Mistakes - anyone that has ever started their own business has made them and it does not matter how much education you have or what you think you know some things that sound great in theory just do not work when you try to implement them.
I want to discuss a few common mistakes that a new business owner can make when marketing their business.
1. Marketing to the wrong people - this one is very easy to do and often results in not only lost time but lost money as well so before you spend one dime on marketing be sure you know who your customers will be.
2. Not believing in your product or service - If you aren't convinced what you have to provide a customer is needed then you will never be able to convince anyone else to purchase it.
3. Cold Calling - Many people will swear by this practice, I myself am against it as I view it as nothing more than telemarketing and you can actually find yourself being fined if the persons you decide to cold call are listed on the do not call registry.
4. Failure to do your homework - This pertains to many things really, everything from knowing who your target customers are to knowing how to effectively price your service or product at a competitive rate and still turn a profit.
5. Failure to create opportunities - this is another very general statement. Creating opportunities can be anything from attending local business networking functions to targeting other businesses in a similar field and going out of your way to meet someone from these other companies. I have found that even when I was unable to achieve a sale I often was given another contacts name of who might be interested. I also have clients that said "no" only to later say "yes" as their own situations changed. Remember a "no" does not mean no, it means "not at this time" or "not under those terms".
6. Failure to follow up with a contact - people get busy, that's a fact of life so you can not expect Mr. X from such and such company to remember to call you about the product or service you spoke of. Get off your butt and call him.
7. Failure to have a business card handy - I can not count the times when I have been introduced to a potential new customer and the one question they always ask is "do you have a business card?" You can not expect to be taken seriously in the business world if you have to ask them to write your number down and you can expect that if you do, your number will be trashed before you are out of sight as will any hope you had of doing business with that individual.