Strategic Business Planning – Common Business Start-Up Mistakes to Avoid

It is very common to come across statements mentioning the failure of 9 out of 10 business start-ups within in the first 2 years of their launch. Undoubtedly, the startup phase comes with varying challenges. When challenges present themselves, entrepreneurs end up making some common mistakes. However, with a little better strategic business planning, such errors can be rectified or avoided altogether. Here are 3 very common mistakes that should be avoided:

1. Starting Without a Business Plan

Before venturing into your own business, it is essential that you ask yourself whether you are serious about achieving success or not. If the answer is yes, then you should begin with a properly written plan that is simple and easy to understand. When you write down your plan, you will be able to focus on ways of ensuring that your business does well. Answer important questions regarding the ‘type of customers your business will attract’, ‘spreading the word about your business’ and of course ‘why would people buy from you and how much are you going to charge for your services or products’. Try to keep realistic figures and if everything is done in a planned way, then your business will definitely see growth.

2. Not Doing Enough Marketing

Marketing is a never ending process, whether you are promoting your products/services or yourself. You will often notice small-businesses spending more time in marketing the owner rather than the product. Building relationships help make a positive impact in the market and among potential customers. It leads to winning their trust and they will remember you.

3. Not Having A Unique Selling Point

The most important question is: Why should potential customers reach out to you for your service or product? Why should they choose you and not some other person? What is so special about your product or service?

You need to have good and sufficient answers to these and many more related questions before you venture any further into your business. When you start your business without asking yourself these questions, then you begin to make mistakes. If you dream of owning a successful business, then you must have answers to these questions. For more information on strategic business planning, please contact us.

Social Media Marketing turns Visual

Social media marketing may very well be the hottest type of online marketing today.  And within social media marketing, there are networks that are experiencing rapid growth.  Sites like Tumblr and Pinterest are appealing to social users, making visual social networks a hot commodity.

According to Francis Bea, these photo-sharing social networks are the “elephant in the room” for marketers.  After all, Bea notes that all of the major networks have made big moves in this direction:

  • Google has acquired Nik Software and its photo app Snapseed
  • Facebook obtaining Instagram
  • Twitter keeping up with native photo-friendly features (filters)

But how effective can photo-sharing networks be with purchases.  Bea cites a Bizrate Insights study that found that 69 percent of users on Pinterest were motivated to make a purchase – as opposed to 40 percent on Facebook.  The study found it to be more inspirational, pointing to its ability to organize products and obtain ideas.

These types of opportunities are certainly present for businesses.  For those that offer visually-appealing products and services, there is great potential on these sites.  Even those that don’t necessarily fall into the “typical” type of business to use photo-sharing networks can still use it creatively.

This elephant in the room could be something that businesses should pursue, extending their reach and capitalizing on this growing niche in social media.  Businesses are already using it to connect with social media users, expand visibility, and to add content to their website.  Contact us to learn more about the world of social media marketing.

Social Media Marketing: Facebook Grows to One Billion Users

It is official: As of October 4, 2012, Facebook has reached one billion users.  CNN Money’s Aaron Smith reported the inevitable news for social media giant Facebook recently, as the indicator hit its biggest milestone in quite some time.

The incredibly growth of Facebook is quite eye-opening.  In just over three years, Facebook has grown from 250 million to one billion – originating in its first one-million milestone ala December of 2004:

  • July, 2009: 250 million users
  • July, 2010: 500 million users
  • October, 2012: One billion users

Now reaching out to one out of every seven individuals on the planet, Smith notes, this milestone is of course great news for social media marketing.  It reinforces the growth, accessibility, and possibilities of not only Facebook, but all major social media players – including the likes of Twitter, YouTube, and Pinterest.

facebook marketingAfter all, Smith notes that less than 20 percent of Facebook users live in the U.S. and Canada – and for many businesses, that means that a great deal of the target market is relevant to their practices.  With the ability to greatly filter sponsored ads on Facebook, business owners targeting certain niche markets and locations will enjoy the wealth of users.

Facebook has made a number of great strides lately.  From introducing more powerful Insights tools, as Anum Hussain of Hubspot explores, to increasing its user base and bringing highly filtered sponsored ads – there is a lot to like for social media marketing.  Businesses can leverage Faceook and other social media tools to grab their visitors and keep them engaged.

Now, business owners will have more potential customers to market towards – and the tools to see who’s watching.  Contact us to learn more.

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