As part of what we do at SV we are lucky enough to be able to look under the car hood of multiple businesses and see their workings. Winning online is tougher than ever, it’s no surprise to learn that 60% of businesses close their doors within the first 36 months of business. Here’s the top six mistakes we see businesses make when trying to win online.
1. They’re not ready to scale
We wrote a whole blog on the topic of when not to use paid media (check it out here). There are a few times we have been approached by companies who just got funding with a goal to become profitable wanting us to scale their ads that we’ve declined. From looking into their model they’re just not ready to spend big as there’s too many holes in their business. If profitability is your game you have to do the boring yards to make sure you are watertight as a model and have all the assets needed to scale.
2. They can’t handle scale back end
This is one that businesses often think they can deal with closer to the time. However in order to sell, businesses need to make sure they fulfil the level of service that their business promises. It is 100 times easier and cheaper to keep a customer than to get another one. This means making sure the customer service is on point, the delivery of the product is overwhelming rather than underwhelming and the problem you promise you solve to consumers becomes a reality from purchasing your product.
Any successful business owner will tell you one of the biggest hurdles to growing a company is staffing. Finding the right people, keeping them happy, creating a culture - the list could go on and on. We live in a day and age where stressful environments are not tolerated in most industries. Scale too quick and not have the manpower will leave your staff demotivated, unproductive and ultimately they will leave. Your churn rate of staff will go through the roof as nobody will be able to go at your pace. As a business owner you’ve chosen that obsession however it's rare to find staff that will have the fire burning in their belly as much as you. Create an environment that's enjoyable to work in and gives staff a culture that’s aligned with your brand.
4. They’re not frugal
This one is especially for startups. Being frugal is one of the most underrated qualities a business owner can have that will go far. As a start up cash is always limited so you have to spend it wisely. The best businesses we’ve seen from startups to 8/9 figure success all had leaders who were good with money. This doesn't mean not investing, it means being sensible. Maybe instead of that mercedes you stick to something a tad more sensible till you hit the next milestone.
5. Investing far too late
This is not a contradictory term to the above. To clarify being frugal and investment are not opposites. People often leave it too late to invest. Whether that’s in staff, marketing or upscaling the product. The key to business is always being one step ahead and never just riding the wave or you’ll soon fall behind. Be bold, be brave and understand where the biggest return on investment is going to be. Remember investment is not just a single currency of money but also time. It’s important to respect both as they are as powerful and precious as each other.
6. Sh*t content
Content is king, your audience is your only currency. Info-taining them should become your obsession. So many brands treat content as just a box ticking exercise and get anything out there. Content if used correctly is one of your most powerful tools for acquiring customers over time. Giving away content and asking for nothing in return (yes we mean nothing in return, leave out the sales page link!) is one of the best ways to start connecting with your potential consumers. This topic in its own could be 10 blogs so we won't go into detail here (if you want to find out more about how content is powerful for sales then watch our in detail eco system training here) but if you’re just ticking a box with mediocre content - you need to up your game.