Entrepreneur: 3 mistakes that make you seem like an amateur

As small business owners, sometimes we can be our own worst enemies when it comes to growing our business.  We put everything we have into building a business that we wholeheartedly believe in, but slowly destroy it by the decisions we make. This post is written to highlight three big mistakes entrepreneurs make, and tell you how to fix the problems. Let me start by saying, “I’ve learned these lessons the hard way.”

If-you-think-its-expensive-to-hire-a-professional#1 You try to take on everything.  

Have you ever heard the phrase, “Jack of all trades, but master of none?” There’s a reason he’s a master of none.  It’s because no one can be great at everything. Entrepreneurship is plagued with this.  When it comes to your small business, focus on what you do well, and outsource what you don’t.  Whether it’s marketing, human resources, accounting, or another business function, consider hiring an expert to build the foundation for some, or all of these supportive roles, even if it’s just to get you started.  If you spread yourself too thin, you will do more damage than good. You don’t have the time to learn all there is to know about these functions and your business will suffer for it.

Read How to build a better business with outsourcing.

Photo from visioncreation.co.uk

Photo from visioncreation.co.uk

#2 You skimp on your marketing assets.

Most decisions are tied to resources. Do we have the money to do this or that?  When making a decision about your business marketing assets, like your website and promotional material, don’t skimp!  These assets will be the most valuable tools in your marketing plans and they need to be really good.  It’s perfectly fine to design and manage your own website. There are incredibly user-friendly platforms out there to help you.  But, if you go this route, take the time to learn about design strategies, search engine optimization, content and all the important aspects of building a web asset.

Want to create your own business logo? Do it! But seek advice from experts and take the time to learn about graphic design and business branding.  If you don’t have the time to learn about these important roles, hire a professional.

Here’s an article about marketing assets you forgot you had and one about the good, bad and ugly of brand logos.

sales strategies_mymarketingcafe#3 You haven’t learned to sell!

I will be the first to admit, I’m not crazy about selling. But if I am really honest, it’s not that I’m not crazy about selling, it’s that I don’t like rejection. Well, who does?  As an entrepreneur, you MUST be able to sell your product or service. Even if you plan to hire a sales team, you will still have to sell it to them! What if in the future you want to expand your business? You will have to sell to the investors.  What if a reporter wants to interview you for an article? Or, you are invited to give a presentation about your business at an event? At some point, you will be in a position where you need to sell yourself, your ideas, or your business, and it’s critical that you be able to do so.

Whether you are seasoned or a novice with sales, spend time researching and practicing every week. Don’t fear rejection. Rejection comes with the territory and it’s a normal business occurrence, because sales today is about building relationships. Rejection can serve as a valuable teaching moment that will ultimately help you improve.

Read 10 tips to kick-start your sales skills.

There’s still more homework to do. When outsourcing, spend all the time necessary on the front end to ensure you hire the right person.  Coming up… How to hire the right person for your outsourcing needs.