5 Mistakes Small Business Make
Mistakes happen in business, even for small businesses. That’s how we learn, right? Correct! The truth is when those mistakes happen, you have to learn from them and try desperately not make them again. That’s sort of a life motto, not just for business. That said, everyone still tries to avoid making mistakes. That’s completely normal. What if you knew ahead of time what the typical mistakes were and if you could avoid them? Wouldn’t that be great? Well, we’ve been working that type of list for your business to prepare you for the new year.
Take a look at some of the biggest mistakes small businesses make according to experts like Robert Herjavec from Shark Tank.
1. Poor Planning – You have to have a plan, goals etc…
We’ve mentioned how vital planning is for a business. Take a look at this previous post on getting an annual plan ready for your business. Those who don’t plan, can’t grow like they should. Some businesses struggle with this. Make a commitment to plan more and stick to it. According to the Small Business Administration, “About two-thirds of businesses with employees survive at least 2 years and about half survive at least 5 years.” Planning can help the longivty of your business and keep you focused.
2. Knowing Your Numbers – Finance and Accounting
If you’ve watched Shark Tank, then you know what a pet peeve this is for the sharks including, Robert Herjavec. How many times have you had to discuss your business and you can’t get past the numbers? Are they not impressive or slightly embarrassing? If you’re serious about your business, you have to be able to discuss the financial part. What are your expenses? What is your net income? What is your cost per customer? Being able to know these on a daily basis is essential.
3. No Branding & Marketing – Looking beyond your logo
We’ve talked about the absence of planning to include marketing before, but did you know what a big mistake it is? It’s true. According to Herjavec, “Branding is your whole package,…everything the customer interacts with you on.." To undervalue your image to a customer or to ignore it can put your business in serious jeopardy. Take a look at your competitors, large and small, and look at their brand. Your brand image must be able to stay top of mind to your customer and surpass your competitors. Taking the time to interact, service and/or staying relevant is essential and branding and marketing will get you there.
4. The Lack of Big Vision – Thinking Big!
Herjavec says, “Small business owners have a problem with thinking big." Your business is small, but you don’t have to think that way. Many small businesses make this mistake instead of planning for bigger and better growth. Ways to improve your thinking is by focusing on your niche, be innovative, find strategic partnerships or other resources. Think about if you had to grow, how would you do it?
5. Learning from Your Mistakes – Failure is a part of the process.
Herjavec is a firm believer on making mistakes and learning from them. He's quoted as saying, "I often say that I'm a little bit successful today not because of the things I've done great, but because of the millions of things I've done wrong and recovered from."
Having any business comes with it's ups and downs. Learning how to deal with the challenges your business presents you, can be the difference of having a business and owning a successful one.