Editor’s Note: Here at Dispatches, we are always looking for ways to help our readers do things. For some of our readers, that means helping navigate the working world, for others, it means assisting in the ever challenging question, “what’s for dinner?” For still others, it means figuring out how to balance family life with everything else. In an effort to aid in all of these endeavors, we have collaborated on this article written specifically for our readers.
If you’ve started a new business, or you’re thinking of starting one, you don’t need to perfect. Many people who start a business learn as they go and their business is all the better for it. There are a few pitfalls you can strive to avoid that will make learning a bit easier. Below are a few don’ts when just starting out.
Don’t Ignore Social Media
Social media should be used right away for your business. Not just after you’ve started but before you even start selling your products or service! This will help to get you some exposure and build up a sort of hype around your business. However, you need to make sure you’re A) using the right platforms and B) being consistent on each platform. You should know the platforms that your audience use most and go for them. You should also know the peak times to post for each platform so that each thing you post gets maximum exposure. Being consistent also means using the same brand voice and things that make it obvious it’s your business!
Don’t Use Bad Customer Service Techniques
Every business should have a set of standards that they adhere to when it comes to customer service. Every single employee should be trained, not just your customer service representatives. It’s also a good idea to make sure each employee knows the level of authority they have when it comes to rectifying issues for customers so that they can get things done in the best way possible. You should be polite and apologetic, no matter how rude or even wrong you believe the customer is. Each customer needs to feel like they can trust you, and as if they have had a good experience with you each time. It can take a lot of work to make up for a bad experience, and people will naturally tell a larger number of people about a bad experience than a good one. You definitely don’t want to build up a reputation as a company that doesn’t care about their customers.
Don’t Miss the Details in Your Marketing Strategy
When it comes to marketing your business, offline and online marketing can be used in harmony to create a great strategy that gets you results. However, there’s no ‘”one size fits all plan,” and you need to do your research beforehand. You need to consider many little details when putting together an effective strategy. You should know who your audience is exactly, as well as the goals of your website. Excelsior Internet Marketing say that many websites don’t live up to their potential as the goals are not considered when creating them. Many websites aren’t built to sell, and simply overwhelm a customer with information. You don’t want to make this mistake! Marketing is one thing you really need to put a lot of time, effort, and budget into.
Don’t Hire Too Quickly
It is tricky to hire and keep good employees. You may need help to expand your customer base, but you don’t want to hire too quickly if you can help it. Also, it would be a wrong move to simply hire people who are looking for jobs, rather than people who actually understand your company and vision. You definitely don’t want the distraction of having to let people go when you should be focusing on running your new company. When you hire somebody, make sure they are a person who understands the company and role, has a similar vision to you, and can bring something new and exciting to the table. Once you have them and you’re sure they are a great fit, do all you can to keep them!
Don’t Be Too Confident
It’s so easy to think you’ll continue to be successful once you’ve had a taste of success, but don’t believe your own hype. Getting too confident is very dangerous. Stay humble and connected with every aspect of your business, no matter how big it gets.
Although you need to consider many details, planning too much can actually kill your business off too. As you begin to learn and execute certain plans, many things can change. Even your perspective can change! Creating a rough business plan is great, but going into too much detail can actually make starting a business redundant in the first place. You’re going to want to stay flexible!
Don’t Select the Wrong Investor
All businesses need some startup capital, and usually this comes from an investor. However, not all money given to you is created equal. Just because you have common interests with an investor doesn’t mean you’ll have a common vision! Depending on how much they invest, they can have a big say in your business and how it is run. Don’t get excited at the prospect of money. Make sure you’re selective about your investor.
Don’t Fail to Listen To Your Customers
You should be constantly speaking to your customers and figuring out why it is they buy your product. You can do this on social media, with surveys, and anything else you can think of. You might be surprised to learn that they come to you for a totally different reason! This should be an ongoing thing, so make sure you get into the habit of asking and listening.
Don’t Be Too Stingy
You must save and spend smart when you’re starting a business. Saving money and investing it back in your business is the best way to keep things moving. However, you do need to spend money on the things that will make a huge difference to your business. For instance, a website, your introduction video, and marketing. If you try to scrimp and save on these things and even do them yourself, you will not make as much money as you could. You could potentially run out of money through your efforts to save money! Know when you need to spend and do it knowing it will pay off in the long run.