17 Biggest Mistakes Small Business Owners Make

Aug 14, 2018 | Small Business Owners

17 biggest mistakes small business owners make

You’ve probably heard countless times about the fact that mistakes help you learn. While this is entirely true, it’s usually better to avoid them, especially if you’re a business owner. If you run a company, mistakes can cost you a lot and they might even lead to bankruptcy.

Because you don’t want something like this to happen, here are some frequent mistakes small business owners must avoid.

1. Expecting instant success

Hoping that success is going to embrace you with open arms overnight is a wrong mindset. Usually, it takes years until success can finally settle. You have to work hard to get any lasting results and you can’t do this in one day.

Investing more time into something means that the quality can get higher. Therefore, don’t expect to go to sleep and wake up surrounded by piles of money. This mindset can only discourage you even more. You always have to make efforts to reach your goals.

2. Not having a plan

Nothing goes perfectly without some organization. Doing things spontaneously is not always the best alternative. Writing down a plan can help you keep it together and know what to do next. A plan can also help you know what to focus on. Moreover, other partners or investors would want to see that you have a clear plan.

Keep in mind that this doesn’t have to be perfect or final. You will encounter necessary changes along the way, but a general plan will help you have an idea about what to do. Not having a plan will only result in you doing things in a chaotic way. That’s not how you reach success.

3. Not taking action

As mentioned above, a plan doesn’t have to be perfect. It can be just a rough plan, but it will still be helpful.

Many business owners spend too much time trying to make their plans perfect. This time can be used to actually apply what the plan says. Trying to make your plan perfect is only going to make you waste time that can be used wisely.

4. Not being a good leader

The success of the company relies mostly on your shoulders as an owner. While you don’t have to be authoritative and yell at your team members, you should take action when necessary.

Be their leader as well as their friend. You need to show them that you are strong so they can follow you. Guide them on the way to success, and help them grow. You need to be inspiring and work with your team, not let them do everything on their own.

5. Not building the right team

Although your company needs workers, it’s usually better to take some time until you hire someone. Hiring people too quickly may lead to the failure of the company. Keep in mind that your employees are supposed to represent the business. Therefore, ensure that the people you hire are fit for the company’s needs.

Give your employees a clear set of responsibilities and roles. Usually, skills can be learned over time, so their attitude towards their job is the most important thing.

6. Thinking you don’t have competition

Don’t expect the competition to be inexistent because your approach is unique. Competition isn’t all about encountering direct competitors. Competition can also mean the fact that your customers have many alternatives. So, they can easily walk away from your service and go to another company’s service.

Therefore, don’t take competition for granted. The threat is real and is always there.

7. Not caring about the customer’s needs

Customers are the ones that keep your business going. If you disregard them, they can leave and seek the help of other companies. What’s even worse is the fact that they can spread the word about your business. As a result, you lose potential customers. 

You need to listen to your clients and find out what their needs are. This can only help your company grow, and can even please your customers, as they see you take a real interest in helping them.

8. Trying to do everything on your own

A mistake that many business owners do is trying to do everything themselves. People are not good at everything. They all have flaws. Trying to do something that you’re not good at might turn into a disaster.

While your intentions are good and you clearly care about the well-being of the company, this is not something you should do. Rely on your team more. There are certainly people that are good at things you’re not.

9. Not connecting with the right investors

Many times, small business are focusing more on funding than finding good investors and partners. Investors should be like members of your team. You need to show them the visions and values of your organization.

Moreover, your partners and investors should not be left in the dark when it comes to the way you run your business. They should be your allies.

10. Not making improvements

Even if your company is successful, you shouldn’t stagnate. You must improve as a business and get even more successful. Not making any improvements and developments over the years can affect your company in the long term.

Stay updated with the industry’s trends and try to implement them if they suit your plan. This way, you’ll keep growing and be even more successful.

11. Not being honest

Mistakes are always bound to happen. While you think that admitting a mistake only brings more shame to the company, it’s actually not like that. People are going to admire the fact that you admit your mistakes and you are determined to fix it. It shows that you are responsible and actually want to prevent it from happening again.

Moreover, responsibility can attract more customers. Nowadays, it’s not hard to spread information around. If you try to cover up your mistake by lying, people are going to find out sooner or later, and it’s not going to be very good for you. It may ruin your business. Therefore, always admit your mistakes and try to prevent them from happening again.

12. Not knowing how to deal with people

In order to be a successful business owner, you must have some basic communication skills. If you’re not a likable person, other people might not consider doing business with you.

Moreover, proper communication is crucial for a good relationship with your customers. It’s also useful when talking to your team members – you want them to be your friends, not your enemies.

13. Not accepting advice

Even when you have lots of experience in a domain, advice should always be welcomed. Having an open mind and listening to other people’s perspectives can’t cause any harm, can it? It’s better to surround yourself with great people and counselors that can give you the right tips on how to run your business.

Disregarding advice from people with more knowledge than you can be fatal to your company.

14. Low prices

Many beginner business owners think that lower prices can attract more customers. This could not be further from the truth. Customers are rather willing to accept a higher price, as a high price means that the quality is automatically better. When economic times are tough, customers are going to throw themselves at your doorstep if you increase the price and quality.

Therefore, don’t cut prices in hopes of attracting customers. It’s not going to work, and it can only harm your business.

15. Unrealistic financial goals

Many business owners dream about getting huge amounts of money overnight. If you set unrealistic goals, it is only going to hurt you when you don’t see them happening. You should set realistic goals to ensure success.

Setting smaller goals and achieving them is going to make you more confident and want to strive for more. So, make sure the objectives you set are not impossible to reach.

16. Too much focus on the business

A lot of business owners try to focus solely on the business and don’t have time left for themselves. This happens especially at the beginning of their career. This is not only going to make you unhappy but may also affect the success of the whole business.

To ensure the success of the company, you should focus on yourself as well, and have some time alone or with your family. If the business is the only thing on your mind, then your health and relationships will have to suffer. You need to have a life as well. Therefore, you need to take breaks, eat healthily, get some rest, and have fun.

17. Not celebrating the success

When you achieve the success you were striving for, it’s important to celebrate with the whole team. This will not only be fun, but it will make everyone more confident and want to achieve even more.

You don’t have to throw a 3-day party for this. Just take small breaks to celebrate success every now and then. Your employees are going to love it.

Final Thoughts

Small business owners tend to make a lot of mistakes. This can not only affect them but also the well-being of the whole company. Hopefully, the information above helped you find out if you make any of these mistakes and offered you ways to avoid them.

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