Statistics state that half of all small businesses will fail in the first 5 years, a challenge even for the well thought out plans. But most of these pitfalls, once you identify them, can be changed to work in your favor and increase your odds of staying in business.
Avoid these top 10 pitfalls if you want to stay in business:
- Procrastination. The saying is true "Don’t but off until tomorrow what you can do today". The piles don’t get smaller with success and if not dealt with can eat away at your business.
- Ignoring the competition. Today customers are going to form new alliances with companies that offer the best products and services. Monitor your competitors, see what they are doing (perhaps better than you). Devote some time to devising new methods, products or services for your company.
- Sloppy or ineffective Marketing. Marketing your products or services takes a well thought out and consistent plan. If done properly it will help advance your business.
- Ignoring customer needs. Once you have them never let them go. Do what you can (within reason) to keep the customer happy.
- Incompetent employees. Hire employees that are vital to your business. Make sure that they fully understand your company’s Mission and remember to treat them as you would of liked to have been treated.
- Lack of versatility. A true statement for the small business owner is being "the Jack of all Trades, but master of known". In any start up, you have to know (and sometimes do) the accounting, the marketing, the sales etc…
- Poor Location. For those of you who are not home based. When looking for an office or retail space you should consider traffic (how many potential customer pass by) and convenience, (how are your customers going to get to you)
- Cash Flow problems. You need to know how to track the money coming in and out of your business. But most importantly you’ll need to know how to budget your income & expenses.
- A closed mind. We all have some preconceptions on how we are going to make our business succeed. But even the best ideas don’t always work. That’s why it’s important for you to network with your peers, stay on top of your current industry trends by reading and using the internet for research.
- Inadequate planning. Set up and WRITE down your goals. Set deadlines and look at your list often, visual reinforcement is a key to success.
The Bullseye, written by Nancy Greger, from The Business Helper, provides "on-the-mark" tips to help the small business owner succeed.