Are You Making These Mistakes In Your Business?

You've probably heard the statistic that 95% of small businesses fail in the first five years. That's not a very encouraging number! Although being part of the 5% that succeed is not easy, it's definitely possible. What it takes is a lot of common sense, some marketing and sales skills and the ability to learn from the mistakes of others.

To get you started on the road to success, here are three of the biggest mistakes small businesses make and some tips to help you avoid them:

Mistake #1: Having a Poorly Defined Sales Process

The key to making money with any business is to stay focused on how you can "sell", "sell more" and "sell more often". Unfortunately most businesses don't consider all of the ways they can make money from customers and end up losing potential revenues.

There are three ways you can make money from your site:

1. Get More New Customers ? This is the sales activity that most small businesses spend 90% of their efforts on. Although it's an important element of your sales process, it's only one of three ways you can make money. Don't neglect the other two because you're focused on only attracting new customers.

2. Make More Money From Each Transaction ? Upselling is the process of increasing the value of a customer's order. Offering additional products and services at the point of purchase is an effective way to increase the value of the transaction.

3. Sell More Often To Existing Customers ? Existing customers are the least expensive customers to sell to. Why? Because they've already purchased from you once so they trust you, you already know what they're interested in and you know how to reach them. Use these facts to your advantage by following up with existing customers on a regular basis and offering them more products and services. This process is known as backend sales and is one of the most overlooked revenue sources by small businesses.

A well-defined sales process will include all three of these. If you're missing any of them you need to rethink your strategy from the beginning. Start with your first contact with a customer and walk through step-by-step how you'll take them from never having heard of you to being a lifelong customer.

Mistake #2: Not Learning What Makes a Website Sell

If you've been online longer than five minutes you know that the "build it and they will come" mentality doesn't work. If you want your business to succeed you need to learn how to make a website that sells.

Some of the best things you can do are:

  • Build Trust - Providing testimonials, free trials, money back guarantees and a Privacy Policy will all help your customers trust you. The more confidence people have in you and your ability to deliver what you say you will, the more likely they'll be to take the action you want.

  • Keep Your Product Offers Relevant - No matter how tempted you may be to promote an unrelated product or service because it pays a high commission, DON'T! There is an old saying that you should keep in mind at all times, "stick to your knitting". In other words, stick with what you've been doing.

  • Get An Email Address For As Many Visitors As Possible ? This can be when they order, sign up for your newsletter, request an information package, enter a contest, request a special report, sign up for a trial/demo, or whatever action makes sense for your business. Having this address allows you to follow up with them and turn them from prospects to customers.

  • Make The Perceived Value Extremely High - The higher the perceived value of your offering, the fewer objections you will receive. To add value, consider additional products and services you can offer to purchasers. This can be a special report, an ebook or even some of your time. Just make sure that whatever you offer it's not readily available for free on another site. Otherwise this technique will have the opposite effect and make your offer look less valuable.

Mistake #3: Not Treating it Like a Business

Too many small business owners fall into bad habits early on and end up treating their business more like a hobby than a business.

Here are a few things you can do to treat your business like a business:

  • Stick To A Schedule ? Just like you would with a regular job, develop a work schedule for your small business and stick to it. This will keep you focused and you'll be more productive.

  • Get Help When You Need It ? You can't be an expert at all things. If you don't know how to build websites, write copy or do the accounting, find someone who does. Doing so will let you focus on what you do well instead of wasting your time and leaving you frustrated.

  • Work Hard At It - That's right, good old-fashioned elbow grease will always get you further then searching for the "secret to success".

Are you making any of these mistakes in your business? If so now is the time to make some changes!

About The Author

This article is an excerpt from the Special Report by Jennifer Tripp, "The 7 Biggest Mistakes Small Businesses Make ? And How You Can Be Smarter!" To get your copy of the entire report visit http://www.mysmallbizcoach.com/sevenmistakes.htm

[email protected]

In The News:

Chqbook: Make your small business big  The Financial Express
Owner of small business asks for unity  WNEP Scranton/Wilkes-Barre
Small Business Saturday  Investopedia

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