Sometimes it can be hard, and feel lonely being an entrepreneur and business owner… because generally most people around us don’t really understand us.
A lot of people tend to feel the need to try and justify or explain themselves, to try and make people see things their way, whereas really, this doesn’t seem to work.
In this Facebook Live video I share why this is, and my own story around this, and what you can start to do about it if you feel that you relate to this situation.
I hope it helps you in some way.
In this weeks episode of #coffeewithcarissa – I was asked “HOW DID YOU GO FROM A HOME BUSINESS INTO AN ACTUAL SHOP” and so I decided to go live in the group, share my story, and give some tips and advice for others that might be considering taking the leap from home based business to a shop front.
As always I’d love to know what you think, or if you have any further questions, so please comment and let me know
As a business coach, competition in business is one of the most common topics that come up with my clients and members of my Facebook group.
Two popular questions & complaints tend to be:
“How can I stand out in my business when there is so much competition?”
“I’m struggling to get clients, there is so much competition in my area!”
The truth is, there’s competition everywhere, in every business, in every industry.
The only way some businesses get ahead is by standing out and being different.
Being uniquely you,will attract other people to your business who are like you., and who you like. Ie: Your ideal clients.
Doing things in business because “that’s what everyone in the industry does” or “it’s always been done this way” will never get you ahead of the game.
The reality is, there’s enough clients out there for every single business, and as soon as you start focussing more on the clients you do have, and less on the competition – that’s when you will see a significant change in your business growth.
Its great to be aware of your competition, but focussing on them and watching their every move will put you in a negative (and often anxious) mindset and nothing can progress from that.
Your competition should be viewed as a positive thing!
It means there is a demand for the service you offer.
So… how can you be different?
A great quote from Tony Robbins is: “The Quality of your life, is only as good as the quality of the questions you ask”.
An example of this, which is mentioned in the video above, is that if you’re constantly thinking that it’s really hard to get customers because of all of my competition, and asking yourself questions such as “how can I get clients when there’s so much competition” then that’s exactly where you will stay.
However, if you turn that around and ask: “How can I do things differently, and what do my customers want from me?”
That is such a more powerful way of thinking.
And you will come up with MUCH better answers.
Business owners that are more successful, are more focussed on their clients and what they want to achieve for their own business. They aren’t worried about the competition. They don’t even think about them.
To stand out, you need to focus on giving your clients what they want.
Find out as much as you possibly can about them.
Then you can design your business around what your clients and your audience wants from you.
To be successful, you have to be different.
Do something crazy, do something weird.
Be your funny, unique self.
It will get attention.
The best way to do this is by creating some kind of brand personality.
Incorporating your quirks into your business for people to connect with will make you actually “likeable”.
Another way to stand out in your industry is to specialise in something.
So many people are afraid of specialising in something specific or choosing a Niche, because they want to be everything to everyone, but you will never get ahead doing that.
You may be great at a lot of things but if you focus on specialising in ONE thing in your business you can always upgrade your clients to try other services that you offer.
Here are some surefire ways to stop worrying about your competition:
・Unfollow them on social media (and anything else that creates anxiety for you).
・Ask your existing clients questions and find out what they want.
・Focus on where you want your business to be and set goals.
・Have an abundance mindset. Know that there is enough for everybody!
・Focussing on positive thoughts and actions.
・Live in a place of gratitude for what you have already achieved, for your clients, for your team.
・Specialise in one thing in your business.
・Make sure your brand is consistent and has some personality.
・Be your different, unique & slightly (or very) weird self.
“If no one is liking your stuff, then no one likes your stuff…. “
In my 10 years of business, I have noticed 10 reoccurring themes why small businesses fail and never seem to make a lot of money. I myself managed to rapidly grow a small home business (which I operated after hours from my day job), into a chain of 3 stores and an international product range which ran completely without me in it, just by mastering these 10 things. My goal for you is to ensure you have a clear understanding of why small businesses fail and to learn from these mistakes.
The business owners who seem to have rapid growth and success have these 10 things covered.
They never seem to have to worry about things like paying staff, paying bills, where their next client is going to come from, or never being able to take a break.
So, Is your business making any of these 10 common mistakes that keep small businesses, well, small?
Video: 10 Reasons Why Small Businesses Fail
1. NO CLEAR VISION.
The number one reason why small businesses fail is because they have no clear vision for where they are actually going. They started a business for some reason but they have no clear goals in place and they honestly have lost sight of what they are even doing it for.
When I started my business, it took me about a year to figure out what I wanted from it, but then when I decided that I just wanted to employ people to do the work while I sat at home (or wherever else in the world) and did the marketing and booked people in. I knew what I wanted, and I made it happen.
They are just working for the sake of working, they have half assed goals which they don’t even want bad enough, they have no dream life to work towards, and they are not sure what they want the business to look like 1, 3 or 5 years from now.
And I get it, you know, sometimes you can feel stuck in amongst all the pressure, the responsibilities, the bills, the world around you that is constantly changing, the competition, the idiot clients, whatever, but it’s all part of running a business, and you are in control of it.
A fun part of running a business though is to look at what YOU have already created, know that you are already doing SO MUCH MORE than the majority of people on the planet, and think about what you really want from your life and business from this point forward.
Because if there are other people out there running businesses and living lives that you envy, the absolute truth is that you can have that for yourself as well. You are human, they are human.
Think about how you want to spend your days, your mornings, your evenings. Where do you want to live? What do you want people to say about you and what you’ve done? How do you want to be remembered when you die?
You can incorporate all kinds of questions like these into the vision for your business and your life. Get creative. Think outside what’s normal, and think: how can I turn this business into something that fills my life (and my bank account) with happiness and freedom!?
Seriously, close your eyes, visualise what you want, and then write it down, make a plan, and start acting on it TODAY!
2. NO SYSTEMS OR STRATEGIES IN PLACE.
This is often because the owner is trying to do everything or too much themselves, they are keeping all their knowledge inside their brain, they don’t trust anyone else to do things as well as they do them, and that’s because they haven’t systemised the way they do things and trained their team to follow the systems. This is why small businesses fail.
Yep, I did this too at first, and it sucked. Everyone would always call me asking what to do and where is this thing and how should I reply to this customer.. etc etc – then I started to document the answers to every question, make videos of how to do things, write dot point instructions for everything that needed to be done, and was able to then get staff members to train other staff members and have a documented solution and procedure for everything. I could finally sit back and know that things were running smoothly.
If this is you, let me ask you something… If you died tomorrow, would your business survive? Would it be able to run without you? Would it be able to be sold? Or would it die with you?
Here’s a fun fact: your business is not you. You started the business yes, but you have created something outside of yourself, which makes you a little bit like your own God.
You have the power to create your own little dream world and universe within your own business, and set your own rules, and give people jobs, and be a great leader that your staff and clients worship, if you want them to, but you NEED to get everything outside of your own head and systemise it.
Your team members, and other people in the world are SO much more capable that you give them credit for, and if you want a business that you can be the owner of rather than the operator, then you need to learn to give trust first to everybody.
And honestly just accept the fact that yeah, nobody else is ever going to care as much as your business as you do, but that still doesn’t mean they can’t help you to build a great business and make your dreams come true.
Seriously, systemise your business, it doesn’t have to be complicated, it can be in dot points written as simply as though a 5 year old could follow them. You can video record how to do things even and save them in a folder. It will make training new staff and expanding your business so much easier.
3. NOT ENOUGH CLIENTS OR REPEAT CLIENTS.
If a business doesn’t have enough clients it’s usually because of the following reasons:
- They’re not selling something that people actually want.
- Their marketing or advertising isn’t done well enough.
- They are not building relationships with their clients and encouraging repeat business.
- They have no sales or marketing strategy in place.
- They’re focussing too much on getting new clients rather than leveraging off the ones they already have.
All of these things can be overcome when you stop thinking about yourself and what you want for a moment and start focussing on how your business can provide the best possible customer experience for your clients.
One of the main reasons my business attracted enough clients to keep growing and expanding was because it looked great (branding) it was unique and had a personality and theme that attracted the clients we wanted to attract, it provided an incredible customer experience, we made it really easy for people to contact us, enquire and book, and we had a great system in place to keep people coming back & telling their friends.
Starting with their first point of contact with you which could be an ad, your website, your social media account, your shop front, whatever – if you don’t have consistent clients, it doesn’t mean there is anything wrong with the economy, it means there is something wrong with the way your business is communicating with the world.
The number one reason clients don’t come back to a business or don’t keep doing business with somebody is because they don’t feel valued or important. A big factor in why small businesses fail is that there is a lack of repeat customers.
So really take a look at how you can make your customers form an emotional and loyal connection with your business and your brand, and how you can provide them with the most amazing experience that they want to tell everyone they know about you, this alone will help your business grow rapidly and organically.
4. OWNER DOING TOO MUCH.
When you start a business with a small budget or non existent budget it can be difficult to consider outsourcing or hiring anyone, and often there isn’t enough work to do so in the beginning anyway, but as you grow, and if you want to grow, you NEED to let go of trying to do everything yourself and outsource the things that you either don’t enjoy or are not the best use of your time. A big reason why small businesses fail is that the owner just does too much.
You can start cheap by getting a virtual assistant to do one hour a week or a day, or even organising a trade with somebody who does something that you need and who you can help with something they need!?
It’s kind of like dropping your kids off at school for the first time when you let go of a part of your business to let someone else look after it, scary at first, but then you never want to go back.
If you want to build a great business that continues to grow, you need to build a great team that can help you get there.
It’s pretty scary at first yeah, I remember the first time I stepped out for an extended period of time (went to the USA for 5 weeks), but honestly, it was so good, and I came home with more money than I left with. That was the turning point for me. My new business growth strategy is create > systemise > delegate > repeat.
5. PRICES TOO LOW.
Another big mistake small business owners make is to price themselves too low from the start or to provide an ‘affordable’ service that brings in almost zero profit. And that’s why small businesses fail.
I’ve done this myself too, and as your business grows, and your expenses grow, if there is not enough profit on your products and services, you’ll end up getting yourself into trouble.
Another mistake business owners make when thinking about the money they make is focussing on the turnover / revenue instead of the profit they make per sale.
Just because you sell something for $100 doesn’t mean you actually make $100 every time you sell one, once you add up all the time, rent, power, subscriptions, wages, phone bills, website hosting bla bla bla, you might be only making $10 profit on that thing.
Turnover equals vanity, profit equals sanity.
There are people out there who can afford what you want to charge, so raise your prices, raise your standards, raise your game, and position yourself where you want to be. Want to know why small businesses fail? They are too afraid to charge enough.
I’ve raised my prices 3 times in 2015, and you know what? People will pay it. They will. And the quality of the clients will improve with the higher prices usually too. They will take you more seriously, they will value your service more, and they are more likely to respect you for charging what you’re worth.
You have a choice on where you position yourself in the market. Do you want to be the cheapest? Or the best? I wanted to be the best.
6. NOT BUILDING RELATIONSHIPS.
This kind of comes back to what I said in number 3. If you want to be a recognised quality brand, you need to form great relationships with people. Poor customer relationships is a key reason for why small businesses fail.
Your clients, your team, even your ‘competitors’ of which I believe there are none if you have a unique enough brand, but that’s another topic altogether…
You need to focus on giving more than taking, and you need to focus more on what people want from you rather than what you want to get from them.
When I changed my mindset around this and read one of my favourite ever books “The Go Giver” it dramatically improved my business and my life. Why small businesses fail? Because they don’t give back enough.
Every customer that comes in to your business or buys from you should be made to feel special, and not just once, ongoingly. Check up on them. Follow up. Call. Send an SMS. See how they are. Show that you value and remember them, and you will have no problem with customer retention and referrals.
Treat everyone you meet as your best friend. Put happy vibes out into the world. Love your business passionately and others will love it too. Build a network, get out there, meet people, tell your story, answer questions, have fun…
I’ve been doing this for years.
Don’t let anyone forget you exist and make sure you become a respected and admired leader that people want to follow rather than a feared boss that people only follow because they have to.
7. NO SCORECARDS / NOT TRACKING DATA.
You need to know your numbers. And if you’re not a numbers person, you need to hire somebody who is. Not knowing your numbers is a critical factor in why small businesses fail.
Business is about numbers whether you like it or not, and you need to learn to understand and love them if you want to get on top.
I personally suggest to all my clients that they keep a weekly or monthly scorecard, which is just an excel spreadsheet where you track EVERYTHING that you do and that happens in your business so that you can see all in one place how everything is going.
Have a weekly or monthly meeting with your team, your accountant, or even yourself to review your numbers and make sure you understand where you are, where your money is going, and where you are going all at times.
I take myself out to sushi train or a coffee shop weekly or monthly and review my numbers and it becomes fun, challenging and you learn to take yourself and your business a little bit more seriously.
8. WRONG MARKETING MINDSET.
Successful businesses know that it is all about the customer. The customer is the priority. The customer decides if your business will be successful or not, and the customer is who gives you their trust and their money.
In order to attract the customer correctly from the start, you have to give them what they want to see rather than what you want to show them, and the way to do this is to stop talking about yourself, your products, your services, your features etc. Stop it.
What you should be doing is talking to the customer about the results your business can provide for them, how they will feel when they visit you, walking them through the experience they will have with your company, letting them know you understand them and that you are here to solve their concerns.
Take a look at your website and current marketing and take a look at whether you are talking to your audience or talking all about yourself. If the latter, consider making some changes.
I try and make sure that in everything that I do, the customer can see what my business can do for them, what the end result will be, give them testimonials, proof of results, and as many other cool things that they want to see, rather than what I want to show them.
9. FEAR OF SPENDING MONEY / INVESTING IN EDUCATION.
A smart and successful business owner knows the importance of continually investing in their education. It keeps you motivated, it keeps you learning, it keeps you growing.
Successful business owners always look at the long term return on an investment in their business and can see the value they will get out.
Unsuccessful business owners will look at any expense as money they have to spend and don’t think about what they will get out of it at all. This is a key factor why small businesses fail.
Books, courses, coaches, mentors… if you want to get somewhere fast, find someone who has already done or is already doing what you want to do, and pay them to teach you how to get there.
I’ve personally invested over $100,000 in my own education over the last 5 years + numerous books, blogs, youtube trainings etc – you’ve got to be constantly learning. It’s so motivating and so worth it.
I used to be someone who thought I knew it all, until I took my first business course and holy wow it changed my life forever. Now I’m a course junkie and addicted to learning.
If you’re totally broke, that’s ok, go to a library, it’s free, all it takes is an investment of your time.
10. NO SUPPORT.
They say the top is lonely. And so is trying to do everything yourself and be a huge success when nobody around you is successful. Having no support is a key reason why small businesses fail.
Thanks to Facebook & meetup groups now it’s easy to find people you want to be around and join them, though be sure to make sure you are surrounded by the right people.
It’s easy to join a group full of complainers, even if they are business owners, and that’s not going to inspire and empower you to grow. And that’s another reason why small businesses fail….they are hanging around other businesses who are failing!
What you ideally want to do is join some kind of mastermind group run by somebody you admire or who can teach you things you want to know and support you along the way to actually getting there.
Doing this has made a considerable difference in the growth of my companies, the standards I set for myself and the quality of my life in general.
By surrounding yourself with a network of positive minded people who don’t let anything get in their way and are there to help lift each other up, hold each other accountable and help each other through difficult times, you will feel much more confident and supported than if you try to do everything on your own. Doing everything yourself is a major reason why small businesses fail.
If you haven’t experienced a great course or mastermind support group yet, and maybe you want to finally step out of your business this year and work ON it not IN it, you can get involved in my online course and mastermind group called THE WOLFPACK MASTERMIND, which teaches you exactly how to do everything I just went through in this article and provides you with ongoing positive support on your journey.
About the author: Carissa Hill specialises in rapid business growth through Facebook marketing and has an intimate understanding of why small businesses fail and why others are wildly successful. She is available for corporate speaking and workshop facilitation.
Do you wake up some days feeling overwhelmed before you even get out of bed?
You open your eyes, think “eeeeehhhhh I have so many things to do in my business today, wtf do I start with?”
Yep. I feel you.
If you’re a creative entrepreneur like me, it’s probably how your brain feels the majority of the time!
Which is why it’s so important to plan your day & organise the madness if you actually want to get things done.
In my 10+ years of business this super simple method has been my go-to daily organisational saviour.
And I’d like to share with you how I plan my day, get the important things done, and achieve consistent growth.
It honestly doesn’t have to be as hard as a lot of people make it out to be.
If you’ve got a lot of stuff going on in your head, the first step is to get it out, by writing it down.
Write a list of all the things you currently need or want to do, and then number them according to priority (which of these NEEDS to be done TODAY and which ones can wait a bit longer, or even aren’t really essential and can be scrapped altogether).
*Tip, making a not-to-do list is just as powerful as making a to-do list*
Make sure you get the most important things done FIRST before you distract yourself by looking at social media or even checking your emails, otherwise you will just keep procrastinating or get distracted with something else that will just add to your already chaotic mind…
And then cross things off as you go, which gives yourself physical sensation of accomplishment.
Yes it sounds re-donk-u-lously simple (because it is) but not enough people are actually taking the time to do it!
Seriously, try it out, not only will it make you feel more like you’re actually getting things done, you WILL actually get more things done, and they will be more productive if you prioritise them.
You’ll also give yourself more ‘you time’, and you’ll wake up feeling so much “lighter” and less stressed in the mornings.
Comment and let me know if you’re going to try it, or if you already do this, and feel free to share it with anyone who you know might benefit from it too.
Last week inside the Wolfpack Mastermind I ran a training for my clients on how to raise prices in your business.
This was specifically requested by one of our members who really wanted to raise prices, but felt awkward and a bit scared about doing so.
She wasn’t sure how to actually implement a prise rise, and didn’t want to upset any of her existing clients, but she knew she was worth more AND she wanted to make more money too.
This is what she specifically asked for help with:
– When to raise your prices?
– How to tell your clients both in personal and on social media? To post or not to post?
– How to handle the inevitable question of “why?” (Without sounding like a pompous asshole).
“Oh you see it’s because I’m so amazing, you little mere mortal” ?
– How to rock the higher prices and own it with zero apologies. (I feel like a money grabber! Help!)
And so I created a special training video that covered all of those things and also these things:
How to deal with resistance from customers?
Should you do a gradual increase, or one big jump?
Can you charge more for clients who just want YOU? (And not your staff members).
How should you tell your clients?
So tell me, is raising your prices something you want to do in the new year?
Because you are worth it AND you can make a lot more money for no extra work if you do!
These are just a few benefits of raising your prices:
You will position yourself higher in the marketplace.
You will make more money.
People will take you more seriously.
You will attract clients who value and respect you as an authority.
You will increase your confidence and self worth.
You will see that anything is possible (because it is)!
You will push through fears and get out of your comfort zone, and grow on a deeper level too.
If you want these things for yourself too, though you are just not quite sure how to start, then I have something for you today that will help you.
I’ve decided to do something I don’t normally do, and offer this secret training to you to purchase (separate to my course) for just USD $97. (Normally $497)
I’m also only going to have it available publicly for just 24 hours. After that, it goes back to being available for members of the mastermind only.
So if you want to raise your prices, and do it properly, and without fear or pissing anybody off… Make sure to grab this now 🙂
What Wolfpack Mastermind Members are saying after watching & implementing the training:
“I cold turkey put my prices up by between 15 and 27 percent, I stressed out, thought no one was going to book us as we are now by FAR the most expensive out of any of our competitors, things went a bit quiet for a while (coincidentally) and then low and behold we have had truckloads more bookings come though since I put the prices up than we ever have in that same time frame!
The increase in bookings are mostly all thanks to my new Facebook marketing skills, which are of course all thanks to you Carissa Hill!
Don’t be afraid to charge what you believe you are worth and what you need to charge to achieve your goals 🙂.
Best advice I got from you Carissa was “someone has to be the most expensive, it may as well be you” & “don’t compare yourself to what others in your industry are charging.”
“So, I’ve had about 20 people book for the new year in the last 3 weeks on the new price menu. Thanks for the video “
“I just increased prices by £50, and people are paying it”!
And, the sooner you successfully raise your prices in your business, the sooner you’re going to start bringing in thousands, even hundreds of thousands more throughout the year.
You can use the extra money to re-invest into your business to keep it growing, or pocket the extra profits for yourself.
You can even use the same methods to successfully implement another price rise every year if you want to.
Sooo… following this training will make you a LOT of money…
Are you ready to get your hands on it?
I’ve noticed that a lot of people seem to be having a bit of a rough time in business lately.
I can sense the stress, the desperation, the panic that kicks in when people start worrying about money, about lack of direction, about what to do and how to do it…
The emotion gets high and sometimes, poor decisions are made, which can cause regret and even more stress.
It’s important to take control of these situations as early as possible, and being someone who has been through a lot of shitty situations in business and life, I have my own little 5 step process that I follow whenever I start to feel like this too, because it does still happen.
I just deal with things a lot differently now when things go wrong compared to how I used to, and you can too.
If you’re going through a tough time right now, give this process a try, and let me know how you feel afterwards.
P.S. Have you seen the new free Facebook Marketing & Business Growth training video yet @ www.wolfpackmastermind.com ??
Step 1: Download OBS software (this is free).
Step 2: Open the application and under “Sources” add window capture.
Create new (label it whatever you want).
From the drop down menu, choose the current window you have open that you would like to share during your presentation.
Click OK and then use the red box around the outside of the image to drag the screen to the size / are you would like to show your audience.
Step 3: Click THIS LINK HERE then scroll to the blue button that says “Broadcast On Facebook Live” and click on it.
Use the drop down menu to choose which profile / page / group you want to go live in. Click Next.
Give the video a title and description explaining what you will be going live about.
Go back into OBS > click on settings > choose STREAM on the left > choose custom streaming server > enter the server URL and stream key.
Step 4: Click ‘start streaming’ on OBS
Then in the ‘go live on Facebook’ window when it is ready to go, click ‘go live’
You are now live on Facebook!
Make sure you are using a microphone or headphones with a microphone.
To view comments and viewers, you will need to watch your own live presentation on your phone, because when sharing your screen, you have to stay looking the screen you want to share on your computer while you are live.
Do you sometimes find yourself giving too much of your time, your thoughts and your energy to your competition simply by thinking about them, comparing yourself to them, worrying about what they are doing or what they think, and / or thinking not very nice thoughts about them?
It’s a really common thing that a lot of business owners deal with, but the good news is that you really don’t have to feel that way if you don’t want to.
In fact, you never have to worry about your competition in business ever again.
And I’d like to explain to you how you can do this in this video.
One of the main reasons people stress out about their competition is simply because they’re unclear on who they are, what they are doing, and who their business is for.
Any time you spend your time and energy focussing on and thinking about and talking about your competitors, you are wasting precious moments of your life that you could be spending thinking about your own customers.
You see, your competition becomes irrelevant if you spend the majority of your time focussed on how to better serve your clients and improve your own business, rather than thinking and worrying about what other people are doing.
If you really want to stand out in business, you need to be UNIQUE.
This is one of the main points I talk about in this video.
If your business is incomparable to others, it really will almost eliminate the competition anyway.
Too many businesses start up by trying to mimic and blend in to what other businesses in their industry is doing, whereas by doing this you are pretty much choosing to be seen as just another slice of an industry pie. Where everybody is just doing the same things and wondering why nobody is getting ahead!
I would like to encourage you to BE DIFFERENT if you want to stand out and be successful.
Also, if you really want to stop thinking about and worrying about your competitors, the easiest way is by just NOT paying attention to them.
Unfollow them on social media, unsubscribe from email newsletters, stop comparing yourself and wondering if you should do things more like them and ask yourself “what do my clients want from me” – that’s where your focus should be going, and that’s what will set you apart from the rest.
So, have a look at the video above, and SUBSCRIBE TO MY YOUTUBE CHANNEL if you like it and want to check out more videos designed to help you grow your business and improve your life.
Leave a comment below if you liked it and feel free to share with your friends 🙂