It’s an epidemic out there in the entrepreneurial world.
Anyone out there suffering from CAPS (Customer Acquisition Procrastination Syndrome)? Symptoms include the eager urge to work on ANYTHING and EVERYTHING except finding customers to build a new business. Your doctor (or mentor) doesn’t need to tell you that building a business is contingent on finding paying customers, yet new entrepreneurs often dive into the more fun, less important tasks first!
Here is a list of symptoms that show that you may be suffering from CAPS. If you are an entrepreneur that has done any of these before or instead of finding customers, you may need intervention:
- Are you tackling social media completely manually? Or consuming it constantly?
- Do you have a constant, burning urge to check your stats: Facebook likes, Twitter followers, email list subscribes and unsubscribes.
- Do you find yourself running errands ALL. THE. TIME?
- Are you bogged down by clerical tasks instead of growing your business?
- Did you find and rent a fancy office space, before you had clients?
- Are you on a hiring binge – before you have actual work for the new talent to do?
- Did you throw a red carpet launch party, before actually finding a customer?
- Spending all day browsing email newsletters, reading blogs, watching videos, and skimming books?
- Did you spend months creating a fancy logo, slick business cards and a fancy feature-and-content-filled website before you were certain about the product you were offering and the customer you were offering it to?
- Are you letting daily stimuli sway your day instead of spending the day focusing on building actual leads and customers?
- Are you feverishly attending random networking events in the hopes you will meet the right people that may help spread the word about your business?
The only cure for this severe ailment is to find your first paying customer! And after that, rinse and repeat as often as you can, every day.Have you procrastinated in finding a customer? Please share your experiences in the comments below!
This was originally posted on #entrepreneurfail: Startup Success.
If you have to beg…you’re probably not working on the right leads.
Planning, executing, and closing the sales for your venture are arguably the most important tasks in starting a business. Too many new entrepreneurs (myself included) decide to go for the gold, and aim directly for customers, without putting in all the work it requires at the beginning.
Here are the biggest mistakes and #entrepreneurfail examples that new entrepreneurs make when working on marketing and sales:
- Targeting anyone and everyone and not focusing on a niche: I recently mentored students creating business plans. One student was targeting all women ages 12-65. Would a pre-teen girl want the same product as her grandmother? Probably not! The key is to imagine an ideal customer profile and then find him/her (instead of convincing everyone to become the ideal customer).
- Focusing on leads that are not able and willing to pay: I would love to provide free services to everyone I could, but that wouldn’t result in a sales funnel. Qualifying leads for ability and willingness to pay is key.
- Providing no compelling education in marketing or lead magnet: If you have no way of identifying “hot leads” how will you make any sales? Some examples include ebooks and videos.
- Forgetting to reach out to people you know to see if they can refer qualified leads: I often forget about my own networks when we start searching for clients. Even if my contacts are not my ideal customer, they may know someone who fits the bill!
Was it tough knocking down that first lead? Tell us about your experiences it in the comments below.
Enjoyed this post? It was originally seen on #entrepreneurfail: Startup Success. Find others like it!