Big businesses rarely start off as successful corporations right off the bat. Many, in fact, had rather modest beginnings facing near-impossible odds.
If you’re an entrepreneur, you can probably relate to this. There is no such thing as a fool-proof business plan and there is no single strategy that will ensure a quick return on investment. However, your business can grow and succeed if you avoid these five common mistakes:
Poor Money Management
Every business needs a seamless cash flow process. Take note of late payments and big debts, as these often cause irregular cash flow. Online payment solutions can make it easier for you to pay for your contractors and suppliers. You also need to know how to read financial statements. A lack of financial management skills is one of the most common reasons a small business can find itself in trouble.
Not Investing in Marketing
You need to see marketing as an investment and not an expense, as it can help you build brand awareness and generate leads that can boost sales. Set aside 2-20% of your budget, depending on your industry and goals, and craft a good marketing strategy to ensure that your business presents a consistent, compelling, and clear message. The medium that you use also matters — as The Balance explains that marketing can take many forms, from word of mouth referrals to traditional advertising and internet marketing. In years gone by, television was extremely popular to spread awareness, but Maryville University reports that digital ad spending surpassed televised advertising for the first time in history in 2017. This means that by leveraging digital advertising you can now drill down into targeting the demographics relevant to your business, and you will be provided analytics that can tell you how successful your campaigns have been.
Taking risks can cost you, especially during the early stages of your business, but it’s not something you should (or can) avoid. You have the power to mitigate risks by taking smart and carefully calculated steps. In its discussion on whether or not risk-taking really leads to success, Entrepreneur explains that those who are successful tend to take risks in ways that limit their potential losses. Furthermore, smart entrepreneurs find ways to mitigate risks like actively protecting their digital assets from hackers or regularly conducting risk assessments. Understanding different risks and what they entail can help you make better business decisions and plan accordingly.
Taking Customer Service for Granted
Most Americans would prefer to support small business over large ones, but it's important to live up to this trust and ensure that you're treating customers as best as you can. One of the simplest ways to improve your customer service is by constantly reaching out to them. Getting to know them by their name and understanding their preferences will help make them feel more valued and result in them being loyal to your brand. Take the time to respond to your customers' questions through phone, email, or social media, and pay close attention to their feedback. This can help you improve your product or service, and help you grow in the future.
Hiring the Wrong People
One of our blogs ‘4 Pain Points of Small Businesses and Their Solutions’ focuses on the importance of hiring the right people for the job. Your cashier, service agent, and customer service representatives should have excellent people skills and the right qualifications. They are the face of your business, after all, so you need to make sure they represent it well. Business News Daily recommends making use of HR technology to make hiring, payroll, and performance evaluations easier for you. Of course, all this starts with an efficient recruitment process, which Candidate Zip would be happy to help out with. Overall, using the right tools can help streamline the process and free up your time to focus on other business matters.