Leaders Perception Magazine is currently running an interview series called – What Are The Top 5 Mistakes People Make When Starting A New Business?
Today, we had the opportunity to interview Lee Cristina Beaser who is a Founder at The Career Counter.
Interviewee Name: Lee Cristina Beaser
Company: The Career Counter
Lee Cristina Beaser’s favourite quote: “The road to success and the road to failure are almost exactly the same.” — Colin R. Davis
Thank you so much for joining us today! Tell us a little bit about yourself. What is your backstory?
Lee Cristina Beaser : Hello! I’m Lee, founder of The Career Counter.
I actually never intended to start my own business.
Ever since I was a kid I wanted to write and publish a book. When I first started in my field of career coaching about 20 years ago, I simultaneously started working on writing children’s books.
After about 100 rejections, I decided to switch gears to non-fiction and write a book about how to navigate your career since that was what my formal training encompassed.
At the time I was working at a university helping college students land internships and jobs, so I focused my book on the college student population. I knew I needed a following to market my book, so I decided to also start a career blog.
Soon after starting my blog and getting dozens more rejections for my book, I decided to re-focus my blog around helping moms navigate their careers. I had just become a mom and I was trying to juggle parenting and navigating my own career, so it felt natural to focus on writing about what I was currently living.
So once again I put my book publishing dream on hold and went full-throttle into writing blog articles, building my website and business, and making career products to help moms re-enter the workforce after a career pause. I’ve always had a big passion for creating career tools and products, so I quickly discovered I could make and sell these types of products if I started my own online business.
The first few years I poured my blood, sweat, and tears into my business and didn’t make any money (in fact, I actually lost money). Right about when I was ready to quit, I turned a huge corner and finally started selling products and making a profit.
In your opinion, what makes your company stand out? Any examples?
Lee Cristina Beaser : I pride myself on having stellar customer service. I treat each customer like they’re my very first customer. My career services are tailored and customized to each client based on where they are at in their career journey.
What are the TOP 5 mistakes people make when starting a new business? Please share advice/examples for all of them.
Lee Cristina Beaser : Mistake #1: Not doing your due diligence.
The first mistake I made when I started my online business three years ago was hiring an over-priced, incompetent web designer.
I did not do my research. Had I researched this person before I hired him, I would have quickly discovered a couple very bad reviews from prior clients. This would have been a huge red flag for me and I likely would not have hired him.
After paying this web designer a large amount of money to build me a website on Wix (word of caution, do not make your website on Wix if you ever want to make money on your website), I quickly realized the work he was doing was something I could easily teach myself.
I fired him shortly after and per our agreement, got 50% of my money back. I was glad I got some money back but I am still kicking myself for that costly mistake.
Mistake #2: Not having a clear understanding of who your target audience is and what is their greatest pain point.
When I started my business, I immediately started making lots of products without first figuring out the pain point of my targeted market. My business is centered around helping parents re-enter the workforce after a career break, as well as mid-career changers. I was clear on my target audience, but not what they truly needed.
I made lots of fancy career toolkits. The problem was that my potential customers didn’t really need them.
After making very few sales and almost quitting (many times), I finally figured out what the biggest pain point for my targeted audience: writing a resume. That’s when I started making money in my business. I began to make products and developed services (i.e., resume templates and resume writing service) that job seekers were willing to spend money on.
Mistake #3: Advertising on the wrong platforms.
For example, at first I ran my ad campaigns on Facebook because I was taking a business course from a woman who had had huge success marketing and selling her products on that platform.
However, I quickly realize after wasting thousands of dollars on Facebook ads, that people don’t go on Facebook for career help. They go primarily to major search engine sites like Google. After I started focusing on marketing on Google, I started to sell my career products.
Mistake #4: Buying every course about starting a business
Another mistake I made in the early stages of starting my business was being tempted to throw money at every course promising to help me in my business. From how to build your email list quickly, to how to make money selling online courses, to everything in between, there are literally hundreds of classes out there promising to magically grow your business.
This goes back to doing your due diligence. Before you enroll in a course or hire a professional, research thoroughly and wait a week or two before making a decision. Connect with people on social media who have taken the course you are considering and ask them about their results. If you still want to spend the money after giving it some time and thought, then perhaps it’s a good investment.
Mistake #5: Being afraid to fail
If you are scared of failure, you should not start your own business. One very valuable thing I’ve learned is that you will fail MANY times before you are successful in your business. The key is learning from each failure and not being too hard on yourself; not giving up.
It’s crucial for entrepreneurs to have a positive mindset. The negative thoughts will always try to overpower you. But you’ve got to be stronger than your thoughts and try to replace the “I can’t” with “I can do this!”
Leaders Perception magaizne would like to thank Lee Cristina Beaser for the time dedicated to completing this interview and sharing their valuable insights with our readers!
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