20 Annoying Mistakes Business Owners Need To Avoid Online [Part Two]
We all make mistakes in business. In fact, if you’re not making mistakes, you’re not growing at the rate you should be. After speaking with many business owners, I've noticed a repetitive conversation about the actions of other business owners online. I wanted to shine light on some of the things most find uninviting or annoying. So, last week I asked my online community what they wished other business owners would stop doing online. I received so many great responses that I decided to share 20 responses in a two-part blog post. The first 10 responses are here.
Although I want to keep the suggestions tasteful, I also want to keep it real and to the point. Let’s cover the last 10 responses:
Mixing personal and business on the same page
There’s nothing wrong with sharing the things that matter to you the most. We know you love your children, pets, sports, hobbies and a good meme. However, there is a point when your personal life becomes uninviting to potential customers and business opportunities. A prospect should be able to visit your page and understand what you do immediately aka know how you can help them. Your bio should reflect your content and vice versa.
For example, if your bio says you’re a web designer for hairstylists, your content should align with the title in your bio. Your content should show how you can help hairstylists expand their business online as well as how to contact you. If you have more personal pictures on your business page than you do relevant content, lack of sales or inquiries may be the result of this. Where is your work? Where is the content that reflects what your title is? Can we get a taste of what you do?
One million inquiries with no follow through
We all have probably had this experience. A person inquires many times about doing business with you, has several questions, but never buys or closes the deal. Before I lean towards the person who has "no chill", I want to make sure you aren't inviting them.
Always remember that this could be a two part issue. Either you’re not very clear with what you have to offer or the person inquiring is only interested in the idea of doing business with you. They are only curious and know they aren't ready to do business.
Don't get me wrong. Inquiries are okay. It’s the amount of inquires that create an uncomfortable vibe at the beginning of a relationship (if one develops). Like, 10 emails within 20 minutes is way too much!
If you’ve experienced the multi inquirer who never closes the deal, consider revising your brand message online if it doesn’t align with the inquiries you get. If that's not the case, create a procedure list, FAQ document or page on your website to help prospects learn more about what you have to offer. Be sure to create common answers to questions you receive often. This will eliminate a lot of unnecessary frustration.
There’s no way one business’s strategies will work for every business. There is no cookie cutter business. That’s why we all specialize in our own niches. There are some business owners who tell their audience that their business will fail if they don’t have or use certain success secrets. They convince their audience to pay for the secrets they use: ” Learn all the secrets to success for $XX.”
I really hate this for people who get conned into thinking their business will fail without their strategies. I encourage you all to do your research. Look at the success stories of many millionaire and billionaire people. Not one story is the same. Not one struggle is exactly the same. There is no “one size fits all” strategy here. If you’re using fear-based marketing, please stop scaring people out of their money. If you’ve been a victim of investing in a business with no results because of this, take it as a lesson and read the next point.
Jumping on the bandwagon; Following The Jones’
Find each difference for the following equations:
10-3=? 9-2=? 8-1=? 7-0=?
Did you get the same answers for each equation? Hopefully you said “yes”. The point is, all of these equations arrive at the same difference; the same destination. There is no reason the jump on a bandwagon or do what others are doing in your niche just because you see them doing it. What works for them may not work for you. You have your own path to take. Being a copycat isn’t flattering. People can tell when you’re not being genuine. If you’re totally lost, do some research before paying anyone to see what you can learn on your own. If you need more direction afterwards, find someone who models the level you aspire to be. Model what work for you, but definitely don't copy or feel like you have to do it their way. Burn the Bandwagon. Create your own equation for success!
Bad customer service
There were a few responses about bad customer service with online business owners. There were some that really caught my attention:
- Not replying to emails - How can you run a business if you’re not communicating with your potential customers? If you’re too busy, hire an assistant.
- Not being available during stated business hours - Create an auto-email responder when you’re “out of the office”. Following up is everything! Again, hire an assistant if you’re way too busy to respond during stated business hours. Lately, I’ve seen some business owners announce their close dates online. If that works for you, keep doing that. Just communicate with your people!
- Not delivering products as promised - Taking money without delivering products can and will get you in legal trouble. There really is no excuse for this. It’s a crime. If you’ve experienced this, keep a paper trail of all correspondence or your attempt to communicate. Get your lawyer involved, if need be.
Competitively pricing instead of charging what they want and are worth
This is a fear-based response to a market. Many business owners, including me, have been guilty of not charging their worth. My coaching prices were embarrassing when I first started this business. It was disrespectful to my industry. I’ve revised my product and service prices immediately after I realized my mistake. Because I was guilty of this, I understand the thought process behind it. People who have cheap prices want to remain competitive, disregarding how much value they give. It is not always about the level of their skills or knowledge. It’s a fear that they won’t get business. It’s a myth! Charge on your level if you give a ton of value. People will pay you what you’re worth. You will dismiss those who aren’t serious about business and attract more of your ideal clients. Charge your worth in confidence!
No website or official contact information
This point is not for the new business owner who plans to launch their website. This is for the business owner who’s been in business for years and refuse to get official. Have you ever seen this in a bio on social media? “Email me for orders.”
People need that know-like-trust factor to buy in confidence. I guarantee there are sales lost due to lack of contact information. I know this fact because I am the potential customer who is turned away from a business that is unofficial. Even if you have a single landing page for a product or service with an opt-in form, there should always be a way for customers to get in contact with you. Anything else is just bad customer service.
Wanting a trophy for hard work
Drake said it best, “Shit don't come with trophies, ain't no envelopes to open. I just do it 'cause I'm 'sposed to”.This response is for the people who want a pat on the back for being responsible. If you own a business, you have to work hard to maintain success. It’s necessary and non-negotiable. There’s no need to announce every move made. Move in silence and announce when you need to. You don’t have to tell the world. Show up with your actions. We can all see who’s on the hustle or not!
Not investing back into their businesses
Anything that doesn’t grow is dead. If you’re not putting your business in a position to maintain success, you’re doing yourself a disservice. Growing should be apart of your brand plan and your business strategy.
Stop being cheap with your livelihood and destiny! Invest in better software, products, and tools to help your business run efficiently. Invest in people who can help take your brand to the next level. If you're not interested in making investments for the growth of your business, you should not be complaining about lack of growth!
Learn. Earn. Invest. Grow. Repeat.
I am sure there are more things to add, but there were several valid points made within this two-part blog post (read part one if you’ve landed here first). I’ve been guilty of a couple so I am definitely not positioning myself as being mistake-free. I hope this blog was a true eye opener for all of us. Some of the things that we do have great intention behind them, but they push others away. We need to know what those things are to improve and grow.
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