The good folks at Corp Net posted a great read on how to avoid mistakes with your small business. Enjoy and plan smart! #KnowledgeIsKey
1. Not Marketing Your Business
If you’re like many business owners, you think marketing isn’t worth the time or money investment. After all, you’ve got customers coming in the door, so why waste money on trying to attract more?
You’re thinking very “right now” about this, and I need you to start thinking harder about the future. Business might be good now, but you should actually be marketing now for tomorrow. Marketing not only helps more potential customers find you, but it also helps you stay connected with existing customers.
2. Ignoring What’s Being Said About Your Brand Online
Another ghastly mistake entrepreneurs make is not being aware that there are many channels online that people use to talk about brands like yours…and sometimes not for the better. Social media is a great example. If a customer had a bad experience with your company, it’s easy to tell her network all about it.
If you’re not monitoring what’s being said about you, that negative comment can do a lot of harm. Instead, set up a search for your company name and respond as soon as there’s any mention of your brand, for better or worse. For the bad mentions, apologize publicly, then do your best to remedy the situation.
3. Not Reinvesting in Your Business
Every extra penny you make, you take as your salary. And while your personal expenses are covered, you really aren’t doing anything to put back into your business for future growth. Setting aside even a little can give you enough foundation to try out new software programs, invest in training that will expand your skills, or even hire help.
Start by putting just 15% of your profits (after you pay your business expenses, of course) into savings, and let it pile up until you need it.
4. Thinking You Can Do It All
I know, I know. You’re Super Woman. You can do it all. Except, you can’t. No one can do everything and do it well. By not asking for help where you need it, you’re stunting your own professional growth.
Ask for help! Whether that’s hiring a part time assistant, asking your husband to stuff envelopes, or asking the babysitter to take the kids an extra afternoon, don’t be shy about calling in reinforcements.
5. Fearing Change
Change is the nature of business, and if you avoid it, you’ll pay the price with reduced market share and loss of customers. Change – often in the form of technology – is what keeps you competitive.
Be open to where your business takes you. If you’re given an opportunity to grow or use new tools to expand your business, avoid your instinct to say no.
6. Forgetting Your Business Plan
Remember that document you drafted ages ago about how you’d run your business? Its purpose wasn’t to take up space in a file somewhere. Without a glance at it every once in a while, you can’t ensure you’re still on track with the goals you initially set. Keep your business plan handy and review it every month or quarter. Amend it as your company objectives shift.