I want to remind you about some very common mistakes that can let down a new or existing business. Some of these are mistakes are easily rectified and some will take more time and consideration. Add these important tasks to your rolling ‘to do’ list and gradually assemble your business jigsaw! 1. Be e-mail savvy. Don’t operate your business from a hotmail or Gmail email account; it looks very ‘temporary’ and amateurish. If you have a website then you’ll usually be able to have at least 5 different email addresses assigned to the domain name (if not more). Some service providers may charge a small amount extra for this, but this creates an immediate professional image of your business rather than a hobby business. 2. Regularly update websites. Keep a close eye on your website. Are there any broken links, outdated offers, or old information still showing? Regularly update your website with interesting information to keep your visitors engaged. If you have a good website, it will help you attract new visitors and keep them coming back for more. 3. Know your brand. Have a good brand identity. This is one of my golden rules when starting a new business. Whether your business has a name, or you’re using your own name, it still needs branding with a professionally designed logo. It’s very easy to tell the ‘home made’ logos (chosen from a site such as Vista Print) because lots of other businesses use the same! However small your business is, you must invest in a logo design in order to gain credibility from day one! 4. Be visible on-line. Have a steady online presence. I wouldn’t expect to see a business to have a presence on all social media channels (such as Twitter, Google +, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, etc). Choose at least one of these channels where your audience hangs out, which is the right platform for your particular business. Make regular updates to stay visible to the outside world and have a unique ‘voice’ for your business. 5. Embrace business plans. Create and refer to a business plan. It will ensure that you have an end destination for your business and that you have plotted the journey of how to get there. Without one, how would you expect to chart and benchmark your progress and successes? It’s meant to be fluid and change as your business evolves, rather than be set in stone. Article written by Jan Ibbott – Business Buddy – Business Growth Adviser

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