Here's a staggering statistic for you:
80% of new business owners will fail in their first year in business!
That's 8 out of 10 new businesses falling by the wayside.
I'll give you a second to pick your jaw up from the floor...
OK...Still with me?
As a digital marketing agency, we have worked with countless successful businesses, but we have also worked with businesses that simply tanked. Over this time, apart from the obvious mistakes like bad hires, overspending, bad accounting etc, 3 factors really stood out when comparing successful businesses to businesses that simply crashed and burned over time.
Whether you just started a new business or already run a business, we're going to explore the top 3 critical mistakes that small business owners make.
Oh, and don't worry if your making these mistakes right now, we've all made them! The key is to always be learning and growing as a business.
Here are the top 3 critical mistakes that small business owners make:
1) Failing to invest in Digital Marketing
SEO, Google Adwords Management Marketing, Social Media Marketing, Facebook Marketing, Instagram Marketing... blah blah blah blah ... It's so overwhelming for any business owner. So much so, that every time you hear 'digital marketing agency', you probably get nervous thinking about it. Am I right?
With so many different digital marketing agencies and strategies out there, many business owners simply stick their head in the sand and avoid digital marketing, or worse, they try to manage their digital marketing on their own, make very common online marketing mistakes, then quickly give up, because they are spending money without getting results.
This by far is our number 1 critical mistake that small business owners make.
Did you know that the industry average for professionally managed Google Ads ROI (return on investment from a Google Adwords Agency) is 2.5x? This means that for every $1 spent marketing products or services on Google Ads, the customer on average makes $2.50 in return. In other words, as long as you engage a professional and reputable Google Adwords agency to setup and manage your campaigns, you're basically guaranteed to make profit!
We were never really satisfied with that 2.5x average.
To be frank, I always thought that the industry average of 2.5x ROI using Google Ads digital marketing was rather poo poo. We decided to set the bar high. We decided early on that we would aim for 10x. However, every time we spoke to other Google Adwords agencies Sydney, we were literally laughed at. They said we cant achieve that on average. They said we're lying. They said it couldn't be maintained. To be honest, that did frighten us at the beginning, but we were determined that there were better strategies to increase returns using the mighty Google. To cut a long story short, we invested almost 2 years to consider and test various Google Ad campaign strategies over numerous industries. We documented what worked and what didn't. 2 years later, we now hit 10x returns AT LEAST with most of our clients.
For example, one of our clients owns and manages Sydney's leading vending machine hire business. Have a look at this graph:
Our strategy for their Google Ads Management was tailored for their industry. This financial year (3 months), their ROI is 11x. Yes, 11! In dollars and cents, that is $27,000! That's just from one digital marketing avenue Google Adwords Management. Oh, and that's still with several leads in the process of being converted, so we expect their ROI by November to be a staggering 35x. To put that into perspective, for every $1 they spent with Google Ads including SureTech Google Adwords Management Sydney, the expected return is $35!
Why the hell am I even telling you this?
Well, we invested years to figure out what does and doesn't convert using Google Ads Management and the lowest spend possible. Reputable web agencies have already made all the mistakes, so you don't need to. This is also a good question to ask a digital marketing agency that you are considering hiring. The best digital marketing agencies have invested years to test and document sound strategies for every online marketing platform. If they haven't, well, they are just playing roulette with your money. Ask the tough questions, otherwise, how could you possible know how to choose the right digital marketing agency for you?!
OK, but what about SEO?
SEO is by far the most complicated and difficult digital marketing strategy for a business owner to implement and manage on their own? Why? Its technically difficult and Google is forever changing their algorithm, which means what works today to get you to page 1 of Google Search Engine Results Page (SERPs), may not work tomorrow. Worse still, what works today, may in fact cause your website to be black listed by Google! Ouch!
However, those that fail to invest in SEO Packages are simply fighting a losing battle. Imagine getting in a boxing ring with Mike Tyson. He's trained, fit and ready for war. You? You don't even know how to throw a punch. You get knocked out in the first round because you didn't practise how to beat the competition. That's exactly how SEO can be analogised. Without perfect SEO on your website and pin-point content creation with on-site SEO and off-site SEO from a neurotic SEO Company Sydney, your website will never climb the almighty Google rankings. So how do you expect to build your business to what it could be when you are on page 3 (or worse) of Google search results? You can't. It's that simple.
2) Not having a website or having an ineffective website
Did you know that nearly half of small business owners don’t have a website?
We live in a digital world. Not having any form of website or web presence is the same as opening a business but forgetting to tell anyone that you opened. Gone are the days that putting a sign outside a brick and mortar store was all you needed for marketing your business.
It is clear that all businesses need to have a website design and web presence.
What is not always so obvious is that this website must be up to date, modern, mobile responsive and most importantly, SEO optimised so that your customers can find you on Google. A website without SEO (search engine optimisation) is like a fishing with no bait. Simply put, your customers simply won't bite because they cant find you! That is a sure fire way for your business to fail.
Conversely, businesses that partner with reputable SEO agencies and have implement highly optimised on-page SEO and off-page SEO enable their business to be on the first page of Google Search Engine Results Page (SERPs). Why is this important? Well, when was the last time you personally clicked to page 2 or 3 of Google Search Engine Results Page? Definitely very rarely I'm sure! The same goes for your customers. If your website isn't on the first page of Google, forget about it! That's the harsh truth in this digital age.
"I had a cheap website built, but no one is buying my products."
We hear this so often from our clients that came to us in search of a website design agency that could help them fix their current non performing eCommerce store. We explain to them that their 'cheap' website is actually very expensive. How do we know? Well, they haven't sold any cute puppy socks (yes, that is a thing) from their eCommerce website.
Remember also, when someone researches a business, your website will often be the first impression they have. A beautiful, interactive, responsive and thought-out website is the difference between a website that generates revenue, and one that just sits there keeping you guessing why you're not generating customers leads. An informative and modern website can make a world of difference.
3) Failing to invest in Managed IT Services
If you need to ask "what the hell is a managed IT service provider?", then you are making this critical mistake for your business right now. Don't worry, its never too late to adapt and move forward. Managed IT services is ongoing business IT support provided by a Managed IT services provider, for a fixed monthly fee. It involves proactive monitoring and maintenance along with priority support for users and device management, to keep IT systems operating at peak performance, and more importantly to keep overall technology costs low and business efficiency high.
Not only do issues get resolved quickly, businesses have access to the latest technology and innovative solutions that can maximise productivity as well as increase profits. Let's focus on this point, because this is where the $ are made and lost and where a smart business can beat the competition.
To illustrate what we mean, we will explain a recent situation we had. A large law firm contacted us because they were having a meltdown of their IT systems. They were due in court the next morning, and all their data had mysteriously disappeared. To cut a long story short, an electronic failure in their on-site server had caused irrecoverable hardware failure which meant all their data had to be manually recovered by a reputable business IT support Sydney company. This obviously incurred a sizeable cost to the law firm.
Further, as we audited their IT infrastructure, we could see that they were still using legacy and end-of-life software and hardware which slowed down every part of their business. This now meant they had to incur a large cost to migrate to new IT solutions. Following the remediation, we assessed the cost difference to the company had they previously engaged managed IT services Sydney for their business. The numbers were staggering. Due to the fact that managed IT services are generally low cost , while reactive IT remediation work or ad-hoc/casual business IT support ('fixing things') is higher cost, their own business would have spent 350% LESS if they just engaged a reputable managed IT services provider from the beginning.
but wait...that's not even the shocking part...
With the new business IT solutions we implemented for them to replace their old ineffective IT systems, they ended up performing their business far more efficiently. How much more? Well, they were able to take on 15 new clients per month on average with the same staffing levels. The difference to their bottom line, just with smooth running, efficient and purpose based IT solutions was in the 6 figures!
Summary & Conclusion
The co-founder of airbnb famously said "If we tried to think of a good idea, we wouldn’t have been able to think of a good idea. You just have to find the solution for a problem in your own life." So, take some time to consider what problems and mistakes you are making with your business. Reflect regularly. Correct immediately. If you need help, ask fellow business owners. If you aren't satisfied with your bottom line, talk to a leading digital marketing agency to boost your revenue.
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