Small business have to try and be a Jack of all trades… management, marketing, finance, HR… it’s not surprising things go wrong
Here’s a list of seven common small businesses mistakes
1. Trying to do it all – when tactical outsourcing to experts lets you focus on growth.
Nobody expects you to be able to do everything. Just because you’ve had a great idea for a small business doesn’t mean you’re an expert in all aspects of running one. It makes sense to delegate the bits you’re not comfortable with, find boring, struggle over or just don’t have a deep enough grasp of. Write a list for a start, in priority order. Then find trustworthy people you can outsource to.
2. Failing to see the wood for the trees – when an informed outsider’s fresh perspective is invaluable.
One of the best things you can do to get a fresh perspective of how your business is working and how it is perceived is to ask someone who doesn’t belong there. Not just anyone. A person who also has rock solid business experience, a creative mind and a keen eye for marketing. They’ll take an impartial view of any or all aspects of your company. They’ll recommend exciting, inspiring and practical ways to make everything run like clockwork. Identify ways to cut costs and maximise opportunities for profit. Stuff you mightn’t see because you’re too close to it.
3. Getting stuck in the mud – when new systems, processes and procedures can save you a fortune
You start small with a set of rudimentary systems. You grow, but your systems don’t keep pace. You get by, sometimes going to ridiculous lengths to circumvent them. Before you know it you’re wasting countless man hours and leaking cash because your systems are holding you back. Get someone in to shake things up, at a cost that won’t break the bank, and you could save a fortune. Evolve!
4. Letting websites get messy – when a clean, clear user experience makes a huge difference
A website should be a living thing. Acting as the visual expression of your business, it should reflect the fact that you’re constantly changing and growing. Adding new products, fresh product descriptions and updated content sit hand in hand with ever-improving sales processes and an evolving visitor experience. At the same time you need to remove all the old stuff to save your site getting cluttered. Impartial user analysis can also help identify new marketing opportunities, sectors, target markets and more.
5. Missing opportunities – when bringing someone in with business savvy and a keen eye for marketing hits the mark.
When you’re too busy to breathe it’s impossible to spread your attention widely enough, and your time thinly enough, to check out what’s going on in the outside world. It’s important to keep tabs on new developments in your markets, competing markets and competing sectors. Staying ahead of the curve lets you spot and grab profitable new ideas and opportunities before your competitors. Another instance where bringing in independent support makes a lot of sense.
6. Letting the basics slide – when up to date admin gives you a crystal clear view of what’s what.
There’s nothing worse than coming to the end of the financial year only to find you’ve got so behind with your administration that you don’t know where to begin. Staying up to date makes sense from a simple organisational perspective. It also lets you grab an instant snapshot of exactly where your business stands at any one point, without having to delve through vast piles of pending data, paperwork and filing. Get a PA for a day, once a week or once a month or whatever, and keep your business vision clear..
7. Working in chaos – when an attractive, efficient, ergonomically effective environment works wonders.
It sounds trite but it’s true. A tidy workplace leads to a tidy mind. More importantly, health and safety is vital to a growing business and you need to get your ergonomics in order. Boxes of rubbish, piles of files, trailing cables, tottering shelves and towers of paperwork can be lethal as well as downright sloppy. And being prosecuted for Corporate Manslaughter, or for allowing someone to be injured at work, is no joke.