Podcast Episode Transcript
Aaron Henriques: [00:00:00] So I'm going to go over the top five business mistakes that new entrepreneurs make when starting up their own online business. And I'm Aaron Henriques an online startup coach and entrepreneur, and I'm going to go through these five things and these five things, it's not just me observing from other people.
[00:00:17] I've done all these things myself. Okay. So I know that reflecting back on things, knowing that these are the things that do not work. Yeah. First thing I'll go into is lots of people do these five things for a reason. And that's because they think that, well, this is what I think a business looks like.
[00:00:39] So I'm going to do these things, try and copy them. And then that should make me a success. But you're wrong. So I'll go into them about what the five things are and what you can do to overcome them and make sure you're not making the same mistake that I did. And I see literally tons of other people doing every single day.
[00:00:59] Right? So first one is a call answering services and outsourcing. Now the problem with that is, you know, I started my own business when I was working full-time in the police, right. I could have gone straight to answering services and outsourcing some tasks. In fact, I did, but it needed to say I went straight to the answering service before I was getting any calls.
[00:01:26] Does it make sense? No, the problem with that is if you don't have calls coming in, but you're paying for service. What's the sense of having a call answering service? So before you've even gone ahead and started getting those leads coming in, getting phone calls, you've got to make it become a problem first. Okay. So if you make it become a problem, when it is actually a problem.
[00:01:53] So when, when you've got calls coming in and you find that you've got missed calls and I don't know, you've got voicemails that are coming in and stuff like that. Then maybe you need a quartering service, but until that happens, you don't. Okay. So that's one that's mistake. Number one, that I see people.
[00:02:08] The second one is branding, stationary, promotional materials going out there spending literally in cases, thousands and thousands of pounds on your branding, because you think somehow that's going to like magically do things, you know, magically do things for you.
[00:02:25] People will go buy loads of stationary and promotional materials with their go on because it looks fantastic and we'll get these business cards that nobody will ever use. Right. Trust me, I've done it. You know, I think the one start startup business. I had spent £6,000 pounds and effectively what ended up being a logo and someone choosing colors for me.
[00:02:47] Right. It doesn't make any sense. You don't need to, you could go on canva.com, literally design it yourself. Your logo doesn't matter that much. Okay. If you're wasting your time on building up the brand. Okay. Before you even made your first sale. You know, obviously you need something there, but you don't need to be spending endless amounts of time and money on doing that.
[00:03:09] I know the stationary and the promo materials guys and ghosts, you just don't need it, you know, forget about it. Do it another time. Do it later down the line. If you're going to some massive trade event where you need to give them out, then fair enough. But until then you don't need it. Okay.
[00:03:23] The next thing that I see people doing loans and overdrafts now it's most likely. Did your business idea, particularly if it's an online business, probably you do not need a loan or an overdraft to be starting out your business. Okay. That there are cases. So tech for example, even then think about, do you want to be getting a loan or do you want to test your idea? First of all, test your idea.
[00:03:48] Get some investors. Getting in front of investors and see what they think. And if they think it's a great idea, they're going to stick money in it early doors. Cause they get a nice chunk of your business, very early doors, but then they'll also help you with it. So think about, do you really need loans and overdrafts?
[00:04:04] I remember when I started my cleaning company when I was in the police I put in a load of my money to, to buy the franchise licenses. It's a franchise and also. I bought, I ended up taking a loan as well, and then also spent stuff on like I've mentioned before, like stationary and promotional materials and branding stuff.
[00:04:24] And yeah, just this random crap that you've convinced yourself that you need as an entrepreneur and you just don't need it. You know, chances are, you don't need it. That is a way you can deal with that. You can do something called the S.W.O.T techniques as the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.
[00:04:41] Anything of thinking about, you know, think about why you really need it. You know, I think about the strengths in, in what it is, the weaknesses in what it is, you know, what opportunity is it going to bring to you? Okay. And by not having it, what's the threat to you? You know, I, I convinced myself I needed this a hundred and something pound wall map that was on my wall.
[00:05:03] I don't know what I was pointing up there. It was on a wall that's probably 200 miles away from there, or 150 miles away from here in Essex. When I used to live over there, Yeah. I convinced myself with this wall map. Now I had this wall map up on my wall that was of no use to me whatsoever because I use Google maps.
[00:05:23] I use Google maps. Obviously I was going to use Google maps. I think we just stupid wall map, you know, but it's things like that. You can literally, it's so easy when you've got too much access to too much money. You start throwing money at problems and quite often that's not necessary. All right.
[00:05:40]The next thing, number four is getting an office and staff. Now getting an office and staff, they're both, they're both very expensive things. And if you're running an online business, 9 times out of 10, you do not need an office or staff. It might make you feel better. It might make you feel like you're playing at the game of business. Okay. But you don't need them.
[00:06:05] Right. Most likely you just don't need them work online. People have, now people have proven people have proven the fact that it can be done remotely, even gigantic companies. Okay. Using the same tools, the exact same tools that you can access for free. In most cases, to be able to manage teams of tens of thousands.
[00:06:27] Deloitte have recently announced that they're, you know, they're going to take a permanent stance where people can work from home permanently. Okay. So all these massive offices in London, God knows what's going to happen with them. You know, there's talks of people, redeveloping, that and stuff. So getting an office and staff think about what do you need to staff for?
[00:06:49] Okay. If you really think you need a member of staff for something, think about what are the tasks, because if you're not already overloaded with stuff, if you're not literally. Doing important tasks, revenue generating tasks, right? Don't fight. Don't get yourself in a position where you're doing all this nonsense stuff where, you know, busy work, but actually getting you anything, you know, you're doing everything to avoid actually going out there and get, and your customers because that's what a lot of people do and they don't realize it.
[00:07:20] Okay. So if you're thinking about taking on the staff, think about, well, do you actually need to hire staff here? Could you get a virtual assistant for a couple of hours a day, a couple of hours a week, even if you need an outsource it to another company. I know I mentioned about outsourcing, but if you really need staff, cause they're so expensive, you know, if, especially when you're starting out, it's a real big expense for you.
[00:07:46] And it's a massive commitment. Okay to, to get them. Whereas if you outsource to like a VA or a third party company to take on whatever the small tasks are that you really need, that maybe are not expert at that you need the support with go on fiverr.com. Okay. You can pretty much find any type of freelancer that you could ever need out there who will do the work for you. Okay. Whatever it is, you need thing.
[00:08:15] Now, the fifth. The most important I think for online businesses is, and I see it a lot and it's a shame it's people spending their entire startup fund on getting a super flashy website. Okay. So spent their entire startup fund or getting a super flashy website and think that somehow. Because you've gone and you've gone and paid for all your branding, which was number two. Now you've got to pay for this really fancy, you know, absolutely bells and whistles, everywhere website, that that is going to suddenly drive a load of customers to you. And it's not. Let me just tell you that it's not going to happen.
[00:09:07] Okay. So you're not just going to have people magically come, just cause your website. You'd have a very expensive site and no customers. Okay. It's a complete backwards thinking, you know, you could set up as a website, very inexpensively. Okay. If you don't have the technical skills to direct go on somewhere like fiverr.com.
[00:09:26] Okay. There's plenty of web design agencies who, who can do it. You know, you could give you a really good site for, you know, £500 quid, maybe up to a couple of grand if you really needed it or just learn to do it. Yeah. It depends on, it depends on you and your situation. It can then the next thing within the website, sort of very much linked to it is the spends, you know, £5000, £10,000 on their flashy website.
[00:09:49] And they've spent all this money on the branding and stuff, and they're talking about, they want this, you know, they want this sustainable business. They want to quit their job, you know, within the next few months, because from all the business they're going to get in and stuff like that.
[00:10:03] And then what they'll cheap out on. It's the most important thing is the marketing side is the most important thing, guys. They'll go and try and do Facebook ads themselves. They'll click on the boost post button, you know, they'll put up a post on Facebook and click on the boost, post button and hope to hell that does something. And yeah, it does do something.
[00:10:24] It gives Facebook more of your money that that's for sure. Or, they'll go and do as DIY Google ads campaign. And spend a couple of hundred pounds on that and say, oh, it doesn't work. Instead of getting the professionals in to do that job and what they won't do most importantly, which I can tell you is my number one thing that has helped my businesses to grow is implementing SEO search engine optimization, which is the thing that will get you and your website on top of Google.
[00:11:02] On top of the page 1 of Google for whatever it is that your business does and all the keywords surrounding that. Okay. They neglect that as the most important thing. Now, what you tend to find is that further down the line, a year down the line, when they've seen, they're not getting any traction. I spoke to people where I spoke to them a year before they'd been going for a year.
[00:11:27] They've then realized that they needed SEO because it's not going to magically come. Even though they spent tons of money on this website is not going to match it because you bring traffic. And then even then I remember this one client, particularly, you know, one client for them would be worth about £20,000 pounds, but I weren't prepared to spend £500 quid a month on SEO, which could have driven, you know, thousands of people to their site. Right.
[00:11:54] I understand it, but it's, it's something that happens so often. And if you don't want to be one of them, people that spend all this money on a site and spend all this time, starting up your businesses, then think about, do you really need these cold answering and outsourcing services? Do you really need to spend on your branding, your stationary?
[00:12:12] Do you need all these lines? You need the office and staff. Do you need the expensive website? No. What you do need is a okay. Website. Get professionals to actually, if you don't know how to do it properly, if you don't know how to run, set up a proper Facebook campaign or proper Google ads campaign, which 9 times out of 10, you probably don't.
[00:12:32] If you haven't done it before, then you definitely don't. Okay. It's super complicated. That's why these agencies cost so much money. And if you're not implementing SEO, that to me is just telling me that you don't intend for this business to last. Okay. Cause that's the only way, the only way. So 99.999% of businesses out there that you are going to get sustainable amounts of traffic visiting your website are going to start paying you money.
[00:13:00] Okay. So that's really it. That's my top five things. And really all you need to do guys and girls out there, you entrepreneurs that are trying to start up online is learn how to sell, you know, spend more, more of your time. On actually getting out there, getting leads, you know, wherever it's LinkedIn, you're going on, whether it's through social media engagement, you're talking on other people's posts, but if you're actually going outside outside of your house, but if you're out, it's not in locked down and go in, actually knock on people's doors.
[00:13:33] You know, when I say people's doors, if you're selling business to business stuff, like, I don't know your cleaning company in London in London, go. Yeah, knock on businesses, doors, you need the cleaner? You know, do whatever it takes for you to get your sales in. And overall you need a realistic plan. Now, one of the things that you can do to create a realistic plan is just.
[00:13:57] Their business plan sounds simple. Right. But it sounds people don't do. And that will go through everything that you need to start up, you know? And it would help you to look at things on paper. The things actually stack up financially, particularly if they don't, then you go back to the drawing board and rejig your plan, or just get different idea completely.
[00:14:20] So if you're going to take away anything. Just really think about what you actually need to start up your own online business, rather than thinking about the things that look like. You know, they look like what it, it, it really needs to start up rather than the things, rather than trying to copy what you think the business looks like.
[00:14:52] Okay. So I'm Aaron Henriques. If you want to learn more, you can follow me on Instagram. That's @AaronHenray on Instagram is AaronHenray on Instagram. Feel free to DM me if you have any questions about like starting out, or if you want further explanation, any of the five things that I've spoken about today, just DM and may, the team will get back to you.