Every business owner wants her business to thrive, grow and succeed. Therefore, much care is taken to avoid huge pitfalls. Why? because a single big mistake can spell the end of a business. What many do not know is that small mistakes, which are rarely seen as pitfalls, are mostly responsible for the early demise of most businesses. Like it is popularly said, “it is the little foxes that spoil the vine.”
Many small business owners usually fall into the “shortcut” trap. In the bid to save a little money, time or even effort, you decide to take a shortcut. The shortcuts obviously seems harmless at the moment but then, what you save in the short term can result in a huge loss in the long term.
In this article, I would highlight 4 seemingly harmless and little mistakes which could end up costing you greatly in the future.
Not having a website
The benefit of having a business website in this 21st century is one that cannot be overemphasised. From being able to reach a worldwide audience to being able to nurture and cultivate a better and more personal relationship with clients; the benefits of having a website are innumerable. Even offline stores are cheating themselves by not having an online presence. No matter your business category; fashion and designing, yoga, fitness, food delivery, you need a website separate from any other online presence.
Being active on social media is absolutely not enough! No matter how many social media accounts you have (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, etc.), none can be compared to having your own personal website. When consumers are actively searching for a product or service, they turn to Google. If you don’t have a website for your business, your business definitely won’t be found. In other words, you are leaving money on the table.
Probably the reason you are not thinking of owning a website is because you lack the skill to build one. But then, who says you have to do it yourself? Good news is that there are now many services out there ready to help you build a killer website at the most affordable price. Services like TinklingD are there for you. There’s simply no excuse for you as a small business not to avoid this “little fox”. Make the move to having your own website today.
Not having a domain-based email address
Having a domain-based email address is an easy way to promote your company. Your clients see your business name with every mail. The more they see you, the more they remember you and can think of you when they need your services.
Another benefit of having a domain-based email address(and perhaps the greatest benefit) is building customer trust and credibility. As a customer, if I sign up for a service or spend perfectly good money on a product, I donʼt want an email from firstname.lastname@example.org. I want an email from email@example.com. This looks trustworthy since I know it’s a company and not an individual. It also shows you are serious. There are easy and affordable options to having a domain-based email address as with a website. One of these options is Gmail for business. With its simple, fairly cheap option, small businesses can avoid this little mistake that can kill their businesses.
Selling exclusively on other platforms
Selling on online ecommerce platforms is probably a very good idea as a small business. This is because these platforms like konga.com, jiji.ng, etc., are well established sites with a huge amount of customers across the nation ensuring a nationwide reach of your products or services, especially as a new business. Also, with an impartial review system, these platforms encourage new customers to try your products with greater confidence. However, selling exclusively on these platforms might be detrimental to your business in the long run as these customers are really not yours but the platform’s! Customers are not really aware of you as an independent brand but as a seller on the platform.
The platform acts as the middleman between you and your customers and ultimately you might want to cut out the middleman and stand on your feet as an independent business. A major advantage of this is increase in revenue as the percentage you would have paid in commission to the platform, in exchange for greater exposure, is now part of your revenue. On the flip side, you might think that giving up the commission for greater exposure makes business sense but then, no business can succeed in the long run without its own marketing. The foundation of any sustainable and truly independent business is to create your content, build your following, do your marketing and sell on your own e-commerce platform. Contrary to popular opinion, this is not as difficult and expensive as you think. Services like TinklingD are there for you.
Outsourcing your content
As earlier mentioned, doing your own marketing is a foundation of a sustainable business. However, when it comes to marketing, make sure your content is your content. Hiring a professional editor or writer to help put down your ideas and thoughts in a better way is clearly different from you giving your ideas to a freelancer to come up with a content.
Your content is a part of you and part of what you are selling to your customers is yourself. Your content is your direct voice to your customers telling them about those unique solutions you have to their problems. Creating a content that feels personal can give you a closer rapport with your reader and possible client. Offering impersonal, stock content is the worst way to find your special niche in the market. Your contents can either make or mar your marketing campaign so it is essential that when it comes to your content, you have to contribute more than just your name even when having professional editors and writers on ground to work with.
As with this shortcut and any other, one essential thing to always put in mind is that customers want valuable services; Real Value. Donʼt take the easy road. Put in the effort for your business, and your audience will know, appreciate and also value the effort you put in for them.