When a small business owner decides to pursue her or his entrepreneurial dreams, it’s important to operate in a manner that will engender success. Unfortunately, many small business owners make a wide range of mistakes that impede progress. Luckily, identifying and eliminating these mistakes can keep a small business owner on track to attaining profound levels of productivity, profitability, and progress. Below you’ll find just four of many common mistakes that small business owners make as well as simple strategies that can be employed to avoid them:
- Failing To Create A Business Plan.
Failing to create a business plan can cause individuals to struggle with things like getting loans, making decisions, and attaining investors. With this reality in mind, it’s immensely important to have a business plan on file at all times. Although every business plan is different, some commonly included elements are the vision statement, mission statement, budget, and SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threat) list. You can utilize an online resource such as Bplans.com to access free sample business plan templates.
- Failing To Research The Target Market.
This is a serious business mistake because it precludes you from figuring out who your target audience is and what they’re all about. Without this knowledge, it will be difficult and typically impossible to devise marketing strategies that will appeal to your unique audience. With this reality in mind, make sure that you put target market research at the top of your organization’s to do list. Note that there are typically four types of information that you’ll be acquiring through the target market research process. Some of them include:
There are multiple steps to the target market research process. In addition to assessing the demographic, geographic, psychographic, and behavioristic background of the target audience, you should take time to determine customer preferences and consumer trends.
- Failure To Update Your Technology.
Another mistake that small business owners can make is failing to update their technology. Note that technological devices such as computers, laptops, and printers oftentimes play an integral role in the completion and optimization of key tasks that build the business. You may even want to learn more about coding, software, or declarative programming. When you use outdated or malfunctioning technology, you run the risk of impeding productivity and profitability. As such, it’s a good idea to regularly examine and update the technology that you and your employees are utilizing. Also make a point to gain more knowledge regarding emerging or effective forms of technology.
- Failing To Implement Customer Retention Strategies.
Customer retention is an immensely important aspect of the business-building process for many reasons. One thing to remember is that retaining customers is less expensive than acquiring new ones. Additionally, increasing customer retention rates by a mere 5% will increase profits anywhere from 25% to 95%. Yet rather than focusing on how to keep their current customers happy, many business owners place primacy on continually connecting with prospects. Don’t commit this error. Instead, prioritize your current customers through the use of key strategies like sending them thank you notes and referral programs. By using these types of strategies, you let your current customers know that you appreciate their business and don’t want to see you wander away to a competitor.
Once a small business owner realizes that company growth is one of their primary objectives, it’s time to recognize and respond to the reality that they be making mistakes that compromise progress. Review the information outlined above to identify and eliminate business mistakes so that your company can remain in a state of perpetual growth.