Nobody is infallible, and no business is free from mistakes. Thst’s okay. What matters is that your business is prepared to assess itself when mistakes are made and to take appropriate steps in correcting those mistakes. But, what happens when your business is making mistakes that you don’t know about? What if those mistakes are believed to be wise steps? This article is here to help address some common fallacies among small businesses and small business owners. We’ll take a look at these misbeliefs and address both where they come from and how to keep yourself and your business from falling into their often costly trap.
Spend Money to Make Money
It’s not just businesses that fall for this age old moniker, there are many many people who genuinely believe that their best method for financial success is to spend as much cash as possible on equipment, tools, and resources. What makes this fallacy so appealing is the fact that there is some truth to it. You cannot expect your business to become a success without first making a commitment to put resources into it. However, most people fall into the trap of misinterpretation, understanding this to mean that money in= money out. The truth is that your time is one of your greatest investment tools. Money won’t magically make more money, but your time can supercharge your business and make all the difference when it comes time to count revenues.
It’s all about Clicks
Clicks are very important, there is no doubt about it. But how many clicks are enough? Can I have too many? These questions might seem a little odd, but they are very prescient. When you know what your goals are for clicks, you can better manage and maintain not only your ad campaigns, but your website as well. Contrary to popular opinion, clicks are not the most important part of your business. Rather, the exchange of goods or services between you and your clients- the part that leaves both parties satisfied and fulfilled- that’s the most important part of your business. Too many clicks without corresponding sales might mean that you’re targeting too far outside of your market, not enough means the net you cast may not be wide enough. Remember that clicks are only a metric, a way of measuring the health of your marketing, they are not the final answer.
“If I could just put out as much content as Company A, then I could compete.”
There will always be competitors with more resources. There will always be larger teams, higher word counts, and longer videos. Always. But Company A doesn’t succeed because it creates more content on a daily basis, Company A puts out more content on a daily basis because it succeeds. And for every Company A, there are a dozen Company B’s that pump out as much content as they can in the hopes that more posts will equate to more engagement. But at the end of the day, higher quality content will always engage larger audiences and rank higher on searches. Words that are more thought out will always beat more words. Teams that put more thought and originality into their work will always beat teams that crank out as many half-baked ideas as they can. Short videos that people want to watch will always earn more views than videos that are simply longer.
This is not to contradict what is stated above. Rather, this is to round out that sentiment with practical advice. Quality is vastly important to the content that your website puts out. However, there can be no quality if your site never puts out content. It is important to put out a regular stream of content, or your audience will quickly lose touch with your business. Even worse, social media platforms will dock your page for inactivity and your content will appear less and less on your followers’ feeds. Make sure that you have the team and resources to put out quality content on a regular basis. Not every article needs to be an A+, but don’t be afraid to share or write articles of your own that are shorter and more generalized to keep your audience engaged. Repeated engagement on your part leads to repeated engagement on the part of your customers.
Internet Marketing is a Pyramid Scheme
Many people shy away from Internet and Network Marketing because they’ve heard the horror stories. Perhaps they have a friend who just needed to invite two more friends who’d also invite two more friends, and then they’d all start making money. These stories send chills down people’s spines and give Internet Marketing a bad name. The truth is that there are predatory pyramid schemes out there, but they are more indicative of predatory business owners than they are of a predatory business model. Internet Marketing is no different from the age old traditions of physical marketing. The only difference is that not only is your audience now much wider, but that the internet gives you the tools to reach them quicker and more efficiently than ever.
There Aren’t Any More Revenue Streams
One of the most dangerous myths that you can believe about your business is that you’ve already tapped into all of your available revenue streams. It may be true that you’ve reached certain capacities within your business, but there is no concrete end to the number of revenue streams you could be bringing in. So while it may be true that you have reached as many customers as your company has capacity for, but it doesn’t mean that there aren’t additional services or products that you may be able to offer them. There are always means of furthering your customer relationships, and providing them with additional benefits while providing yourself with a little more cash in the bank.
My Competition is Way Behind
When your business is doing well, it can be easy to slip into the mindset that you’re the only one doing so. It can be even easier to believe that your business is much further ahead of the competition. While it may not be untrue that you are ahead of the competition in your marketing and with the competitiveness of your products and services, you should never allow yourself to believe that you are so far ahead of the competition that they can’t catch up. Comfortability is the enemy of profitability, and if you allow your business and your marketing strategies to become complacent, you will quickly find your competition catching up to you and even beginning to outpace you. Stay ahead of the curve and keep pushing your strategies forward.
I Can’t Compete with Larger Companies
In opposition to the above myth, many businesses find themselves taking on the role of the little guy. They make the mistake of thinking that because they have fewer resources, they have fewer opportunities. It may be true that the big chain competition has the advantage, but that doesn’t mean that there isn’t room for your business to thrive as well. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that just because your are technologically behind or ill-equipped compared to the competition’s manpower and resources, that your business cannot succeed.
I Don’t Need a Facebook Page
If you don’t have a Facebook Page for your business, you are making a huge mistake. There is no getting around it. Facebook provides your business with access to over one billion users worldwide, and it is quickly becoming a favored resource for discovering new products and businesses. People trust the information and feedback that they find on Facebook. If you are not taking advantage of the leads that Facebook can generate for your business, you are missing out on customers. It is as simple as that. Facebook is a great way to target customers based on their likes and interests, to roll out strong ad-campaigns with real-time metrics, and to generate quality leads for your business.
My Customers Don’t Use Social Media
This myth tends to be more popular among older business owners and/or blue-collar businesses. The assumption is that social media is for millennials and people with too much time on their hands at the office. This is incorrect. Social Media is popular amongst all demographics. Regardless of age, gender, income, or occupation, your potential customers are on social media. If you are basing your lack of a social media presence on this belief, you are setting your business up for failure. If you aren’t tapping into the leads that social media can generate for your business, you are doing yourself and your bank account a disservice.
My Mobile Site Can Wait
A desktop website is important, make no mistake. However, it is no longer the dominant form of digital interaction that customers will have with your business. For the latter half of the previous decade onwards, mobile web-traffic has greatly outpaced desktop web-traffic. Your customers are likelier to view your website, subscribe to lists, and buy your products from their cellphone than they are to do so from their desktop PCs, if they even have one anymore. You need to be prioritizing your mobile-friendly website or application. Not only does this make it easier and more accessible for visitors on your site, but it also greatly helps your search engine rankings. Google is prioritizing mobile websites, it’s time your business did too.
Cast the Widest Net Possible
A common mistake that novice self-employed business owners make is to try to cast as wide a net as possible with their ad campaigns and click builders. If you’re reaching the most people, you’re likelier to bring in the most results, right?
While this sounds great logically, it is far from the truth. The widest net possible will often cause many of your customers to slip passed unnoticed. Worse yet, it may cause your business to feel non-specific or desperate for customers. Worst of all, you could be spending your hard-earned money trying to appeal to customers that couldn’t be further from your target demographic. When creating your ad campaigns, remember that the width of the net is quite as important as the quality of the bait. In other words, make sure you’re appealing to the customers that are likeliest to be interested in what you have to offer. Don’t shy away from running specific, targeted ad campaigns to reach the exact specifications you have for your target market.
My Social Media Should Always Be About My Products
It’s okay for your social media presence to be about something other than the hard sell. Many businesses make the mistake of being hyper-serious and salesman-like without ceasing on their social media pages, but they are missing the point. Most Facebook or Twitter users don’t like to be bombarded with sales and “Buy Now” opportunities. They use social media to be social, and your business should do the same. It’s okay for your social media page to share memes, offer advice, or even take users on a video tour of your factory. The endgame for your social media presence should be to drive engagement, and constant ads don’t frequently do that. Make sure that your business is participating in the social aspect of social media and watch both your engagement and click rates soar.
There is a lot of misinformation out there. It’s unfortunate, but it is your responsibility to make sure that you are informed properly. Hopefully this article will help you keep your business on track and well-informed. Make sure that you are taking full advantage of the tools that the internet puts at your disposal and not shying away because of something you saw in a headline.