10 Biggest Mistakes People Make When Starting a Business

hey guys today I’m sharing 10 biggest mistakes people make when starting a business oh it’s gonna be a good one the list of common mistakes people make when starting a business is based on my own observations of start-up graders or startup founders I meet typically during conferences or mentorship sessions however those are also my own mistakes I’m not trying to beat this all-knowing guru here some of the mistakes I mention during this video we’re my own mistake number one not launching soon enough lesson I’d get it you don’t want to spoil the first impression but remember that done is better than perfect you don’t want to polish your product indefinitely you want to take this product or service as soon as possible to customers and to challenge your perception of what customers really need as soon as possible there’s this great quote by Reed Hoffman who is a lengthened founder he said that if you’re not embarrassed by the first version of your product you launched it too late so you want to launch an MVP or even a clickable mock-up as soon as possible you can use products like envision or UX bin to design even a very simplistic version of your product and shoulders to customers the sig number two talking buzzwords rather than benefits and this was my own mistake I used to talk about grunt 24 as a social media analytics as a social media marketing platform so I use a lot of fancy words that weren’t ready communicating the value of the product so we change that into something like will tell you whenever people mention your company online and this actually worked way better than those fancy bass words that we use a lot of startups still make the same mistake this is a startup called maximize this is a picture I took doing the TechCrunch conference in San Francisco and you can see that box some eyes is a structured note-taking powerful database seamless cloud collaboration so to be honest I still haven’t got a clue what this startup actually does what this company actually does I see that there’s a lot of fancy words like power words like powerful you know database structured note-taking but it doesn’t really convey the value of the product you stick number three trying too hard to be unique and I can see this expectation from media it also from other startup founders to be this game-changing startup to be this unique business idea to inspire but this is not necessarily a good path for your business you know what’s unique coffee is unique salt by company called coffee desk combined with excellent customer service and pretty usable website can generate an expansion or growth in revenue so you don’t have to beat this unique idea of this game-changer sometimes you just have to solve existing problem a little better than the other solutions mistake number four not being open to feedback and it sounds pretty obvious but you should make it as easy for your clients to contact you to provide feedback as possible so here’s the example a new company called free to analytics I’ve just found on product hunt and I struggle to find a contact form or any form of contact I’ve clicked support section on their website and I found contact support button that is pretty generic email so this is probably not the best way to collect feedback this is not the company that’s really open to getting feedback from their customers and getting feedback from customers is absolutely the most important thing especially for a young new company so there they typically struggle with communicating the value of the product when you’re starting a copier that you don’t know which slogans which key value the parameters which features will communicate the best with your customer will resonate the best with your customers so you have to be open for feedback and when I see company like this in young companies that are really limiting ways that their customers their potential customers can contact them it’s it’s it’s one of the huge mistakes that I mentioned and this is not really big mistakes only for a lot for small companies I’ve one of the products we use at brand24 it’s called pipe drive and again this is not a sponsored video of a penny short so we just use this product and they also struggle with providing a viable way to communicate with them maybe it’s because they have just so many customers but this is not really a good excuse so I again I struggle to find a contact information I click on support center then I could find some different sections and there was an option click here to find out how to get in touch with us so there’s no live chat there’s no form there’s no emails there’s no personal touch that I can contact specific customer success representative I just have to click two or three times to even get a contact form or to get an actual email I can contact so this is really something that both small companies and large companies struggle with and the solution took this is so so simple the all the marketing automation platforms all the live chat platforms are so easy to use this is typically takes few minutes to incorporate with your website to implement with your website this is just a short JavaScript code you plug in to your WordPress site with your Yuma site with your product whatever it’s super easy it’s literally two minutes of work for any developer and once you do that all your customers are only one click away from contacting you or your potential customers are only one click away from contact the queue which is immensely powerful mistake number five trying to create product or service for everyone listen it’s super difficult to create a product for a specific niche for a specific type of customers trying to match everyone’s needs is pretty much impossible so you have to be ok with saying no to some of your customers to some of your target consumers you won’t be able to provide a product that’s perfect for everyone that has all the features that your clients need you have to create products for pretty much the majority of your target consumer this is actually the only way to create a scalable product mistake number six not being aware of conversion rates so this was pretty much our own mistakes again for first three years at brand24 we were only tracking the very simplistic conversion from signups to paying customers so we made a lot of our decisions based on intuition rather than numbers so this is the typical sales file for an online business you get some of the users that visit your website you can convert them to signups to registered users and then you can try to convert some of the registered users to paying customers and this is actually a huge problem for most startup founders they are not aware of conversion rates there are not a word of statistics so let me give you an example for brand24 at the early stages it took us 75 people we have to contact to get 25 signups to get one Payne customer let me underline this we’ve contacted 75 people to get a single paying customer and this is still a very good business so I believe that post startup founders just are not aware of the statistic of this conversion rates they’re not aware how many knows they have to hear until they hear yes [Music] mistake number seven not engaging sales personally I can see a lot of coal products a lot of cool startup founders that are matching their products with automated customer acquisition channels such as Google ads or Facebook ads this is really not a good idea because you’re making it harder for your customers to provide feedback and the feedback that they provide is a way for you to set up communication to set up slogans to set up communication based on benefits or rather than buzzwords to use the right slogans that will push your customers or potential customers towards aha moments if you’re not open for feedback if you’re trying to guess what slogans make your customers or potential customers really interested in your product you’ll typically fail at guessing you won’t have to test several options and then pick the ones that are working best if you’re doing this testing based on Google ads or Facebook ads it typically takes long for you to really see which slogans work and which slogans don’t work on the other hand if you meet customers in person you can see right away which slogans which features which communication really works mistake number eight focusing on investors rather than customers listen I get it we all read TechCrunch we all read Mashable VentureBeat all the sites we all see this flood this waves of money going towards startups and if you’re not getting fun that if you don’t have an investor it feels like you’re missing out trust me the investors have ways to find businesses that are doing well moreover the best time to find an investor is typically the time when your business is ready to scale so by the time you know that from every dollar you spend on your customer acquisition you get like five dollars in customer lifetime value this is a perfect moment to get an investor and to scale your company if you need additional resources before your company is ready to scale you should look for co-founders rather than investors mistake number nine not using analytics and I know analytics sounds like something boring like something for large companies to optimize their business to squeeze a little bit of revenue from the existing sales but analytics is something to determine life or death of your business at the early stage and I don’t mean analytics as this data warehouse as this robust Excel file that will tell you anything about your customers or about your business I mentioned the sales funnel or conversion funnels so a chart that shows how many of your potential customers get towards their next step towards the purchase so from people who visit your website the people who sign up with your product or register then the people who actually purchase your product and on each step you’ll be losing some of the customers some of the customers that visit your website will obviously not go for registration some of the people who registered for your product will obviously not decide to purchase your product actually the majority of them will not purchase all will not sign up that’s that’s that’s the thing with online business however you can use tools like Google Analytics to track steps within your funnel when you are losing or where you are losing most customers this is one of the examples you can see here which sites within brand24 comm are have which bounce rate or exit percentage so those two metrics will let you know which websites or which parts of your websites are most problematic where most of your customers are bouncing of your website there there are even more advanced products like heap analytics that allow you to see what customers do when you’re moving your website and easily create funnels that I mentioned so the sales funnels or the conversion funnels and this way you’ll be able to see where are you losing most customers then you have all those products like Hajer that you can see actually what your customers see when visiting your website and this is immensely powerful every few weeks we do this product sessions where we watch how customers actually use your product this is like we would set behind them when they would be browsing our product and this is super powerful and this is a game-changing maybe powerful work but but this is really big experience for your product team this is this will be an eye-opening experience for you when you see how customers actually use your product this will be likely different than what you imagine and how they use your product and with this analytics we found out that for first three years of our existence our registration form was causing 70% bounce rate so we changed that we fix that we turn it into a very simplistic way of registration form and the bounce rate went down from 70 percent to 25 percent so we have literally three times more customers with a fix that costed us 24 hours so you can imagine how unhappy I was for realizing this so late within our existence and I bet you can find low-hanging fruits like that on your website and the last mistake a lack of patience listen Varenne 24 is my 5th projects or 6 project I’ve been doing online businesses for 15 years now and most of you didn’t know me down there you didn’t know me when I co-founded site called ma block which was polish Twitter equivalent you didn’t know when you when I started the TV channel you only learned about me you only learn about this channel probably four Brent 24 which is you might say a successful business and multi-million dollar business but this is again my fifth or sixth business and a lot of co-founders forget or they don’t know this in the first place that running the business is a marathon rather than a sprint the problem is that this is a marathon where you see people pretty much at the end of the run when they are you know close to success or very successful you see them in newspapers you see them in the interviews you see them doing quino’s but what you don’t see you don’t see them you know hustling you don’t see them coding for three days in a row without going out from the from the house you don’t see them you know having a lot of problems with money with I know family whatever so we don’t see the struggle we mostly see the success more even more so media are brainstorming us with this perception of success that you know that the best stories that the the ones that are easiest easiest to solve in media are yesterday he was a student today he is a millionaire but typically that’s not really a case those people there might be some people they might ask they are you know lottery winners but typically establishing a viable business takes a lot of time and you have to be prepared for that that’s it if you have any comments any thoughts if you have different opinion on something if you have any additional tips please share them in the comment section this channel is all about dialogue if you like what I’m trying to do here please like the video if you really like if you really like to learn more about creating an online business about marketing sales customer success please subscribe and I’ll see you guys soon

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22 thoughts on “10 Biggest Mistakes People Make When Starting a Business

  1. Any additional mistakes you Guys could share in the comments section? I would really love your feedback!

  2. Słuchałem Cię na European Start-Up Days ale dobrze posłuchać też o tym w języku angielskim 🙂 Świetny materiał, co ważne oparty na własnych doświadczeniach. Cheers !

  3. Postaraj się mówić do kamery tak, jakbyś mówił do przyjaciela; widać, że się jeszcze trochę stresujesz ale nie masz czym. Swoją drogą, nie planuję zakładać nawet startupu, a obejrzałem do końca, bo mimo formy 8/10 content jest niesamowicie fajny. Pozdro 🙂 – Szczechu

  4. Brand24 poznałem na studiach , jeden z wykładowców bardzo Ciebie chwalił 😉 ale dopiero po odsłuchaniu Twojego świetnego wywiadu u Michała Szafrańskiego zacząłem się bardziej interesować tematem (tego typu wywiady powinni puszczać w szkołach 😎). Jestem w trakcie otwierania firmy i Twoje rady bardzo mi się przydają 😉 do filmu dodałbym od siebie by próbować dywersyfikować źródła pozyskania klientów. Nie skupiać się mocno na jednym . Pozdrowienia i proszę o więcej wskazówek 😊

  5. Liked all the points but how do you market a MVP on social media channels, I'v tried and most sites like betalist rejected my request to publish our MVP on their site saying product standards were not high.

  6. Michał, robisz świetną robotę opisując swoją drogę. Bardzo przyjemnie słucha się człowieka, który dzięki bagażowi doświadczeń chce pomagać innym w osiąganiu ich celów. Wierzę, że siedzi to głęboko w Tobie. Wiesz o czym mówisz – to widać i czuć. Sam aktualnie cioram się w błocie rozwijając "tradycyjny biznes". Mając od zawsze problemy z kręgosłupem krok za krokiem dochodziłem do rozwiązywania zagadek; dlaczego boli, jak robić żeby mniej bolało. Da się, to kwestia chęci i NAWYKÓW. Użyteczne produkty pomagające zachować właściwą postawę ciała też nie zaszkodzą. Przy okazji narodziło się też kilka innych bardzo nieszablonowych rozwiązań np. porządnego oparcia do czytania książek czy oglądania telewizji, czy nawet poduszki do spania. Ludzie lajkują, nasze produkty zaskakują, często imponują, jednocześnie nie ma to przełożenia na $$. Wysyłając produkty blogerom zbieramy fajne recenzje. Cholernie trudno jest "przeskoczyć przepaść". Patrzę na świat, na koniunkturę i wiem, że łatwiej byłoby iść wykonywać czyjeś polecenia mając pewne pieniądze. To kuszące, jednocześnie wyłożenie się na kolejnym projekcie (trochę już tego było) to byłaby kolejna osobista lekcja pokory.

    Nagrania jak Twoje są jak położenie dłoni na ramieniu, są wsparciem, ale i wskazówkami. Dzięki za to!

  7. Przyczepię się tylko do jednego 😉 Brak bardziej spersonalizowanej formy kontaktu wcale nie musi być efektem niedopatrzenia/nieuwagi. Wyobrażam sobie, że przy pewnej skali działania zależy ci na tym, aby użytkownicy nie zwracali się do customer care'u z każdą pierdołą, a prawdopodobnie ich problem/pytanie został już wielokrotnie rozwiązany. Wspomniany Pipedrive, ale także Typeform czy Mailchimp, a w Polsce podobną taktykę stosują operatorzy telefoniczni – efektywnie da się rozwiązać skończoną ilość spraw, więc w pewnym sensie "utrudnienie" klientowi dotarcia do obsługi jest po prostu zabiegiem optymalizacyjnym (zakładając oczywiście, że udostępniasz FAQi, samouczki, forum pomocowe etc.).

  8. Great content, as always!
    Ad some backlight (cut the black t-shirt from the dark background) and it will be perfect and so sweet for the eyes! In my opinion of course.

  9. great video, I've came here by a coincidence and I've got sucked in. I'm looking forward to see more of these 😀

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