There are many missteps a small business can fall into. Here are 7 definite mistakes to steer clear from.
As a small business owner, it goes without saying that we all have visions of flourishing — so much so that I said it anyway! In order to achieve that goal of exponential growth, it is non-negotiable that small businesses pay acute attention to the details. Very few small businesses have the margin for error — perceptively, personnel-wise, financially or otherwise — that the big boys are privy to. Just as in most things in life, running a small business means taking care of the little things and the big things will often fall into place.
This notion sounds much easier in theory than in application, apparently. With that, we put together 7 mistakes to avoid if you want your small business to stay in business.
Sub Par Customer Service
This is the most simple concept of them all, but somehow gets lost on so many small businesses. The loss of just one valued customer can do serious damage to a startup. Consumers generally share a bad experience four times more than they share a positive one. Also, customers tend to give a small business a far shorter leash than they do with larger businesses before dumping them altogether.
Showing Up Late
Showing up late — while it may mean literally physically being late on arrival — can manifest itself in many ways. Taking too long to respond to customer issues, avoiding supplier invoices, not responding to emails, ignoring employee request, etc are surefire ways to set your business back big time. As cliche’ as it may sound…time is money! Always be mindful and courteous of yours and other folk’s time.
Implement Too Many Levels Of Hierarchy
Not many things are more annoying to a customer than to continuously be sent “up the flagpole” of a small business. It’s expected — and accepted — from large corporations, but can seem pretentious from a small company. Be accessible to your customers, followers and/or fan base. Your best ability is your availability.
Don’t Own Up To Mistakes
One way to piss off a customer is to double-down on an error by failing to live up to it. Look, we all make mistakes…especially when starting a new business. Customers usually acknowledge this. But, the moment you try to cover up or dismiss a mistake, those customers will sniff you out and never come back. So, if you’ve stepped in a huge pile of $&^%…don’t try to walk around like no one can smell it. Clean it up and keep it moving!
Create An Environment Of Low Morale
Employees are one of the most important aspects of any business…especially a small business. If those are joyful, motivated employees, you’re in for a much smoother ride. If those employees feel unappreciated and uninspired, it can be a cancer to your business. Don’t be afraid to listen, compromise and get your hands dirty from time to time.
No Online Presence
No website? No social media? No SEO? No marketing? This means you have NO BUSINESS! There really is no excuse in this day and age to not have an established online presence for your business. If you don’t know how, don’t be afraid to invest in yourself and hire someone who can set these things up for you. You’ll regret it if you don’t.
Undervaluing Your Product Or Service
We’ve all been there. You’re trying to establish your business and want to attract as many customers as possible. The worst thing you can do is to lower your pricing to the point that you can’t make sufficient profits. By doing this, you set your business up for failure down the road and you also set the wrong expectation for said customers.