Owning and operating a small business is a lot of work.
Often headed by just one person or a small handful of people, there are a million and one things a small business owner has to keep in mind in order to keep their business running.
And that’s exactly why the mistakes listed below are so common. But they don’t have to be. Take a look, know what to expect, and be prepared so you don’t get caught in these common traps:
1) You Try To Do It All
It’s not uncommon in small business to tackle anything and everything yourself. In many ways, it’s an essential part of being a small business owner. However, you can take it too far and get in over your head, be overwhelmed with work, or try and do something beyond your capabilities – and all that can add up to trouble.
Solution: Don’t be afraid to outsource essential work that is beyond you or your team. If you’re not a good bookkeeper, for instance, hire someone to do it for you. It’s an expense that could actually SAVE you money in the long term.
2) No Written Goals, No Written Plan, No Clear Direction
This is an incredibly common mistake. Someone starts a business with good intentions – they have a particular skill that is marketable or they see a niche to be filled – and from there they just wing it.
Huge mistake. You can get by for a little while on luck or momentum, but in the long term it’s vital to have clear goals and a clear plan to get there.
Solution: Create a written mission statement, put a set of one-year, three-year, five-year, and ten-year goals in writing, and create a written plan to achieve those goals. You’ll be amazed at how that can refocus and improve your business.
3) You Don’t Have A Website
It’s all too common for small local businesses to think they don’t need to be online because they are a local business serving the local community.
They just assume the locals will find them. Big mistake! These days, nearly 97% of consumers search for goods and services online, and half those searches are for things local to them. Being online is essential to being found by new customers and clients.
Solution: This one is pretty obvious. Get a website! And while you’re at it, get yourself on social media, too. It’s essential to being seen.
4) You Haven’t Embraced Technology
Small business owners usually operate on pretty tight budgets.
We understand that. Because of this, small business owners are often reluctant to invest in technologies that could make them more efficient and profitable in the long run – and while saving money in the short term is nice, in the long term that is a mistake.
Cloud storage, document scanning, digital storage, mobile devices, and other tech can give you a major leg up on your competitors.
Solution: Don’t be scared to invest in your future! The businesses that do best recognize that they have to look further ahead than next week if they want to succeed. You should, too.
Running a small business can be tough, but by avoiding these common mistakes you can make life a lot easier for yourself, and as an added bonus get an advantage on your competition. Good luck!