Goal Setting Mistakes Beginner Entrepreneurs Make and How to Avoid Them
Goal Setting Mistakes Beginner Entrepreneurs Make
You may have set a goal to start your business this year, and congratulations, you made it! You did what you needed to do to get your new venture going and now you’re ready to hit the ground running and start bringing in that income. But, not so fast! One major mistake beginner entrepreneurs make revolves around goal setting.
Having a clear path in mind and an idea of where you want to take your business is key, but it’s also important to truly take stock of your goals, get them down on paper and break the larger goals into smaller, manageable ones. It’s fine to have big goals, that’s kind of the whole point of starting a business; to create a better life for yourself and create a legacy for your family. But knowing how to implement those goals is about working on the smaller steps that lead you to the big gains.
Not Too Big, Not Too Small, Just Right
Similarly, there are entrepreneurs that often think too small. Whether it’s inexperience in the subject matter, lack of confidence or just a general mindset of wanting to just ‘play it safe,’ being too conservative in your goal-setting is another of the major mistakes beginner entrepreneurs make when starting out. So, bottom line, think big, don’t think too small, and work in small increments toward your larger goals.
Business owner, Jas Bagniewski puts it this way, “Don’t get distracted. Never tell yourself that you need to be the biggest brand in the whole world. Start by working on what you need at the present moment and then what you need to do tomorrow. So, set yourself manageable targets.”
One way to think of it is similar to how we were all coached through high school, in terms of applying to colleges. We had one or two ‘reach’ schools that would likely be a stretch, some moderate ones, and then a few safe schools we knew that if all else failed, we had something to fall back on. Treat your business goals this way. Think big and reach for those goals, work somewhere in the middle at what you know you can accomplish, and always have a back-up plan as you wait for that one ‘big thing’ to hit!
Don’t Forget That Marketing is a Thing
You may have the best product in your industry or provide stellar service to your clients, but what happens when your leads dry up? If you’re not spending a large portion of your time marketing, interacting as your business on social media, and driving traffic to your blog or website that highlights what you do, chances are you’re leaving money on the table. It’s not enough to create the product, entrepreneurs must consistently market themselves and put themselves out there literally and figuratively, to create a consistent income stream.
One of the major mistakes beginner entrepreneurs make is assuming that just having a website or Facebook page presence is enough. They’ve not done the research to understand that Google rewards blogs and websites that offer quality, helpful content that is meaningful and specific. In other words, sites don’t get to the front page of Google automatically. There’s search engine optimization (SEO), keyword research, social media marketing, and a host of other variables that will bring in the business.
Focusing on You vs. Them
The final major mistake beginner entrepreneurs make is spending too much time focused on their product or service. Now, this may sound counterintuitive, because of course, you’re going to focus on your business. But, make no mistake, it is possible to spend too much time thinking about what you provide for your clients and customers and how your product is the best out there. If you’re new to marketing, you may be creating content solely around your product. What is important, however, is what problems your product and service can solve. What does your business do for your ideal client? How can you relieve their pain points? Why should they trust you?
Make your message about your ideal client, and their needs rather than simply touting the benefits of your product or service. When you begin to ‘sell’ from the standpoint of your end-user, you’ll notice a shift in your business. People will start liking and sharing your social media posts. They’ll leave comments letting you know how much they related to what you’re saying. They’re doing this because something you’ve included in your messaging has struck a chord with them. Solve your customer’s problems and you’ll create a sense of brand loyalty around your business.
You should now be better poised to go forward and start marketing with your client’s needs and issues in mind, set clear goals for yourself and your business, and recognize that consistent messaging and regular content creation will be the keys to your ultimate success.
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