Running a small business is hard work, and the vast majority of entrepreneurs make it even harder by falling into simple traps. Think your venture is free from those errors? It’s time to think again.
Here are just six of the most common mistakes that could be standing between your business and optimum success. Attend to those issues immediately, and the future of your company will look bigger and brighter than ever.
No.1: Failing to appreciate individual situations
The fundamental aspects of the formula for success are pretty consistent across the board. However, it’s imperative to remember that no two businesses are the same and that yours must find the right route to success.
There are many factors to consider. For example, running a business away from the city can require a slightly different approach. Likewise, the subtle difference from industry to industry and between varying audiences must not be ignored for a moment. Moreover, offline and online companies have contrasting DNAs.
Until you appreciate your place in the market, finding maximised success will be impossible. Nail this down, though, and everything from branding to manufacturing should gain far greater clarity.
No.2: Overlooking staff happiness
Most entrepreneurs appreciate the importance of successful employees. They subsequently focus a lot of their attention on recruitment, even if it’s through outsourcing. While this is the ideal platform for building a winning team, those efforts cannot end there. In truth, maintaining motivation and morale is the far more crucial factor.
Employees with an active love of the work will provide better results. They work harder, faster, and create fewer mistakes. Better still, they’ll collaborate with colleagues in a far better manner too. Aside from being a mentor, you should use simple staff perks to keep them pushing in the right direction. Team building exercises are very useful too.
Investing in an employee’s development brings many benefits too. The indication that you see them progressing their careers within your company is key. Meanwhile, it’s a great way to ensure their skills remain relevant. If nothing else, a happy and motivated team will extend that positivity to the customers. This in itself is a hugely rewarding factor.
No.3: Not being brave enough
In business, it’s imperative that you learn to walk before you run. From choosing affordable premises to price checking energy rates, making money work hard is vital. However, there’s a fine line between being responsibly cautious and restricting your growth. Essentially, you need to speculate to accumulate while also being brave enough to run with ideas.
This shouldn’t be an excuse to overlook research. Still, the common theme in all modern success stories is that the owners boast the self-confidence needed to match their ambition. Sitting on an idea only gives your competitors a better chance of capitalising.
Creating that vision is arguably the hardest step in business. Therefore, once you’ve had your eureka moment, it’s vital to run with it. The last thing any entrepreneur wants to do is look back on a failed project with regrets over not giving it their all.
No.4: Needlessly wasting time
Time is money. It’s the oldest phrase in the business manual and yet so many SMEs struggle to use it efficiently. Every minute spent doing nothing or rectifying avoidable issues signals a wasted opportunity. And if you’re guilty of letting it happen too often, it will be reflected by slower progress and smaller profit levels.
Prevention is the best form of protection, which is why you should go the extra mile to ensure that the operation runs smoothly. Tech features should be top of your agenda, and professional business IT support keeps systems in the best health. Not only will they perform better, but they’ll be less likely to suffer downtime. Other precautions can include having emergency power supplies in place.
Perhaps the biggest waste of time, however, comes from poor communication. Keep team meetings to a maximum of 20 minutes, and you should see a noticeable difference. Try to reduce travel by incorporating conference calls too, and you won’t go far wrong.
No.5: Marketing alone
Regardless of how great your services and products might be, the success of the venture relies on your ability to spread the word in a positive way. A great brand supported by smart marketing campaigns will reach the audience with good conversion rates. Many entrepreneurs fall short by failing to leverage further success via their existing clients.
The power of recommendation cannot be emphasised enough. After all, new clients are far more likely to listen to the referrals of friends and family. In today’s market, testimonials and customer reviews allow you to embrace those sentiments from strangers. Nonetheless, operating an active referral and reward scheme is the ideal solution.
Another thing to remember is that not all other businesses are competitors. It is possible to run a joint marketing campaign alongside another local company. Likewise, link building and similar ideas can be used to boost online visibility. As they say, two heads are often better than one.
No.6: Stopping at the point of sale
Your main goal in business is to generate sales and reach as many customers as possible. Still, you cannot afford to think that the job is finished just because you achieved a sale. The key to success lies with being able to get clients coming back time and time again. Therefore, failure to continue that commitment to their best interests could be what’s holding you back.
You can make the transaction smoother by accepting multiple payment types and repayment plans. Meanwhile, a fair returns policy and a strong customer care game make the customers feel more confident about using your services. Better still, it leaves you protected in case of any disagreements.
Simple ideas like sending a birthday card show that you care. Learn to leave the customers feeling valued, and they will respond in a positive fashion. Meanwhile, seeking their feedback and acting upon it can be very useful too. The clients are the most important people in the operation. Appreciate this fact, and you won’t go far wrong.