over the shoulder of the real beauty - your business.
Classic Mistake #3
You think marketing is an expense
I have a lot more patience for people who misunderstand this one.
However, it’s time to smarten up.
HOW TO AVOID:
Make a study of it and how it relates to your business. Once and for all. Do it. Start here with the free mini-course.
Marketing can be as simple as opening your doors on a busy street, or as difficult as getting people to drive into the middle of the desert. Either way - marketing is the attention, it is the portal through which people meet your business.
This attention, this portal - can then be measured. Once it can be measured, it can be manipulated by outside forces (you). Once you can do this - you now have a lever, a driver of leads that turn into sales that turn into money that turns into fun.
Why would you treat the driver of your business as an expense?
Classic Mistake #4
You don't think providing value to others is important
Too many business owners come to me for help - but all they want to do is take.
If they are like that with me (who they are seeking help from) then it doesn't take much creative thinking to guess what they are like with their customers (who they want to get money from).
Now I’m not sure if it’s a scarcity mindset or just simply selfishness - or maybe ignorance.
And maybe you aren’t this bad.
But do you realise the massive benefits that come from providing value?
Many successful business people have learned, and preached the virtue of viewing every situation as an opportunity to provide value.
As America's foremost business philosopher used to say:
We get paid for bringing value to the marketplace. It takes time,... but we get paid for the value, not the time.
- Jim Rohn
And this guy was pretty smart...
Try not to become a man of success. Rather become a man of value.
- Albert Einstein
In 5 Core Values of Business From Garyvee he lists this gem...
GIVE WITH NO EXPECTATION OF RETURN
It goes without saying that you should always be looking for ways to provide others with value, (in life too, not just business). Creating a media site, writing articles, and making videos builds relationships with existing and new customers, as well as business partners. It is the number one way to sell a product right now.
But there’s another side to this that I don’t often bring up. This other side is just as important as providing that value. Because when you’re giving people something you know they will need and enjoy, it’s because you’re building up a relationship that could some day mean something, right? A business opportunity or a sale or drinks or a new job? Well, of course. All relationships need to be a two way street to be functional. But really, before any of that happens: you need to give with zero expectation of return.
Because the truth is, people like people. We’re wired for it. And people do business with other people. So when you learn to generally give to those people without expecting them to do something in return, you win. You’ll perceive the world differently, and be a better person because of it.
HOW TO AVOID:
When thinking about value the default setting is to think money.
Change your thinking, and consider the person you’re dealing with.
What’s important to them?
Here is a list to get you started:
- some people value brevity
- some people value knowledge
- some people value insights
- some people value humor
- some people value brutal honesty
- some people value encouragement
- some people value a listening ear
- some people value honest advice
Use your skill to gauge what the person in front of you values, and deliver it to the best of your ability.
Trust and confidence flow from giving value.
And every genuine business person knows that those two items are crucial to furthering your business relationships, customer base, revenue and yes somewhere down the road - profit.
WHAT TO DO THEN?
Get on board the free mini-course and upgrade your thinking: Market Wise - Ironclad truth savvy business owners understand about marketing (and broke business owners learn too late).
But before you click that link, share this and help others not make these mistakes.
Go on - share away 🙂