7 strategies that entrepreneurs get wrong

I’ve worked with a lot of business owners. In that time I’ve seen a lot of the same mistakes being made again and again. This is a list of the most common…

  1. Same-as business plan. Business owners look at other successful businesses and clone their business model, hoping for the same riches that others have achieved. This rarely works. First to market is a competitive advantage. Those who come after need to find their own unique take to make themselves different.
  2. Trading coherence for SEO. Search engine optimization should ultimately be about generating web traffic. Unfortunately, many entrepreneurs try to cut corners by hiring low-cost writers who can achieve 5% keyword density (which is often nearly unreadable by humans). They might get search engine optimization but they don’t get human buyer optimization.
  3. Competing on price. When a business owner surveys the competitive landscape and decides that they can beat their competition simply by charging less, they are setting themselves up for failure. Low-paying clients rarely come with lower expectations. These entrepreneurs have to work hard to achieve realistic levels of success.
  4. Failing to find the planning sweet-spot. Entrepreneurs need to plan. Those who don’t are destined to fail. But there is such a thing as too much planning and entrepreneurs need to avoid that, too. Somewhere in the middle is exactly where you want to be. If you’re the type to plan, it’s probably less than you want; if you hate planning, it will still be some extra work.
  5. Selling without value. I’ve seen countless business owners who post something online then sit back and wait for the checks to roll in (and scratch their heads in wonder when the money doesn’t flood their bank account). Too often, the reason is a lack of value. This is either a lack of expressed value (the product or service is valuable but not presented as such) or it is a real lack of value (the product or service is simply not worth buying). Business owners need to overwhelm their prospects with value and they will never have trouble selling.
  6. Forgetting to focus on cashflow. Cashflow is a huge and under-appreciated aspect of running a business. There are lots of entrepreneurs who work towards big homerun-sized deals but those deals will rarely sustain the business. Instead, smaller consistent wins will ensure longevity.
  7. Taking profits. When business owners start a company, they dream of the profits… but 100% of the profits should never be extracted from the company. Instead, some of the money needs to be put back into the business — perhaps through R&D or investing in better systems or staff.

Snapshot of my week: Aug. 24 – Aug. 28

Here’s a quick look at what I’m doing this week:

  • Create blog content for a coaching blog
  • Review and edit client-written articles as part of a new website launch
  • Create blog content for a internet marketing blog
  • Create blog content and articles for a futures trading company
  • Complete an ebook about how to start and grow a successful small business
  • Create blog content for a business strategy and success blog
  • Complete a training manual about how to implement customer retention in an organization
  • Create blog content and newsletters for a business consultant’s website
  • Review a client’s existing content as part of a strategy to implement social media across all of his current offerings
  • Support a real estate client whose direct mail campaign I created a couple of weeks ago (which is being implemented this week)
  • Create blog content for a bookkeeping website
  • Complete an e-course series for a business services client
  • Create blog content for a freelancing website
  • Create articles and press releases for a client who manages money in the Forex arena
  • Create and send a weekly investment newsletter
  • Create and deliver 2 weeks of an internal customer-service newsletter for a midsize company in the North American automotive industry

Testimonial

Excellent work. … [H]is work was great and reasonable and I WILL have him do more writing for me.

-R. Rougeaux of Rougeaux International

Just read: ‘Social Networking Sites For Business Owners’ at WSJ

Was thinking about social media as it relates to business (specifically my business, and the businesses of my clients). It’s easy to spend a lot of time in social media and the question I’m always coming back to is: “How much of it is helpful?” (I believe that social networking is extremely valuable but there comes a point when social participation must give way to revenue generation).

This article, written nearly a year ago, is probably missing some more recent entrants to this field. Regardless, it does point readers to some social networking sites that are pretty valuable around specific niches in the small business world.

Social Networking Sites Spring Up For Business Owners – Independent Street – WSJ.