11 Mistakes Business Owners Make Online – Part 1

Mistake 1 – Graphic Designers

The first mistake I’d like to start off with is a big mistake and, obviously, that’s why it’s number one. The biggest mistake I see business owners making on the Internet is the fact that they employ a graphic designer to build their website.

Now, I’m not saying graphic designers do not have a place. They do a great job, but it’s only one function of a website. In fact, if you’ve got a pretty looking website but no one’s coming there because the search engines can’t find you, or there’s no marketing structures or methods built into the website – so, in other words, it’s not selling, it’s just a glossy brochure.

Some companies do just need a website that is a particular site that is informative, but most websites owned by business owners really should have marketing built into their websites.

If you’ve got a great business but it’s in the middle of the desert and no one’s going past, what’s the point? It’s just like having a website that the search engines can’t see, because a lot of graphic artists put flash onto a website. Flash is one of those big animation type of websites and the search engines can’t see them. There’s nothing for them to read, so it throws them away.

Secondly, human visitors also click off the website too, because they don’t like to see that sort of stuff loading.

So, mistake number one is graphic designers who don’t understand marketing and they don’t understand search engines, so be careful, because what normally happens is the business owner will say to the secretary, “Can you look up a couple of places in the yellow pages or on the Internet?” And the secretary will go find a website that looks pretty.

This happens a lot. This is a very common mistake and it ends up costing the business owner a lot of money, because they keep going to different graphic artists and keep spending, when really the answer is never in the graphic artist. It’s in the marketing and the search engines. So, a graphic designer is the first mistake.

Mistake 2 – Static Content

The second mistake is static content on a website. What I mean by static content is by words on the website that do not update. There’s no connection between the business and the customers, or the clients. You’ve really got to have a website these days that can connect out, and there are many ways of doing that.

You can actually have a website that isn’t really a website, it’s actually a blog. What a blog can do is really get out further into the search engines, connect further out with your customers, and you can speak more directly on a regular basis because it’s very easy to update your blog. And your blogs can also automatically tell the search engines that you’ve updated the site.

Hence, blogs that actually look like a website can actually get higher up in the search engines. So, I believe the future of static html websites are on the way down, and updating content blogs that look like a website and function like a website are the way of the future.

The businesses that are embracing this idea are in the forefront of the people who leave this behind, because this is the way that businesses will be run. And it’s really good timely advice to go and get a website with all the correct functions. That’s really a blog.

Mistake 3 – No Marketing Structure

Another mistake, number three, and I’ve already touched on this, but no marketing structure in a website.

When, for example, you might go to a graphic artist to get a website made, the first question they generally ask is, “How many pages? What colors do you like? Do you want an ‘about us’ page? Do you want a home page? Do you want the ‘contact us’ page?” all that sort of stuff, which, yeah, that’s got its place, but really, what is your marketing structure?

How are you going to get the leads? How are you going to convert the leads from a lead to a sale? What structure’s in place in your office to handle the leads? What is your offline capacity to convert the leads? What’s your follow-up system? What have you got going?

Marketing structure, to me, is one of the most important elements of a website because, in the marketing itself, you can really make a big difference. In fact, one of the other mistakes I see with the marketing, while we’re on the subject, is the fact that it’s a lack of headline, a lack of ‘what’s in it for me’ when I see a website.

When I go to a lot of traditional business websites I see the same message; “Welcome to our website, this is us,” I like to see marketing. What’s in it for the end user? Why should they stop? What is going to grab their attention? Why should they take action now?

So, I want to see a headline there and I want to see it grab the attention of your customers. So, always think, “What’s in it for your customer?”

In fact, it’s the same with your yellow pages. In the yellow pages if you’ve got ‘Bobs Building’ next to ‘Free report: How to Avoid Building Mistakes’ as a headline, what’s going to grab your attention?

So, it’s a headline. Headlines are proven and have been around for years. I wonder why so many businesses don’t use them properly.

So really think about your marketing structure and message you are portraying.

Mistake 4 – No Follow Through System

The fourth mistake I see online, and this is a real big mistake, is the fact there’s a lack of follow-through systems on the Internet. There’s a lack of follow-up with email, follow-up offline through phone calls. This fits in with the marketing structure, but in itself it’s very powerful. Or when you haven’t got this going in your website, lack of follow-through, you can really lose out.

So, we want to see follow-through systems, and we’ll talk more about it later on. But when there is a lack of follow-through, again, there is no connectivity with the end customers. You can make a lot more money from your business by simply talking to them on a personal level.

In fact, a famous marketer, Jay Abraham, says one of the big things is to talk to your current customers often, because most businesses only concentrate on getting fresh leads, when that’s a big mistake.

You should actually be really out there looking as well for fresh leads, but at the same time talking to your current clients, making sure they’re okay. Because with some of your current clients, you’ll find the second sale to them is a lot easier than the first sale. So, you’ll make a lot more money by concentrating as part of your marketing system into follow-through systems.

You can also generate referrals from your customers when you connect with your clients more often.

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11 Mistakes Business Owners Make Online Part 2

Mistake 6 – No Pay Per Click Advertising

The sixth mistake ties in with the fifth mistake, and that’s a lack of pay-per-click advertising. And what’s pay-per-click advertising? Well, if you go to Google and you do a search on anything, you’ll see on the right-hand side there are ads. They look like little boxes. You actually pay for when anybody clicks on your ads.

Now, if you’re a local advertiser, you can get very cheap ads by just advertising locally in Google, and it’s very easy to set up. So, you should really concentrate on whether you’re in Toorak in Melbourne or you’re on the Gold Coast or in a country town such as Coffs Harbour, Albury – Wodonga Pakenham, anywhere like that.

You could actually do local search engine, pay-per-click search engine advertising very cheap, and you can also pick up national and international traffic as well. So, pay attention to having a pay-per-click advertising either through Yahoo or Google. They’re the two main ones and they reach about 90% of the search engine traffic. You must look for an AdWords management service.

Mistake 7 – No Merging Online with Offline

The seventh mistake is a lack of merging online with the offline. And what I mean by that is there’s very little thought about advertising your website offline, in terms of classified ads, because if you’re running Google ads like the previous strategy, you can do split testing quite easy and you’ll find out which ad works best.

Now, if that ad works the best online, the wording’s also going to work offline. So, simply get that ad that works the best on the Internet and use it in classified ads. The other thing I would add in there is a phone number when advertising offline.

So, really advertise your website offline. Work out systems to collect an email offline to bring online, and bring your online offline as well. And there are many ways of doing that, but you really must put these systems into place to really get a lot more success on the Internet.

Work out systems that your sales people can use to follow up leads from your website. Does each sales person have their own unique page? Do they have their photo and welcome audio? These things really help to connect with your clients or customers.

Mistake 8 – Tactics Vs Strategy

Another mistake is really big as well. It’s tactical versus strategical. Most businesses are very tactical. They’ll go out and they’ll do one tactic at a time. A tactic might be submitting articles or getting links so you can get more traffic, but what’s your strategy?

The strategy of the entire site and how that fits into the strategic business is much more important. We must think about: how your business is set up; what sort of staff can handle the orders’ what can they do; what’s your strategy for merging your whole business into the website?

Because the business is the big part, the website is only one marketing tool and one aspect of your business, but it’s a very powerful aspect because you don’t need as big ads to sell. You just need your offline ads to go back to your website and let the website do the selling.

But what’s your strategy for doing that? And if you’re concentrating on tactics, you may be too haphazard. You need actual strategy and structure and systems that fit into building website success. Find out what fits into your business strategy, and work your website backwards from there. Do you have procedure manuals/ documents in place that tie in with your website?

Mistake 9 – No Immediate Action

The ninth mistake I see that business owners make is a lack of incentive to take immediate action by the end user. And there’s very little on the Internet, very little reason to call now or to ring you now or to email now. So, you must think of incentives.

Now, an incentive could be a free report (like this one), a free DVD, a free quote, a free audio. So, all these things can be available on the Internet.

Now, for example, if you’re a hairdresser you could put, “Hairdressing tips to sign up for a newsletter.” Simply these days “Sign up for our free newsletter” is not enough. You must give incentive for people to leave their name and email. You almost have to sell the fact of people submitting their name and email to you, so really think of the incentives, what’s the bonus.

I like to see a starburst on the website saying, “Free audio valued at $250 shows you the 7 mistakes of termite pest control people,” whatever your business is, “the 7 real estate mistake,” or “How to increase your turnover using accounting, tax reduction,” anything. Whatever your business is, there’s always something you can educate your end users and clients with, because people like to be educated; they don’t like to be sold, because when you educate, it actually sells itself naturally, which creates excellent systems.

So, think of ways to get people taking action. It might be in your voice on the website asking them to pick up the phone and call you now, or directing people to leave email, leave their name and you’ll get back to them within 24 hours. Or it could be a video of yourself talking on the Internet as well.

Mistake 10 – No Modern Technology

Which leads us to the tenth mistake, and it’s a lack of use of modern technology such as video and audio on the Internet.

Ten years ago, product demonstration videos for business were very, very popular. And they still are popular, but to use them on the website to show you your best use of products is very powerful. So, if you’ve got a product that can be demonstrated, put it on the Internet as a video.

If you’ve got a service that can be sold by showing, using pictures and words, put that on the website as well. You can use video to connect with your end clients and you can also get traffic.

Mistake 11 Doing everything in house.

Many business try and take on their own web services themselves. This can be a fatal mistake. Many of their employees do an OK job, but they lack the deep knowledge, the latest techniques, the latest software to really make a website function in ways that generate traffic and sales. The solution is to look for an outside party, such as my company to take over the important tasks of implementing web services.

If you can educate people, for example, you can actually go to UTube.com or Google video and put your videos up. That will also get you search engine traffic. Put an audio on your website, educate people about the uses of your business, or you can use it for the marketing, like I said earlier.

So, think of modern uses, because if you incorporate audio, for example, there’s a term called podcasting. Podcasting is you can go and talk about anything that you like and anything that ties with your business. You do that once or twice a week, you’ll get a lot of followers, a lot of listeners coming to your website. And you can suck in a lot of traffic using podcasting and video, when done correctly. So, use modern technology and don’t be scared of it.

Now, if you’ve got a TV commercial, put it on your website. Don’t be afraid to put it on your website, because if it’s sitting there, what’s the point? If you have to pay for it every time it gets aired at a television station; and I used to work in television, I know about this; it’s dead time.

But if you’ll put it on your website, you can make full use of your commercial and it doesn’t cost you any extra money when they play your commercial on your website. Same for your radio ad, put it online too.

Common Coffee Shop Business Mistakes

Running a coffee shop business can be a great idea, but there are some common mistakes that owners run into. Do your best to avoid these types of issues and you will find it is more profitable for you. There is no shortage of consumers out there for coffee and related drinks. Therefore you simply need to do your best to bring those customers to you.

Not advertising your coffee shop business is a mistake. There are too many others out there for people to go to. The thing you will also come across is that people are often very loyal to the coffee shop they already go to. Therefore you need to offer something that will entice them to give you a chance.

It could be a promotion for a free cup of coffee or some other offer that has value to them. You may be able to offer a lower price than the competition and sometimes that will work. You need to realize though that most consumers don’t mind paying a bit more for quality. Therefore that tactic may not get you very many new customers.

You can’t have a successful coffee shop business if you aren’t in a good location. You need to think about accessibility. People are often very busy in the mornings when they are most likely to get coffee drinks. If you are on their way to work, school, and other routine activities then you will see more people coming in.

If they have to go out of their way to drive to your coffee shop business then they will be less likely to stop in. Think about accessibility in the way of foot traffic as well. How close are you to places where people will be hanging out or working? All of that needs to be considered before you select a place to put your coffee shop.

You may find it is more effective to build a new place than it is going to be to purchase a building that already exists. You may be tempted to buy one that is already out there but you need to find out why it is empty. It could be that it wasn’t accessible enough for people to find it convenient.

There is no doubt that the quality of the products and service you offer at your coffee shop business has to be very high. You don’t want to cut corners by reducing the quality of what you use. The ingredients you use to make the drinks will determine your outcome. Even the quality of the equipment you use and the water you mix ingredients with will affect the taste.

You can be sure that people are also anticipating quality service as well. No one wants to get their coffee from a face that doesn’t seem happy to see them. You need to make sure everyone you hire is treating customers like they should be treated. It will have a significant impact on your coffee shop business.