Still Growing? Top 9 (Nine) Small Business Mistakes You Should Avoid
From startup to business success, there are tales of failure and regret to tell. Building a business is never easy. There are just so many things to think about and so many decisions to make. Mistakes are bound to be made. While some mistakes are unavoidable, others are made as a result of inexperience.
These are mistakes that everybody talks about; they’re common but you shouldn’t joke with their effect on your business if you fail to keep them in check. See, while there isn’t a fool-proof plan to reach small business startup success yet, keeping in mind these small business mistakes would help increase your potential for success. See 9 (nine) of them below.
1.) Hiring Too Fast
Don’t be in a hurry to hire employees or you’ll end up recruiting people who don’t care about your company or her goals. Do your research well so you won’t hire people who will make it hard for your business to reach her success point.
2.) Firing Slowly
“Don’t be too familiar with your followers; it may at first inspire affection but eventually, like all familiarity; it will breed contempt.” – The Mafia Manager
Don’t make this mistake. It’ll kill your business. Try as much as possible to avoid it. Don’t be too attached emotionally to your employees otherwise they’ll become disrespectful and that would make it hard for you to keep them under control.
3.) Failing to Take Risks
“Seek advice on risk from the wealthy who still take risks, not friends who dare nothing more than a football bet.” – J. Paul Getty
A lot of people shy away from building a business because of the risks involved. Many business owners fail to take their businesses to the next level simply because they are afraid of taking risks. They think avoiding risk is cautiousness. Well, I’ve learned that when you avoid risks, you avoid opportunities. If you want your business to grow, you’ll have to take risks. I know it’s hard but instead of avoiding it, put in place a risk management system that will help you access and effectively manage the risks involved in any business opportunity you find.
4.) Giving Up Too Easily
“Think about it, no one can win a race in which he had given up. You can’t win a battle for which you have surrendered.” – Mary Kay Ash
“You can always quit, so why quit now.” – Rich Dad
Of all who dare to start the process of building their own business, only a few make it to the end. A lot of starting entrepreneurs are found in this category. You never can tell when you’re close to success so don’t give up just yet. Try as much as possible to always analyze your steps to be sure you’re doing everything right.
5.) Relying Too Much on External Advisers
Normally at first when starting out, you won’t be surrounded by professionals who can offer advice regarding your business issues. It’s reasonable to talk to those people around you but you need to be very careful when executing the conclusions you’ve made regarding the issues you’ve tabled before them. Don’t misinterpret this. I’m not saying you shouldn’t seek the advice of those around you to solve an issue in your business. What I’m saying is that you should be very careful and be sure to do your own research because as the chief decision-maker of your team, the choices you make, if bad, would ruin your business and you would be responsible for whatever comes after.
6.) Serving the Customer-Based on Assumption
“You can’t just ask the customers what they want and try to give that to them. By the time you get it built, they will want something new.” – Steve Jobs
Don’t serve your customers based on your assumptions. Doing this will ruin your business and its reputation. Be sure you’re giving out what your customers really need and not what you just think they will need. Setting aside a fixed amount for market research on your budget can help you avoid this. You get to know your customers and the kind of need they want to satisfy.
7.) Cutting Back on Marketing Expenses
Doing this during a recession period is a huge mistake and is insane because the best way your business can survive the recession is for you to spend more on marketing. If at all you need to do this, seek professional help first before making a choice that would determine the fate of your business in the long run.
8.) Absence of a Business Mission Statement
As unimportant as this may sound, building a business without a mission statement is just like setting out on a journey without a purpose. I have seen a lot of businesses operate without a mission statement and this is utterly wrong. It gives your business a purpose, and a reason to keep pushing on. If you want to go far then get a mission statement.
9.) Over Spending
This mistake is popular among entrepreneurs who are just starting out. The smartest move to make here is to avoid spending money anyhow. Strongly differentiate your business needs from your personal needs. Business needs should always come before personal needs. Don’t throw expensive parties and declare bonuses at the peril of the business.
We all make mistakes. The key is being aware of them and consistently working to make smart, well-informed decisions in our businesses. If you can do that, and remain resilient, when you do make a mistake, success will be within your reach.
So, what’s the biggest mistake you’ve made with your startup? Share with me in the comments below.