48. Are You Focused on the WRONG Things in Your eCommerce Business

Get ready for a little tough love because you might be the reason why your business isn’t growing at the rate you want it to. Whether you’re a newbie to business or have been in business for years, if you’re not hitting your goals this might be the reason why. 

Tune in to hear what is holding most entrepreneurs back + what you can actually do about it.

Here’s what you’ll learn: 

  • What most entrepreneurs are doing wrong
  • Why you might be following bad advice about your business
  • How to FINALLY move forward

Episodes Mentioned

Ep. 10 Acquisition vs. Retention

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Read the Full Episode Transcript

Today’s episode is short and full of a little tough love, but I know you appreciate that from me, so I’m here to give it to you. 

Stop focusing on the backend, start focusing on visibility 

The other day I was chatting with a biz friend who also works with product-based businesses, in a bit of a different capacity than I do, but we have some of the same entrepreneurs in our audience. We often will chat with each other and help each other brainstorm for our clients so we can support them as much as possible. 

The other day we were brainstorming on a shared client and how we can best help her push her business forward. What we discovered through that conversation, not only about this particular client but many entrepreneurs in the product space who are struggling to grow their business, is that even if they’ve been in business for years already one of the main reasons their business isn’t growing at the rate they’d like it to is that they are focusing on the wrong things. 

They were focusing on all the backend stuff, having the perfect website and the perfect email, agonizing over their brand messaging, their product packaging, tinkering with all the things.

But what they weren’t focused on was visibility, getting in front of their ideal customer, doing brand collaborations, creating content for social media, engaging with their audience.

Optimization means nothing if you’ve got no audience 

Here’s the deal: the website, the product packaging, your emails… that stuff is ALL important. 100% for sure it matters. I mean you know how I feel about email… 

But if you’ve only got 100 people who are seeing your website or reading your emails, no amount of optimization is going to help you! 

Now, that’s not to say you should always be chasing vanity metrics like the number of followers you have or the number of subscribers on your list… and yes one thousand true fans is so much more important than 10 thousand fans that don’t want what you’re buying – but we’ve got to be realistic about this. eCommerce is often a numbers game. The average eCommerce website only converts at 1-3%. Sure some will convert up to 5% or so but even at the high side, for every 100 people that hit your website only 5 of them are going to make a purchase. 

Not to mention… with so little traffic, email subscribers etc. you don’t have enough data or feedback to even know what you do have to optimize. So you may spend all this time redoing your website, trying to segment your list better, or updating your product packaging and that might not even be the problem!

There’s no such thing as perfect

Look, we are ALL guilty of this. Myself included. When I first started eCommerce Badassery I wasted so much fucking time tinkering with my website and every damn pixel. And really that was just me hiding behind the tech, not stepping up to show up for my business and the people who needed my services. And just a year or so later, I completely revamped the damn thing anyway. 

This obsession with perfection is really just a mask for fear. Fear that we’ll be judged or ridiculed, fear that our product isn’t good enough, fear that we’re not good enough. 

And just to drive this whole perfectionism thing home… In the words of Michael Hyatt, “Perfectionism is the mother of procrastination,” and Brene Brown said it best when she said, “Perfectionism is self-destructive because there’s no such thing as perfect. Perfection is an unattainable goal.”

Prioritize where you spend time in your business

What’s the moral of the story here? When you’re prioritizing what’s next in your business and where you are going to be spending your time, or where you’re going to have your team spend their time please, please, please make sure it makes sense for your business and where you’re at right now. 

I love that you are dedicated to your business and that you want to constantly improve and all that jazz — it’s amazing that you’re always learning and trying new things. That’s what entrepreneur life is all about. But… time is your MOST precious commodity, so it’s really important that you’re putting that effort where it’s really going to count. And when you’re still trying to establish your business, catch traction and build your business, a lot of that time is going to be spent on acquiring new customers. 

And truth be told, how long your business has been around has little to do with this decision. Because there are some eComm businesses that have been running for years, but still don’t have solid revenue numbers and are still struggling to grow. 

If you’re not sure where you’re at and how much time you should be spending on trying to acquire new customers, listen to episode 10 of the eCommerce Badassery podcast where I break this down a bit more for you. 

Don’t talk business with people who aren’t in business (or aren’t your ideal customer)

The other thing we discovered is that so many of us, and I say “us” because seriously, every entrepreneur struggles with this at some point — or should I say, many points in their journey — question what we’re doing in our business based on the opinions of people who are not our ideal customer and who are not successful business owners or marketers. 

And here’s the thing… those people totally have your best interest at heart. It’s because they love you and want to see you succeed and they probably don’t realize that they’re giving you bad advice. 

I talked about this before in another episode, I don’t remember which one, when I was getting ready to quit my 9-5 job. I didn’t tell my mother about it until it was already done, because she’s not a self-employed individual and she’s my mom, so of course she’s going to worry about me. And she has the same story in her head, just like I used to, that having a 9-5 gives you security, blah blah blah. All the crap we as entrepreneurs know is actually bullshit. 

I think I also told the story of me and a friend who realized as two single girls, we should stop giving each other dating advice. 

And one last example and then I’ll stop harping on. Would you take financial advice from a broke person who’s in debt and can’t pay their bills? No, you probably wouldn’t. 

So look, if the only people you have in your circle are those who have never done what you’re doing, are not where you want to be, or aren’t your ideal customer… then you need a new circle. Not to say you cut everyone else out of your life… you just stop talking to them about business. 

Accept that you don’t know everything 

And one last note here… once you are in a room with the right people who have the wisdom to share with you. Make sure you’re open to hearing it. 

If we want to grow our businesses, we have to be coachable. We have to realize that we don’t know it all, that we might be too close to our businesses to see things clearly, and that if what we’ve already been doing on our own hasn’t gotten us to our desired destination it’s possible that we’re getting in our own way. 

So here’s what I want you to take away from today’s episode. 

  1. If you see yourself in what I’m talking about — don’t beat yourself up. Every entrepreneur goes through this. 
  2. Be brutally honest with yourself. Are you resisting the things that will truly move your business forward? And if you are… why is that? Everyone is going to be a bit different, but for me as soon as I can recognize something and say it out loud, it’s much easier to move past it and change my behavior. For you, it might be something deeper that you need to work on. But the first step in anything is recognizing the problem. 
  3. If you’re not sure if this is you, start tracking the amount of time that you’re spending working on the backend tasks that don’t actually make you money, to the marketing and visibility piece. If you’re spending more time tinkering with your website than you are getting eyes on your business, it’s likely you’re spending time in the wrong place. 
  4. Surround yourself with the right people. This can be a biz bestie, a facebook group of other eCommerce entrepreneurs, or maybe you need a more structured mastermind or group coaching program so you can stop working in a silo all by yourself. 

Whatever you decide to do, remember that none of it works if you don’t put it into action, if you don’t actually HEAR the feedback you’re being given. At the end of the day, if you think you know everything best, then don’t you think you’d already be where you want to go?

Move forward by getting uncomfortable

And you know what… it’s going to be uncomfortable to ask for help. It’s going to be uncomfortable when you have to admit that you were doing it wrong, it’s going to be uncomfortable when you realize you have been hiding behind the tech because you’re afraid to put yourself out there… But in the words of Kristi Soomer, a recent guest on the podcast, “If you’re comfortable as an entrepreneur you’re doing something wrong.“ 

Check out Kristi’s full Episode 47 interview here.

Please know that everything I say today is said with love and serves as a reminder to myself too. NO ONE is immune to going through this, even those who look like they have it all together on the outside. 

Thank you so much for spending your time with me today. I hope I’ve inspired you to take a good look at how you’re showing up in your business + that you can TOTALLY do this. You just need to do more of the RIGHT things. 

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Hey, I’m Jessica!

eCommerce + email Marketing Strategist

I support scrappy female entrepreneurs with actionable steps & strategies to grow and scale the traffic, sales & profit in their eCommerce businesses. Learning from the top experts in the digital marketing & eCommerce industry she loves working with female entrepreneurs and teaching the secrets of 7-figure eCommerce businesses.

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