8 Business Pitfalls to Avoid

How can you increase your chances of achieving business success? By winning the lottery or inheriting oodles of money? Whether you are an established entrepreneur or you are just starting out in business you need to realise and accept that there is no quick fire road to success.

However when you take steps to avoid the cracks (pitfalls) in the footpath you stand a better chance of paving your way to business success.

Here are the 8 Pitfalls to Avoid:

  1. Success Breeds Success. Do you think you know everything about business? Have you realised yet that you don’t have all the answers? Become an effective and profitable business by seeking advice from people who have already achieved great success. Let’s face it they have done the legwork. Connect with highly successful achievers and absorb all the experience and knowledge you can.
  2. How Big is your Vision?Did your business start out as a small idea? Has your small idea grown, changed or evolved? How much impact is your small idea making toward to future? Think big from the start. See your business at varied intervals – five, ten, twenty years. Ask yourself – What do I want to achieve and How will I be remembered? Believe in your vision and make it happen.
  3. Who is your Market?Before you rush headlong into your business you must research your market. Never assume that you know who your target audience is or what they want. Assume and you may miss the biggest opportunity of your life. Understand what your market needs and adapt as your business grows.
  4. Don’t Ignore Social Media. Not entered into business battle with social media yet? Admittedly social media is the talk of the town – it’s in the moment, right now. But is it necessary for my business you ask? Quite simply yes. Social media used in a targeted way can be a very effective marketing tool. Learn how to use it and choose what suits you best.
  5. How Do People Get to Know You?Your brand is your reputation. Your brand is your personality. Your brand is what others think of you. What does your brand say? Make sure your brand meets with your standard, your expectation and delivers the identical message and service to each and every client you do business with.
  6. Look after Loyalty.Heard of the 80:20 rule? That 80% of your work comes from 20% of your customers. And who are these customers? Existing, loyal people who have established a long-term, ongoing relationship with your business. Don’t overlook these people and only focus on attracting new customers. Stay in touch with them and show your care and appreciation for their loyalty.
  7. Improve your Business.Ask for feedback. How else can you manage any issues that arise? How can you change if you don’t even know there is a problem? Or do you think that you are doing everything right?Request honest feedback at random intervals or as standard with all new customers. Learn, improve and achieve better results.
  8. Plan your Finances.What is the main reason why most businesses fail? Poor financial planning and negative cash flow. Start your business with a plan, follow your plan, adapt your plan, and watch your business thrive. Manage your money well; over-estimate your expenses and under-estimate your income. Surely you’d rather have more money than not enough?

Internet Marketing for Small Home-Based Businesses

Small home-based businesses battle to stay on search engine listings and gain the advertising and marketing exposure they deserve. Small home-based business owners typically don’t have the money for expensive advertising and marketing. It is for this reason that popular big name companies seem to have taken over the online market by advertising on television, in magazines, and at the top of almost every search engine listing. Small home-based businesses should not be discouraged. It is possible for small home-based internet businesses to move up the ladder of success through effective and creative internet marketing. Small home-based internet businesses are able to gain the exposure they deserve, but they must use strategies other than standard marketing and advertising methods used by big name companies.

Small home-based businesses striving for marketing and advertising success need to grab the attention of potential customers. After grabbing the attention of potential customers, it’s critical to keep their attention. Home-based business owners should consider offering potential customers and those looking for information on the internet the high-quality information they are looking for through opt-in newsletters.

Small home-based business owners can bring in new customers and keep customers coming back by giving them the information or news they’re seeking online. For example, if a small home-based internet business sells craft items, the home-based business owner can offer valuable free information on craft projects. Those seeking craft project ideas and instructions through a craft project newsletter will find links to materials and supplies. Marketing small home-based businesses through newsletters can greatly increase earnings.

The owner of a small home-based internet business doesn’t have to be a great writer to develop an internet newsletter full of valuable information. There are a number of helpful internet programs to assist owners of small home-based businesses with developing and marketing products and newsletters. Offer people the information they are seeking, and they will sign up to receive the information. Before long, newsletter marketing efforts will pay off through ever increasing sales.

Home-based small business owners who don’t have time for newsletters should consider joining one of the many popular link exchange programs. Marketing small home-based businesses becomes effortless, and home-based businesses literally begin marketing themselves. Link exchange members assist each other with marketing, and they help increase website traffic. Potential customers gain access to small business websites they otherwise wouldn’t have found.

Marketing efforts can be increased by directly exchanging links with otherbusiness websites. Small home-based businesses can offer their banners and links in exchange for banner and links from other small business websites.There is no cost for this type of marketing, and small home-based business websites can increase traffic and sales considerably. Choose link exchange partners wisely to gain the most marketing benefits and exposure for your small home-based internet business.

Why You Need A Business Battle Plan

If you want to drive from Chicago to Albuquerque, do you just jump in a car, start driving, and see what happens? Drive real fast in no particular direction and hope you get there sooner or later? Not a chance. If you’re a rational person you’ll start with a roadmap or a GPS, and you’ll probably check more than one to compare and consider your options. You’ll ask people who have made the drive before to give you advice. You’ll find out how long it will take, what the landmarks and milestones are, which route suits your purposes best. You’ll make sure your car is in good shape so it won’t die on the way and leave you stuck in the middle of nowhere.

Then you’ll customize your roadmap, marking the towns where you’ll rest and refuel and the junctions to watch for, and the names and/or numbers of every road and highway you’ll take. You’ll print out that map and keep it right beside you for the entire trip, checking it often to make sure you’re still heading in the right direction. Or you’ll program your GPS with every important waypoint, and keep it in your field of vision at all times to check your progress and mileage.

Trying to run a business without a business plan is every bit as insane as trying to drive from Chicago to Albuquerque with no map, no directions, and no idea how to get there or how long it will take. In fact, running a business without a plan is even worse-it’s like driving BLINDFOLDED! It will get you KILLED. But that’s exactly what most business owners think they can get away with doing. And that’s one of the main reasons they end up stuck. They run around in circles with no direction until they run out of time, money, and energy, risking burnout or even bankruptcy.

But YOU are not going to be one of them, because YOU are about to create a bullet-proof plan and a budget and keep them beside you on the seat the entire time you’re at the wheel.

A business plan not only helps you stay on track, it also helps prepare you for battle. It becomes a kind of résumé and foundation for the entire business. It describes what the business really is, why you’re doing it, who is on your team, your strengths and weaknesses, and most importantly-how much you intend to earn and what you will do to get it.

If your business model requires investment capital, you might already have a business plan you created to show potential investors. If so, ask yourself this question: is it a plan you actually use day-to-day or something you dreamed up to make the business look good on paper that you haven’t looked at or thought about in the past six months?

If you think you don’t need a plan because your business model is so simple, or because there’s no need for investment capital at the moment-think again, soldier. Even if you were only driving from the house to the grocery store, doing it blindfolded would be suicide.

Kick Ass, Make Money & Have Fun Doing It!

Craig Zuber