7 mistakes that can kill your business in the first few months

7 mistakes that can kill your business in the first few months

Learn about the mistakes that can harm your business and understand what you can do to improve your performance.

Having a business of their own is still a dream for many people. But many times, for lack of experience from the entrepreneur, that dream becomes a nightmare.

To help you, who is just starting out in the market of digital products, we’ll point out the mistakes that might kill your business in the first few months, and what you can do to ensure a longer lifespan for your business venture.

Do you have doubts about what you’re doing wrong? Check out our tips and learn how to turn the tables to your advantage!

1 – Lack of planning

The most common mistake entrepreneurs make is to think that having a good idea is enough for their business to take off.

Unfortunately, that’s not how the market works, and for two reasons: 1. there are already many good ideas available out there, and 2. it’s impossible to run a business without knowing were you’re going.

“Does this mean that my idea will never get off the ground?”

Not at all! It just means that you’ll need to plan in advance and carry out a lot of market analysis, before risking your savings to start your own business.

Next, we’ll talk about what can’t be left out of your planning!  

Business plan

If you intend to start in the market of digital products now, writing a business plan must be your first step!

The business plan is a strategic document that you will use to broadcast your business vision for your team members or to potential investors, answering questions such as:

  • What is your product?
  • Who is it for?
  • What do you need to put it on sale? (financial and creative resources)
  • What are your goals for the first 12 months?
  • Which actions do you intend to implement in order to achieve these goals?

A business plan will help you not only to establish your goals but also to identify the best strategies to achieve them.

This means that you can focus your energy and your resources on what you really need to do, instead of wasting your efforts on actions that will not generate results for your business.

We’ve recently written a post teaching how to create a business plan to sell a digital product. If you have questions, I suggest you take a look!

Audience study

As important as setting your business strategy, is to understand the buyer persona to whom your product is intended.

In addition to general representative aspects such as gender, age, and city of origin, you must analyze your audience’s consumer buying behavior, learn where these people look for information, what problems they face on a daily basis, and how your product can solve these problems.

If your business is in the early beginnings, we recommend that you map only one persona, to have less promotion effort.

Over time, as your business matures, you’ll find other audiences who also need your attention.

Market analysis

Before you come up with a product, it is recommended that you know the segment in which you intend to act very well.

Usually, the more generic the theme of your product, the greater the volume of searches and, consequently, the bigger your competition.

We have already explained the step by step for you to choose the ideal niche to start your business venture.

Once you find the balance between something you like to do and a profitable market, you’ll need to make a specific analysis of the competition, also known as benchmarking.

Find out the strengths and weaknesses of your competition, this will provide good ideas of what you need to improve on your product or on your sales page.  

2 – Lack of professionalism

The fact that you work on your own, doesn’t mean that you should be less professional.

Moreover, it is exactly the opposite: since the success of your business venture depends entirely on you, you will need to invest more effort and dedication for the results to show.

This includes:

Have a work routine

Although working from home allows you to have a more flexible schedule, it is important to establish a time to begin your activities, as well as a time to call it a day.

That’s the only way you can ensure that you will have the time needed to fulfill your tasks without getting overwhelmed.

Separate personal finances from business finances

Every business venture must have a cash flow to keep working. Meaning that part of the money from the sales should be invested to improve your product.

A very common mistake among entrepreneurs who are starting out is moving money that belongs to the business.

This is wrong because you lose control over your business’s profit and is left without cash resources in case of any emergencies, which can result in bankruptcy.  

The best way to avoid this mistake is to have very detailed spreadsheets of your personal expenses, and expenses that were made to maintain your business. Your management will be much more efficient if you keep your processes well documented, trust me.

3 – Lack of promotion

Out of sight, out of mind. Translation: no matter how good your product is, it needs to have visibility.

There are two ways to acquire this visibility on the web: by becoming an authority on the subject, or by investing in paid advertising.

The difference between the two models is the time.

While in order to become an authority you will need a certain knowledge to implement SEO techniques and optimize your channels for conversion;

With paid advertising, you invest more money, but you can get to your audience with less effort, all it takes is that your ads comply with the advertising policies of the networks on which you intend to advertise.

This doesn’t mean that one strategy nullifies the other. You can create ads while working on your organic strategy, whatever the size of your business is.  

Regardless of your strategy, your communication needs to be engaging and develop empathy in your audience, to the point of convincing those users that your product is ideal for the problem they are facing.

4 – Lack of quality content

The main goal of the search engines is to show users the most relevant results for the search term.  

In the case of Google, there are more than 200 factors analyzed to rank a website, all of them related to user experience.

One of the factors that determine the positioning of your page in the search engines is definitely unique, quality content!

To set yourself apart from your competition your trump card is to create content that makes that your audience relates to your product.

If you have a website or a blog, you’ll need to create content that adds value to people’s lives, even before presenting your offer.

When you deliver quality content without asking for anything in return, you contribute to the perception that your solution is ideal for that lead.

5 – Lack of relationship with other agents in your business

Even if you work on your own, other people also influence your business, such as suppliers, Affiliates, and collaborators, if applicable.

Maintaining a good relationship with these agents is essential to increase the reach of your product.

Suppliers

Finding good suppliers for your business is a lucky break.

You may find professionals who are compatible with your brand right away, you may just as well have to deal with deliveries falling short.  

Whenever you find a supplier whose work contributes to the quality of your product, it’s ideal that you build a lasting relationship with her. Send feedback about the work that is in progress, be open to suggestions, recommend the supplier to friends.  

Remember: the same way you choose suppliers, they also choose to whom they want to work.  

Affiliates

In major online sales platforms, Affiliates are still responsible for the majority of sales.

But for Affiliates to do a good job, you need to provide accurate information about your product.

If you create a bad sales page to host your offer, it is unlikely that people will choose your product to advertise since this means that the Affiliate will have more work to convince users to make a purchase.

Your mission is to create a win-win relationship, where everyone wins.

You get more visibility for your page, and the Affiliate earns a commission compatible with the effort put into selling your product.   

Collaborators

What about remembering your professional experience before creating your own business:   

Did you feel motivated to work? Did your boss influence in the quality of your work?

These questions will help you understand a simple pattern: motivated professionals are more productive.

So, if you want to extract the most out of your collaborators, you’ll need to involve them in all stages of your business and encourage them to give their opinions on what you can improve your product.

6 – Lack of buyer support

In the case of the digital market, people still have questions about how to access the product and get the most of their features.

To help these customers, you will need to have an efficient and accessible support!

The longer your return time is, the more time your user will have to check for similar offers with the competition.

When you promptly answer your customer, you have a chance to handle her objection to the purchase, and persuade her that she made the right choice when she bought your online product.

We talk more about buyer support on the post 6 sales techniques for beginners.

7 – And finally, lack of modesty   

No, you didn’t read it wrong!

The lack of modesty is also an enemy to your business. And I’ll explain why.

Even if your idea is very good, you need to consider different scenarios, including those where your idea is a complete failure.

Being self-critic from time to time is essential to optimize your work and identify the actions that bring out the best and worst results for your business.

Of course that this analysis should not be only subjective but also based on the results you got with your product in the first few months such as the number of conversions, the number of likes on your page, your blog traffic volume, etc.

In short…

Having a good idea on your hands is not a guarantee of success. You will need a lot of effort, and an extra dose of patience, to operate at your maximum potential.   

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