They say that those who fail to learn from their mistakes are doomed to forever repeat them, a sentiment which could not be truer than in the world of business. Becoming an entrepreneur and starting your very own business can be the most exhilarating, exhausting thing you ever do and your desire to succeed will be what pushes you to pour every last ounce of energy into your enterprise.
However, certain mistakes plague many first-time entrepreneurs, mistakes that no amount of money, commitment or energy can fix. Here are the three most common mistakes made by new businesses and how you can avoid them.
Not embracing new technology
It’s natural to think your business idea is the best in the world, one so excellent that its benefits will be self-evident to customers. But such hubris deters new businesses from spending on the technology necessary to keep up with the modern world. However brilliant your idea, if your website isn’t adapted for mobile or to accept an online payments system like PayPal, you’re at a serious disadvantage.
Technological innovations are so much more than just window dressing for your business – they make your services more accessible, meaning that customers will be more likely to choose you. Do your research to see what technology is standard in your industry. Then go beyond it.
Not investing in incentives and bonuses
Starting a business is a hugely expensive undertaking, which is why it’s common to try and turn off the money tap as soon as you possibly can. However, many businesses do so at that crucial moment when they’ve finished setting up and are ready to receive new customers.
This is when you should arguably be spending the most on incentives, offers, discounts and bonuses, to keep people coming back for more. Successful businesses engage in first-time bonuses well beyond their initial opening phase, with online gaming platforms like Paddy Power offering real-money bonuses of up to 200% to first-time casino players. This is a real-world example of what you need to do to reel people in – you’re investing in lifelong customers.
Being scared of marketing
Marketing is a term many entrepreneurs simply don’t understand, therefore they shy away from or routinely under-invest in it. Alternatively, many business owners think that marketing stops are mere promotion and that a one-off investment in a flyer or billboard somehow constitutes a strategy.
Marketing is, more than anything else, the process of getting to know your target audience and ensuring that your message reaches them. This is a process that takes time, money and talent to develop, but one that will virtually guarantee long-term success. Marketing should never be thought of as a nice activity to do on the side – it should be an essential priority.
Perhaps some of the more seasoned entrepreneurs reading this may see this list and think it doesn’t apply to them. But we’ve all been guilty of these omissions to certain degrees in the past and we need to bear them in mind to avoid repeating them in the future.