Common Pitfalls That Ruin Small Businesses and How to Avoid Them
If you’ve decided to start your own small business, you’re on the right track. Don’t let the fact that about 50 percent of small businesses fail within the first five years slow you down. If you’re careful enough, there’s no reason why your enterprise would fall under this category. One of the best things you can do is not make the same mistakes some other small business owners make. Listed below are the most common among those mistakes and tips on how to avoid them.
Doing everything yourself
It’s common for small business owners to believe they can do everything themselves. The truth is, wearing all the hats isn’t impossible, but it drains your energy and makes you less productive. Also, it makes you less likely to put enough effort into your core operations and planning for the future. Therefore, bringing in enough people who can help is imperative. Another mistake budding entrepreneurs often make is hiring blindly. Instead of doing the same, make sure you ask job candidates the right questions and see who among them can aid your business the most. Most effective job interview questions include those such as “what is your best skill?” and “do you have any success stories related to that specific skill?”
It’s no secret many budding entrepreneurs don’t know how to deal with accounting. If this is the case with you, the worst thing you can do is ignore it. That’s what many beginners opt for when starting out. Without accounting, you have no idea how your business is doing and whether investing more is a good idea. Not to mention that doing your taxes can become a real mess if you don’t keep records. If you want to do it yourself, relying on software such as FreshBooks and Zoho Books is a great idea. Both tools are effective and easy to use. Of course, hiring a real accountant who’ll get the job done for you is also something you can do.
Failing to identify your strengths
Never copy large corporations and try to do everything the way they do. Instead, get to know your business inside and out so you can make the right decisions at the right time. The most important thing you need to do is figure out where your company’s strengths lie. Businesses who play to their strengths perform the best and never have to worry about failing to stay afloat. For example, look at professionals at AskGamblers and the way they approach things. They know visitors love the quality and transparency they offer, allowing them to stay at the very top in the iGaming sector.
Not having a website
Today, every company needs a website. However, 46 percent of small businesses in the U.S. still don’t have one. The last thing you want to do is make the same mistake and deprive your organization of an online presence. If you’re not online, potential customers won’t know where to find your contact information and they’ll end up turning to your competitors instead. It’s also important to mention that just owning a website isn’t enough. You have to make it as fast as possible and optimize it for mobile. To give your website loading speed a boost, try to find the best web host and optimize all images.
Offering terrible customer service
One of the very few advantages small businesses have over large corporations is customer service. No matter what you do, you and your team members should have time to help customers resolve any issues they might have. Whether they need additional information about your product or they want to return it, being there for them is a huge plus. Customers who’re satisfied with your customer service will be more likely to come back and bring new customers alongside. Luckily, offering quality customer services isn’t tough. Just make yourself or your customer service team available through multiple channels and respond to messages as quickly as possible.
Not using social media
We talked about websites, but that’s not the only place on the web where you should promote your business. Nowadays, everything revolves around social media, and being on platforms like Facebook and Twitter is a must. Social media is where you can announce new products, post interesting content, and communicate with customers directly. Once you create your pages, it’s time to come up with your brand voice and start posting. Most companies post content between 9 and 12 a.m. in the workweek as that’s when most people are online. Just make sure you have carefully designed visuals that can go along with your every post. If you don’t know how to make some, you can always hire a freelance graphic designer.
The bottom line
There are countless factors that could slow down your small business and even force you to shut it down. Preparing for all of them is impossible and don’t even bother to try. However, if you make sure these six common pitfalls don’t hurt your business and you’ll be one step closer to success.