When you run a small business, you have many opportunities to learn. Some mistakes are more expensive than others, but this blog is all about helping you avoid hard-learned lessons. You must be careful with your marketing efforts, you must get help, you need to have a sales process that doesn’t turn people off, you want to make sure that your web presence invites people to do business with you, and that you have financial control of your small business. Here are the top five mistakes small business owners make.
1. Not having a niche: If everyone can use your product or service, no one will. It’s easy to get all over the map with your marketing when you are starting out in business. You must focus on a specific niche customer. You have limited time and limited resources, stay focused on doing your one thing and doing it better than anyone else, and the world will beat a path to your door. Don’t be afraid about the business you think you are going to lose by being a specialist, stay focused.
2. Coming across as desperate: When you put all your skin in the game, (meaning all your personal money) you can start to feel the burn as months go by and you’re not closing enough business. Just like you can borrow money when you don’t need it, you can never let anyone see you sweat. As bad as you need a check, you can never act like you need one. If you sell too hard to new clients, it can come across as desperate. Focus on building long term relationships with clients, which will turn them into advocates, which is far better to sustain your small business long term.
3. Not delegating: Do not spend your time doing $10 an hour work.. You are doing at least 12 jobs at times, and it’s easy to get spread too thin. As soon as you can, at least bring on some virtual employees; so that you can focus on what you do best, which had better be selling. Document your processes in your small business, so that you can teach your signature way of doing things. Hire smart people and empower them to solved problems without your direct involvement. Keep an open line of communication with them, so even if they make a mistake you use it as a learning opportunity and keep it moving.
4. Not managing your online brand: You can’t sell anything with a bad website. Create a regular blog; position yourself and your business as a credible source of information to your target audience. At least once a year, you should give your website a facelift. Especially, make sure your shopping cart is easy to use. You never want to aggravate a paying customer. You also should have Google alerts on your personal name as well as your business names. Retailers should not suffer a black eye on a review site. You should respond to the good and bad reviews about your business online. Social media is the most cost effective way to engage with prospects online, make sure your business is actively engaged on at least one social media site. Post to your social media accounts every day.
5. Not Knowing Your Numbers: Profit is how we keep score in business. You must know all of your costs in your business, including your monthly burn rate, or how much money it costs you to run your business each month. You must have regular accounting processes so that you have updated financial statements. You should be using accounting software. If you make business decisions based on up to date financial information, you won’t have too many expensive surprises.
“I Made A Big Mistake” courtesy of stockimages / www.freedigitalphotos.net
Do you have any other small business mistakes to share?
Thank you it’s very interesting!
I guess I struggle with bringing in a steady influx of business, clients.
I would like to get some ideas or assessment, to see what u would suggest, where I am falling down or what I need to do differently. Thank you again
Nice post…… “another mistake is assuming what will happen in the future about their business without a written plan and realistic goals”.