Regardless of the industry you work in, there are certain mistakes that all small business owners should avoid, including:
1. Not planning
When you are a small business owner it is important that you plan, plan, plan! Planning will allow you to dictate your business trajectory and give you the confidence to know you are on the right track to meet your goals. Planning will allow you to see where you want to be in six months, 12 months and even years from now. By having a robust planning process, you might be able to foresee any spots where you need to improve. The planning stage is also a good time to reach out to your network. Your peers might have been in a similar position to you and their advice could be invaluable. Don’t be too proud to ask for help!
2. Not setting goals
Do you know where you want to be six months from now? How will you know if you’re truly succeeding if you’re not setting measurable goals? Goal-setting is one of the best ways to hold you and your team accountable. Make sure the goals you set are easily measurable and, most of all, realistic. Don’t expect your business to deliver a return on investment within the first month. You may not break-even for a while. Make sure you’re keeping track of your goals and know how far you are from meeting them. Celebrate every win and success to keep you and your team motivated!
3. Not knowing your customer
Do you know your customer, their wants and needs? Knowing who you’re selling to will allow you to tailor your product or customer service strategy. As a small business owner, your local community is your most valuable asset. Are you making sure you’re connected with them? Going to community events might be the perfect opportunity to network and meet potential customers.
4. Not hiring the right staff
It’s no secret that the right team will lead you to success. Hire people smarter than you! You should also take the time to hire the right balance of people. By having the right balance of people, your business will boast the right working attitude. Once you have the right group of people working for you, make sure each team member feels valued. Don’t be scared to give and receive feedback. If your team is small, you should know each team member individually and know how they like to be managed, what keeps them motivated and make sure you keep your high performers feeling valued and motivated. When hiring, keep in mind that small businesses do not have the luxury of getting a hire wrong. Make sure you’re taking the time to find the right fit, as one wrong hire could impact your business dramatically.
Last but certainly not least, try not to overspend on things you don’t need. You might be excited about your new business and want the best, however, buying the best of everything could hurt you financially. Why not write a list of everything you need, prioritise, and make sure you shop around for the best deals on the items you need. Once you’re business is delivering a consistent and strong return on your investment, you can think about splashing out on a new this or that.