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Starting a new business poses unique challenges. These first few years are critical to your long-term success and growth. When starting a digital marketing agency, you will encounter certain challenges and you may make some of these common mistakes. Here's what they are and how to avoid them.
Mistake 1: Not setting the right expectations
As in any other type of business, setting the right expectations for your customers is a must. Don't promise too much, especially if you are not sure whether you will get these results. Better to let go of a lead with unrealistic expectations than close the sale and deal with a disgruntled customer along the way. Be honest with yourself and with them.
Mistake 2: get into debt
Don't be into fault. Often times, debt can be a problem for your business due to the unknowns of a new business. In a moment of crisis or in the event that you need to cut your expenses, this fixed payment can weigh on your business. Staying debt free as much as possible in the beginning is a huge benefit for you.
Mistake 3: no budget
A budget is essential to handling the ups and downs of a new business. You need to know exactly what you are doing with your money, what your expenses and profits are, and where you are going. Understanding where your money is going each month is an important part of the business that many entrepreneurs fear, but it's a powerful tool that will keep you in control.
See also: Dave Ramsey's 5 Budgeting Tips for Small Business Owners
Mistake 4: Not working hard enough
Digital marketing agency owners are often drawn to the digital aspect of the job because they are looking for a job they can do from anywhere. The freedom to be your own (online) boss is appealing, but you have to work hard for a few years to achieve it.
Building a strong foundation is crucial and you have to work harder than ever. If you worked 8 hours a day in your previous job, you may need to give your agency 10 or more. However, the sacrifice will pay off in the future.
Mistake 5: I'm trying to do anything
Whether you are an expert or not, get help. This can mean a team, a learning platform, new processes or a mentor. Focus on growing and managing your business. Try to delegate everything else.
Another option is to outsource your services to a white label company, especially if you don't have a lot of experience with all of the digital marketing platforms. Outsourcing is not only an inexpensive way to scale your agency, but also a way to offer higher quality and expand your offerings.
Mistake 6: Not understanding the normally opener's patience
You need to understand your customer's ability to close leads. For example, a lawyer in New York doesn't have the time or patience to schedule appointments out of 1,000 leads. Analyze the stage your customer is in, the types of leads they need, and their ability to pursue them. In some cases, the quality actually exceeds the ROI.
Mistake 7: signing long-term contracts with service providers
When starting an agency, your recurring income is often low and your churn is often high. Do not commit yourself to long-term contracts with your service providers. Instead, pay month after month, even if the cost is higher. Paying month to month can quickly cut costs when you have a difficult month instead of sticking to high fixed payments.
Again, a budget will help you with this. If you are on a budget and stick to it, you shouldn't have any problems affording a monthly contract. And if you do, you can cancel at any time.
Mistake 8: Outsourcing Without Knowing How To Measure Performance
Outsourcing can be key to growing your agency, but only if you understand and know how to measure performance. Agree with your outsourcing partner and get your expectations right. However, if you don't know a lot about performance and are just learning, make sure you hire a white label agency that you trust completely.
Related Topics: Learn How To Grow Your Business On A Budget By Outsourcing
Mistake 9: underestimating difficulties
Starting and growing a business is difficult, and wanting the income is not enough to keep you motivated during troubled times. Find a commitment, whether it be for your family, paying for your daughter's college, buying a home, or changing the lives of others. When you commit to something that's bigger than money – and bigger than yourself – you stay focused on the right things.
Mistake 10: charging way too much
Don't overload. This does not mean that you are working for free, just that you are asking a fair price. Your price should be enough to make a profit, with space to work and good results for your customers. Later, when your customers see the value of your work, you can think about increasing prices.
The key to long-term success is retention. Keep your customers happy and don't overdo your services. Let them see the value you can bring to their business, gain their trust and let them see that you are the expert they need.