Most new business owners know that the rate of small business failure is distressingly high. This should motivate them not only to implement best business practices, but also to avoid common mistakes that can doom first-time entrepreneurs. Here are some of the ways even the best-intentioned business owner may undermine their own success – and how they can avoid them.
Failure to plan.
This is one of the most prevalent reasons for small business failure. Lack of planning leads to negative outcomes in every area of business, from the early stages of startup, to maintaining a good budget, to project management. Entrepreneurs who are inclined to fly by the seat of their pants should save that creative and innovative spirit for when it is needed. In the meantime, if they have difficulty staying focused on the important details, planning and management apps can help.
Lack of organization.
From bad planning comes poor organization. And poor organization can do serious damage to a business’s operation as well as its reputation. It also leads to wasted time and loss of revenue. It’s much more difficult to institute order in a company that is already tending towards chaos, so start getting organized from the very beginning. If you feel that your business is in disarray and you want a reset, don’t put it off: start now, taking it one step at a time, setting organizational goals along the way.
Neglecting administrative details.
Starting a business can be fun. It’s your chance to get creative on your own terms. But business success depends on taking care of the less fun aspects, too. Neglecting to do such things as purchase business insurance or hire an accountant can make for trouble down the road. Another important detail you don’t want to bypass is registering your business as a legal entity. For many small businesses, it’s a good idea to register as an LLC because of the added liability protection and tax savings it can provide. If you are already overwhelmed with business planning, you can have a formation service take care of registering your LLC for you.
Failing to network.
It’s important to get the word out about your new business as well as to make connections with others in your field. Social media can be a great and inexpensive way to expand your reach and advertise your business. Your friends and family can be a huge asset in this area, especially if they are willing to use their social media platforms to spread the word. Do be careful about asking too much of loved ones, however, or simply expecting them to do free labor for you.
Poor customer service.
It’s exciting when you get your first customers showing up or contract with your first clients. But this is just the beginning. If you want your business to stay healthy and productive, you need to give these clients the motivation to keep coming back. Practicing great customer service is key here. Always communicate promptly and politely with clients. Be available to answer their questions, and if you don’t have an answer, do the research. Offer discounts and incentives, too, so they will continue to choose you over the competition.
Not practicing self-care.
So much of what goes into making your business successful depends on your willingness to go above and beyond. But that doesn’t mean you should run yourself ragged or forget to take time for self-care. Your business will suffer if you get burnt out - and, more importantly, you will also. How you practice self-care depends on your needs. You may find you benefit from an occasional spa visit or a peaceful walk in nature. Or maybe you’ll feel better and more energized after a great online workout like the Burn Bodyweight Program with Drip By Sam.
Recognizing these common pitfalls business owners run into and having a clear idea of how to get past them can help tremendously when it comes to making it through your first few years of business. Hopefully, over time, good practices will become habitual and avoiding errors will be second nature to you. And if you