When a small business is getting started, they have a lot to manage and prioritize. Some things can get left behind and passed over to make time for other tasks. Skipping out on the planning phase is not one that should ever be overlooked. Another would be gathering the marketing ideas as well as hiring the right amount of staff to make your business work. Your customers are going to make your small business thrive so doing the right market research to pinpoint your true customers is also another mistake some owners can miss the mark on. Just because you have a new small business does not mean you go buyout Office Depot to customize your business to the max! A few other bad decisions small businesses make would be not staying focused on your business products or services and adding more ala carte items too quickly. The last item you may have overlooked might also be the lack of professional advice to running your business successfully.
As a new small business owner, you were so excited to get the ball rolling but miscalculated the details of your planning phase. The decisions you are making are a direct reflection of that. Adding in the necessary details in the planning phase of the business plan is crucial in several layers of your business. Financial decisions, building costs, inventory, sales staff, taxes, licensing details all are major pieces and fine points you skipped outlining the fundamentals in running your business successfully.
Marketing your small business can go from good to terrible in a blink of an eye. Although you should absolutely have a budget for marketing in place, allocating all your funds in a single quarter should not be. Be smart with your choices and pay close attention to how and what you are paying for. If you are paying top dollar to design your campaign and distribute it, find a smaller firm willing to charge less for the creative end. This will allow for marketing budget you can extend the life out of while not losing out on anything. Also connecting with social media platforms to engage your clients with upcoming sales or specials along with “live” sessions can build trust because they can relate to you which you reflect on your business.
Starting out, the thought of adding staff to your small business was unsettling. I mean how are you going to allocate funds for additional staff when you are struggling to pay yourself? Think of all the things you could do if you had a dedicated sale, shipping, customer service personnel to help while you are busy building clients to build your business? This is where small business owners either don’t hire enough or hire too many team members without finding that happy medium state. When adding staff, add slowly and with a purpose. Also look at your current staff and blend in people that are going to work well together so you are not constantly filling positions and wasting your valuable time.
It’s important to understand your customer base. If you don’t pinpoint who that target market is, you could miss out on a lot potential customers. If you are in the business of real estate, networking to a group of people in a nursing care facility may not be the best job on marketing to your future clients. Pinpointing how and where you should be bringing your time and efforts with current and future customers is all based on your market analysis. Will your products appeal to a certain niche or the population or is the product more diverse? Connecting and appealing to your customers’ needs and wants takes fineness.
When setting up your business you can thank Google for everything right? No! Running your small business is one thing, but if you are missing out on profits due to a miscalculation on your taxes or the way you set up your business accounts, can poor your funds down the toilet. Hiring professional help even if it’s temporary, for setting up your business and taxes can free up time and finances for the future.
Has your once perfectly niched small business turned into an all-out flea market find store? Focusing in on the products and services you have created the need for your customers instead of opening up your business up to a free for all in one shop, will help alleviate the confusion your clients may see when they look at your small business. Instead of diversifying your products, lean more towards opening up more locations with additional small business funding to grow and step your game up to a larger market. Don’t puddle jump into different products, dive into one and fully emerge yourself into making that niche yours!
Making major small business mistakes can leave your business on the flip side of the stick. Fully engage in the market you want to be a part of and do what you need to fully exceed your customer’s needs. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and seek help when needed. Streamline your spending and allocate budgets for all the necessities you have laid out in your business plan. Try not to be a business with a lot of little pieces of different industries pies, take a bigger bite out of the one you are in and watch your buses grow and succeed.