Running a business is rarely easy. With so much to handle, it can be hard to build a comprehensive strategy. The pressure to make all the correct moves can be overwhelming.
Fortunately, it's not always about getting it right. Sometimes, knowing what you're doing wrong can be the key to success. By understanding where you can boost your performance, you can take your business to the next level.
In this article, we'll walk you through five things that hinder success. We'll also give you a few tips on how you can improve. Let's go!
1. Ignoring the Competition
Let's be honest: no matter how small your niche is, there will always be someone else you need to measure up to. You can't ignore how your competition is doing – no matter how confident you are in your product.
If you discount other companies, you could be losing out on a lot of valuable information. For example, let's say they run a wildly successful campaign. By taking note of what they did right, you can improve your business's performance too.
You can consider Williams Sonoma as an example of this. Since Thanksgiving is a food-centric holiday, many cooking sites are competing for shoppers' attention. However, while most of them just advertise sales, Williams Sonoma improves on that model with cooking tips as well:
However, try to remember that this goes both ways. Other companies are probably watching your performance to improve on their own. By paying close attention to what others are doing, you can tune in to the most successful strategies for your niche.
2. Straying Away From Your Brand Identity
Your brand identity is a mix of many things: the tone of your ads, your logo, and even your font choice. Consistent presentation of these elements is crucial to a buyer's ability to recognize your company. Thus, while going in a new direction may be tempting, it can also harm your business.
This is largely because it may confuse your customers. For example, let's say your social media's tone of voice is playful while your blog is serious. This could be off-putting to new visitors, especially if they're already invested in the buyer's journey.
We're not saying that rebranding is a bad move. However, if you're shifting gears without a clear and intentional plan, you could risk losing potential buyers.
We recommend that you put together a style guide for your content. This may include guidance on what type of language you should use or topics you typically cover. That way, you can reference it before publishing anything and ensure that you're staying on track.
3. Focusing All Your Energy on One Channel
With so many ways to communicate in our modern world, it can be hard to keep up with all of them. Your own website, different social media pages, and traditional advertising can be a lot to handle. As such, it's not unusual to feel like you need to focus on a single channel.
Unfortunately, this isn't usually the best plan. Different platforms have different audiences. Thus, putting all of your efforts into one channel could mean you're missing out on opportunities to make more sales.
One way to combat this is with a content calendar. You don't necessarily need to update every account every day – as long as you're spreading your marketing across many channels, you're opening up new ways to reach new customers.
By the same token, you may also want to consider giving your users an easy way to purchase your products across different channels. If you're looking for a tool to help you do so, we recommend our own Buy Now Plus service:
With Buy Now Plus, you can add buy now buttons almost anywhere – and you don't even need a website to do it. By providing visitors with a secure checkout regardless of how they find you, you can capture more conversions than ever before.
4. Resisting Investments Into Your Business
If you're like most business owners, chances are, you have a budget. This can be especially tight if you're still a relatively small company. However, as the old saying goes, sometimes you have to spend money to make money.
We're not saying that being mindful of your money is a bad thing. Nevertheless, doing so isn't just about saving cash – it's also about knowing where to spend it.
That's why we recommend you invest in resources that can support your business. If your shipping times are struggling, for example, you might want to think about hiring someone to help you out. By the same token, upgrading to a faster web host could dramatically improve the user experience.
If you're not sure which tools are right for you, we recommend that you take full advantage of free trials. That way, you can see how well a certain resource can support your business before you commit to it.
Finally, like most things in business, there's always a chance of failure. You may invest in a tool that doesn't work out for you – and that's okay! Just try to understand why it wasn't a good fit and keep that information in mind for your next investment.
5. Ignoring Your Analytics
Your company's success doesn't have to be a guessing game. Nowadays, analytics are available nearly everywhere, ranging from your social media profiles to your website. If you're ignoring this information, you could also be ignoring a clear path to improvement.
Even if you feel like you understand your performance, getting confirmation never hurts. Additionally, if you find out you're not doing as well as you thought, you can catch the issue early before it really starts affecting your sales.
An easy way to get started with this essential data is through Google Analytics:
Google Analytics can provide you with a broad overview of your audience. You can also zone in on more specific metrics such as demographics, meaning you'll be able to get very specific with your targeted marketing.
If you're not interested in analytics, we highly recommend that you stay in touch with your customers. Ask for feedback and reviews whenever you can. That way, you can stay informed about how your brand is performing.
Success is rarely a straight path. However, that doesn't mean that you can't avoid a few wrong turns along the way. By understanding which actions can harm your performance, you can help your business succeed.
In this article, we covered five things that hinder success:
- Ignoring how your competition is performing.
- Having an inconsistent or muddled brand identity.
- Focusing your efforts on a single channel and ignoring the others.
- Being too wary of potentially rewarding investments.
- Ignoring the crucial data that analytics can provide.
Do you have any questions about the issues covered in this post? Let us know in the comments section below!