What are the 11 Pitfalls to Small Business Success?
Starting a business right is challenging, and keeping a new business afloat is even more complicated. Twenty percent of companies fail within the first two years, while 45 percent don’t see their fifth year. So, why are all these businesses failing? What are the owners doing wrong, and how could they improve their strategies and operations to make their next ventures successful?
There are no shortcuts to running a company, and there is no single correct approach. After all, each industry and market is different, meaning you must develop your strategy accordingly. However, there are some tried-and-true methods that many small business owners have used to position themselves for long-term success. Today, Premium Websites provides 11 tips for setting your new company up to flourish!
Tips for Small Business Success
- Stopping short on your website
Today, it’s imperative to have a business website. No matter what industry you are in or what type of company you run, having a professional website will help you grow your online presence and help build a loyal client base.
Many tools on the market can help you build a site even if you have limited experience. But you must consider that it is a serious project that can consume a lot of your time and energy. For that reason, many entrepreneurs benefit from hiring a professional web designer or developer to handle the task.
Your site should be eye-catching and easy to use. Make sure that your customers can pay for your service or product through your website. And if you have an app, you will want to receive payments through that. Otherwise, you could be missing out on a steady stream of revenue.
- Being too timid
Too many entrepreneurs launch a venture even though they are scared of failing. This can be a problem for two reasons:
- It can keep you from capitalizing on opportunities.
- Failure is an excellent teacher.
Every entrepreneur fails at some point on their journey, and if you analyze your mistakes, you can learn from your failure to improve your processes.
- Missing your target audience
Every company caters to a target market. But you must ensure you clearly define what that market is, or you will not know who you are selling to.
You could have the best product or service in the industry, but if you are not pursuing the right market, you will be missing out on sales and growth opportunities. Take time to create customer profiles and regularly assess your position in the market so that you can make any necessary changes.
- Taking everything on yourself
If you try to do everything yourself, you will eventually burn out. Plus, there is no way to complete all your tasks and projects efficiently when you run a business alone. Make a list of the functions and responsibilities you are most skilled at (and that you enjoy). Then, list all the other tasks, and start looking for freelancers, mentors, and other professionals to help in those areas.
- Failing to stay organized
You likely have dozens of responsibilities on your shoulders as an entrepreneur. If you don’t stay organized, you will become overwhelmed, even if you have people helping.
A straightforward way to get organized is to create a daily task list and a long-term project list. Then, you can arrange your tasks and projects by urgency and importance. Fortunately, there are plenty of productivity tools to help.
Also, don’t forget to save yourself a lot of headaches down the road by investing in a bookkeeping system that’s safe, secure, and easy to use.
- Not making a business plan
Having a thorough business plan is key to building a successful company. Without one, you are pretty much planning to fail. Your business plan does not have to be elaborate, but it should include all relevant details regarding your company’s goals and objectives. For instance, your business plan should outline your values, what you plan to sell, how you will promote your brand and the capital you will need to succeed.
- Wasting startup capital
As a new business with limited access to capital, it’s essential to handle your money correctly and responsibly. You must maintain cash flow and optimize your capital to start strong.
For example, don’t hire too many people in the early days. A better approach is to hire fewer people who believe in your product or service and are qualified to fill the specific roles your company needs to be covered.
It’s also important not to spend frivolously on elaborate office décor, vehicles, too many work lunches, etc. Focus on growth and maintaining a healthy cash flow, and those nice things will come later!
- Moving too quickly
While you don’t want to be timid when starting a business, you don’t want to launch before you are ready either. It would help if you had your bases covered before starting your company, including establishing your systems and processes, recruiting freelancers and employees, bringing a mentor on board, and creating a detailed growth plan.
Moreover, fight the temptation to grow your business too quickly. Some entrepreneurs try to expand the moment they taste success. But if your company is not ready for the influx of clients, it can spell catastrophe.
- Hiring the wrong people
New businesses typically benefit most from hiring generalists instead of specialists. This is because hard-working generalists who believe in your company can satisfy more roles and responsibilities than someone who does one thing. Specialists are great when you get to a certain point, but make sure you hire versatile workers at the start.
- Underestimating your brand
Your product or service may be the backbone of your company, but your brand is how consumers will relate to you. Spend time and energy developing a professional logo and selecting colors, fonts, and other design elements that will appear on all your promotional materials. And your branding should remain consistent across all channels.
- Neglecting to make contracts
Finally, don’t be afraid to make contracts with other professionals and customers. Many entrepreneurs fail to implement agreements and are met with harsh surprises when another business or client stops doing business with them. It doesn’t matter how good you think the relationship might be; it will eventually come under threat if there are no agreements and systems established.
Much of your entrepreneurial journey will depend on the specific industry and market you operate in. But there are proven strategies that can position you for long-term success. Consider the tips above for laying a firm foundation for your new business. And never stop learning other habits and skills to help you flourish for many years!
Premium Websites is here when you are ready to create a professional website. We love helping other small business owners. Reach out today if you have any questions!
Guest Post by:
Patrick Young is an educator and activist. He believes people with disabilities must live within a unique set of circumstances–the outside world often either underestimates them or ignores their needs altogether. He created Able USA to offer helpful resources to people with disabilities and provide advice on navigating various aspects of life as a person with disabilities.