Updated: Jan 7
By: Candice Jackson Long, Business Launch Coach
You decided to take the leap and start your business. The product or service has been
established and you’re ready to let everyone know that you are open for business. Before you jump in the deep end, here are five mistakes to avoid when you’re just starting out.
1. Not Knowing Who You Are as a Business
As part of the launch of your business, you know you need a name and a logo, but there’s more. Your name and logo identify your business, yet without a clear message, your customers don’t know who you are and why they should do business with you. Communicating your message goes beyond your logo: it’s in all of your touchpoints such as your website, the words you use to describe your products or service, and the process your customers will use to purchase from you or book your services. A clear message helps your customers get to know you, understand the quality of service you provide, establish trust in you, and, ultimately, encourages them to do business with you.
2. Not Knowing Your Customer
When you launch your business, you have to determine how to set it up, order supplies, build your website and a laundry list of other things. When you’re starting, your customers are mostly people within your network and may extend out minimally. But you want to grow, which means connecting with people who may not know you at all. Without fully understanding who your customer is, what they like/dislike about your product or service, their problems and how your product or service helps to solve them, you will hit a plateau in the growth of your business. By having an ideal customer profile, you develop a deeper understanding of your customer, which empowers you to communicate in a way that speaks directly to them, attracts them to you, allows you to build a relationship with them, and opens the door for you to grow your sales and expand your customer base.
3. Not Knowing Which Customer is Your Customer
You have an amazing business idea. You know once your product or service drops, everyone
will want it. You ever heard the saying, “everything ain’t for everybody”? That includes your
business. I know, you want to reach the masses and make as much money as possible, but the reality is, not everyone will want what you’re selling. The sweet spot is finding YOUR customers. There are customers who want what you have and will appreciate the way you deliver your product or services. You have to spend time understanding who they are, find them, and connect with them.
4. Not Knowing the Problem You Solve for Your Customers
It doesn’t matter how big or small the business idea is, it’s supposed to solve a problem for
someone. It’s the perceived solution to their problem that encourages someone to purchase
from you. If you’re not clear on who your customer is, the problems they have, and how to
solve them, it will be very difficult to grow your business. When you’re starting out, you want to be able to answer who you are aiming to serve and the problems your business will solve for them. This clarity will enable you to launch and scale your business further and faster.
5. Not Having a Plan for How you Will Attract Customers
You have this amazing business idea and you’re preparing to tell the world about it, but do you have a plan? You’ve spent a lot of time and energy refining your product or services, but how will you tell everyone that you are open for business? Without a clear plan for how you will attract your customers it will be very difficult to grow your business. An integrated marketing plan targets your customers directly, reaches them where they are, and tells them who you are and why they need you.
By avoiding these five mistakes, you will launch your business more effectively, maximize your resources, and bring your product or service to the market faster.