1. You don’t have a 10x Unique Value Proposition, or you do, but nobody knows about it.
Can you answer the following questions in the affirmative: Is your product really superior to the competition? So much better that they see you as the only rational choice? Do your users already know this or do you need to inform them? Is your value proposition consistent across your website, social media, email, etc. letters, public communications, etc. t.?
First you need to identify the distinctive value of the product or brand and then ensure that consumers do not hesitate to learn about it.
2. You don’t take the time to develop a marketing strategy.
This is a case of strategy and tactics. Let’s say you are a member of a football team. Your game plan is your strategy. Your “games” are your strategies. “Games” would never work if they were completely random, so why should you run your business that way? Promotions, public relations, email marketing, etc. are examples of marketing techniques. But they only work if they are part of a larger marketing strategy. Strategic work helps to determine the timeframe needed to measure success and when to start the next marketing project.
3. Ineffective management of cash flows and investment returns
At the beginning of a brand’s lifecycle (unless you have a lot of money), the bulk of your investment will be in direct marketing and customer acquisition, not in building a mass-market brand. This means that you have to continuously optimise your marketing for maximum return.
Important note: This does not mean that you should become a spam-sending sales machine. This simply means that every element of your marketing should trigger an action. Download PDF, subscribe, buy now, etc. t. You want to maintain ownership of your brand and focus on growing your audience.
4. To be wise but foolish.
The question is really simple. Don’t choose the cheapest option available. If you choose the cheap option, you will lose out on key functions, customer service and quality of customer service, which will severely damage the long-term value of your brand. Initially, aim for a moderate level of SAAS commodity and other operating costs.
Also, if it’s not in the budget, don’t buy anything that will affect your cash flow, or your company will find itself in a situation where you can only pay two more months of bills and you’ll expect the new luxury appliance to cover them. This is almost never the case. Don’t be a fool. Wait until you have at least 4 months of cash reserve.
5. Ignoring market sentiment
You’ll spend most of the first year working as quickly as possible to improve everything from your value proposition, to your website design, to your marketing approach, to who your real target audience is.
But if business is stagnant, and you’re failing to look at the facts because you have an idealised view of what your brand “should” look like, and you’re just doubling down on advertising that doesn’t work… This will only speed up your journey to the cemetery.
Remember that the market always tells you what works and what doesn’t. Don’t discard data. Put your ego aside for the good of the company and its employees.
How to do it
One by one Sit with your team, or just with yourself if you’re working alone. Rank each of them and then decide which one will benefit your business first. Starting with numbers 1 and 2 on this list is a great way to begin.
The first year of running a business can be daunting, difficult and make you wonder why you are doing it at all. While this list is not exhaustive, it should help you avoid the most common mistakes that people make when they first start trading online.
If you want to learn more techniques, or just hear how an expert would behave, look for an expert who has been through the ringer and has really done what they promise to do for you.