5 of The Biggest Mistakes Small Businesses Make

Sometimes, it’s hard to be the little guy.  You don’t have a big budget behind you like a large corporation does, you don’t have the manpower that a business with 500 employees has, and you probably don’t have an executive team of Harvard grads making the big decisions for you.  Lacking the things that bigger businesses have can make life difficult, but it doesn’t mean that you can’t be successful.  However there are some big mistakes that small businesses should avoid at all costs in the endeavour to make their business profitable.  Here are the 5 of the biggest mistakes that small businesses make, and suffer from.

1.        Not Having a Website

It’s 2012.  Cars that can drive themselves are in development, our phones can do SO much more than call people, and the world might end.  Not having a website is detrimental to your business.  In fact, while your business might survive short term without a website, it definitely won’t long term.  Today, people want information about your business at their fingertips so they can ensure your company does what they need and compare you to your competitors.  Why would they take the time to call your company to ask you these questions when they can easily get the answers from a competitor’s website?  Not having a website makes you invisible to most of your potential customers.  Being invisible eventually means you won’t have a business.

2.       Not Having a Call to Action on Your Website

Ok, so you have a website.  That’s good.  But that’s just the first step.  Then there is the website content, the SEO (Search Engine Optimization), and most importantly the calls to action.  What is a call to action you ask?  That is your first mistake.  A call to action “is a term used for elements in a web page that solicit an action from the user.”  These usually come in the form of buttons such as “Contact Us Now,” or “Learn More Here.”  Buttons like these allow you to capture information about your website visitors.  They give you free leads that you can then follow up with.

3.       Not Investing in Branding

Your brand is your business identity.   Not only is it your customers’ first impression of your business, but also what sets you apart from your competition and makes your business memorable in people’s minds.  It is why people can spot a McDonald’s from a half a mile down the road; everyone knows the golden arches.  If you don’t have a unique, identifiable logo, a catchy tagline, and a consistent color scheme, you not only fail to look professional and competent, but you also look cheap.  Why would someone choose to use your company if you don’t LOOK like a capable company?

4.       Not Having A Strategy Plan

Too many businesses open their doors and start operating without a written strategy plan.  What is your chosen target market?  What is your mission statement?  What is your pricing structure?  Is it flexible?  What marketing tactics are you going to use to gain a customer base?  Businesses that don’t have a written plan that addresses these questions and more are foolish.  It’s like shooting without a target.  Without a defined direction you risk missing the perfect opportunity or, worse still, chasing customers who actually do not match your business’s skills and competence.  It’s the quickest way to waste time, effort and money, all resulting in no new customers and jeopardizing your existence.  Having a strategy plan gives you, and your employees, direction so you are all chasing the right type of business.

5.       Not Managing Cash Flow Properly

It may sound like a cliché, but the phrase “cash is king” is very true.  Without it, your business is doomed and your survival becomes very short-term.  Many small businesses are quickly excited by their initial successes and overall enthusiasm.  And the result? They extend themselves too far, and too soon and simply do not have sufficient cash to fund their progress.  It’s simple; no cash means no business so build a business within its means by managing your cash flow properly.

Take a look at these five mistakes.  Is your business the victim of any of these?  If so, take the time, effort, and money to correct the mistake.  It can be the difference between your business succeeding or failing.  And remember, it takes a little more effort and money now to get things right the first time.  Usually the ROI is much better if you invest now, you will end up saving in the long run.

Posted on January 17, 2012, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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