Small-business mistakes can add up to big disasters. While large companies have the capital and budgets to fix big errors without folding, the same is just not true of smaller enterprises. If yours is a growing business, even relatively minor errors can be costly enough to cause you to close your doors.
Some of the most common small-business mistakes include:
- Not Having a Website: About 97 percent of consumers use online sources when looking for services or products, so if customers cannot find you online, they may head right to the competition. Today, there is no excuse for not having a website. You can set one up for very little money, and easy-to-use programs can guide you through the process of creating a simple webpage in minutes.
- Not Understanding the Customers: Do you know what your customers want? It may go well beyond the service or product you are offering. Maybe customers come to you because your services make them feel a certain way or because you solve a specific problem. What are the concerns your customers have and how can you help them address those issues better? Who are your customers? Talking to your clients, conducting polls and doing surveys can help you find out what customers rely on you for and can help you understand what needs to be done to attract more business to your company. Understanding your customers means noticing who comes into your business and adjusting as needed. If you open a bookstore expecting college students but notice after a few weeks your customers are mostly retirees, you need to change focus from used textbooks to book clubs and the latest books your customers want to read.
- Not keeping an Eye on Your Competition: What services or products does the competition offer? What new marketing and promotional offers do they have? Failing to keep up with the competition means they can undercut your efforts. Always know what other options exist for your customers and be prepared to do better.
- Failing to Take Stock Regularly: Use analytics and metrics to keep track of what is happening in your business. Where do your customers come from? What marketing strategies bring in the most business? What are your biggest sellers? What seasonal changes cause fluctuations in demand? Routinely check your metrics and run the numbers. The more you understand how you’re doing, the more quickly you can adjust course to prevent declines or take advantage of opportunities.
- Not Making a Unique Offer: Whether it comes down to creating a unique brand or a unique product or service, doing something different helps you stand out from the competition. Do your research first, but try unique forms of marketing, new products, new services and different offerings. Make it easy for customers to remember you.
Are you committing any of these mistakes made by small businesses yourself? It’s not too late to turn it around. For bookkeeping services to help you make better decisions and for consulting services to get you on track, contact SLC Bookkeeping to get you on the right path to business success.