In my last post I shared 7 common mistakes small business owners make. Find that post here.
In this post I’ll share a few more mistakes you can consider.
Let’s dive right in.
Well it’s a big one. Female business owners who have this belief that they can show up online and within 3 months have a hugely profitable business that the whole world wants to buy from. I get it. We’re saturated with that kind of false message online. The reality is very different. You need to have the balls, wit, discipline to stay in your business for the longer term, because for sure pretty much everything you do in your business will take longer than you think, and big success is likely to be further away that you may first believe.
It has taken me more than 3 years to get to a point where my business has tipped over into good success. Three years of hard graft, lack of results, showing up and wondering what the hell else do I have to do? Three years of trying, having set backs, trying again, and again, and again, before my business reached a tipping point, and the results started to come.
Many female entrepreneurs will not have the stamina to go the distance, or to know how they will survive financially whilst they are making their way to success. I had to keep old personal training and health coaching clients on the go for the first three years when I started Female Entrepreneur School, so that I could keep my income stable during that time.
Be prepared. Know how you are going to survive whilst you work to take your small business to success.
2. Blowing Up On Social
In the same manner as above, female business owners often think they can show up and post on social and in a very short time they’ll blow up. Nope.
Look, some people get lucky and their growth takes off. Little bit like singers who win the X-Factor. Not all of them are great singers, but somehow the universe aligned for them at that moment and they won (or came second, or third), and then had a massive career off the back of that. However, there were many hundreds of thousands of singers who were JUST AS GOOD A SINGER if not better, who never made it THAT TIME, and who then had to go away, get their heads down and continue to do the hard work.
It sucks. But it’s reality. For most of us the path to growing big on any social account is going to be longer and more arduous than we thought. You have to come at social, and all other areas of your business with a long term mindset, not a short term one.
This is where you not only sell a single unit product to a customer or client, but you have steps, systems, automations in place to continue to take that customer/client on a journey with you so that you can sell them more. That could look something like this:
Buys a product from your store puts it in basket, goes to checkout – before they land at checkout you put another well aligned product in front of them and ask would you like to add this to your basket too – customer/client decides – goes to checkout to purchase – product(s) get shipped – a 3 email sequence then follows:
(please note the email sequence below is far from the exact words you’d use – they are brief to give you an example):
– EMAIL 1 – your product has been shipped it should be with you in the next few days, we hope you like it, here are some tips about how to use it, take care of it, where to display it, etc.. Before you go, we have something that really complements what you’ve just bought, here it is, and we can offer you a one time value discount on this, go here to get it, we’ll get it shipped immediately.
– EMAIL 2 – we know our customers really really well, and this is what we know they like, and why they like these things (refer to your best selling products/services and WHY your clients like them, want them, and the issues those products/services solve). If any of these float your boat, you can check them out here.
– EMAIL 3 – we have something that we ONLY offer to customers/clients that have just purchased from us, and it is our biggest value offer ever. (Create a bundle of stuff, talk about what pain points, challenges, issues, questions it solves for your audience). We thought it would be right up your street. If you’d like to (resolve some issue), you can get this value bundle right here, right now, but you can’t get it anywhere else.
When you create continuity like this in your business, you will sell more. It takes thought and building out behind the scenes, but if you don’t have this type of continuity in place in your small business, you have big gaps in your business model. I go much deeper into continuity inside my training YEAR. You can check that out here.
4.Thinking Social Is All About You
Back to THAT subject again. But yep – too many small business owners think social is all about showing up and waiting for people to come find you. That’s not going to be good for your growth. Your strategy should include following other accounts that are well aligned to you or have audiences similar to your own, and making a concerted effort to go and engage with great comments on those accounts.
Now I have to be honest – I find this REAL hard. I’m hugely introverted and I’m always more comfortable with people coming to me, rather than me going and hunting other people down (in a very non-stalker way of course). But getting out of my comfort zone and making the effort to show up on other accounts to support them, to drop comments, to engage – has for sure helped my business in all sorts of ways, and I’ve made some really great friends this way too.
5. Not Having Clear Strategy
Well it’s more common than you think. I have plenty of conversations with female business owners around strategy, vision, goals, plans. I want to know – Where are you heading? What are you aiming for? Where do you want to be by the end of the year? How do you plan to get there day by day, week on week, month after month? I’m often met with this response: 😬
Any business owner who has made a great success of their business will tell you that they did not do that without a plan. Without strategy that looks ahead to the future business they want to achieve, and without written down goals they’re working on to achieve the future outcome they want.
Wing it all you like. But you will not build that business of your dreams on the back of that.
Part of having good business strategy is having a great business model, and knowing how that model will work effectively, fluidly, professionally, in the online space. I walk you through your business model in detail inside my YEAR training. Check out that training here.
6. What You Need To Earn
You know when you started your business? Did you do so knowing with clarity how much you needed to earn in that business year on year, broken down by month, so that the business could a. pay you a salary that would secure you financially, and b. have enough profit to be able to re-invest back in the business to support your growth?
If the answer is no. Do you have that information written down now?
No? You need to take care of this NOW.
This is another let’s not wing it situation. You need to know how much you want to draw from your business as salary to make your life financially stable, and you need to know that you can earn enough to leave profit in the business to re-invest back in your growth as and when you need it.
Those figures help you determine how many units of your products and services you need to sell each month, with enough profit in each of those sales to enable you to pay yourself and keep some money in the business.
It goes deeper than this, because you also need ‘set aside’ money for things like personal emergencies, general savings, and money you’ll have to pay the tax man. It can be scary sitting down and working out your figures (I know – I’ve taken the ladies in my VIP Group Coaching Programme through this, and they were, at first, like rabbits in headlights).
But if you don’t do this exercise, you’ll never really know how much you need to earn to make your business viable, and at the same time actually be able to pay yourself a decent wage.
Take some time to sit and figure these numbers out. It can be quite liberating to do this because those figures can then really help to push you on to do the work to make your business a financially successful reality.
That’s it for this post! Hope you found some of it useful. Drop a comment let me know your thoughts.
And if you’re stuck wondering if you’ll ever reach the lofty heights of success in your business so that you’re not struggling every day, and you’re in a position to be able to treat yourself, your kids, your spouse and wider family without worrying how you’re going to pay the bills – take my SUCCESS quiz. It’ll show you if you’re closer to success than you think, and you’ll receive a packed 33 page report full of takeaways to help you improve your chances of success in business. You can take the quiz here.