Six Critical Small Business Mistakes to Avoid
There are many obstacles that any business owner needs to avoid in order to keep themselves from backsliding like Sisyphus did in Greek myth. Some of these obstacles may not be the first that come to mind, either. Here, we’ll review six mistakes that a business owner can make that can prevent them from reaching their goals.
Misunderstanding Who You’re Talking To
Let’s consider this in a different context: you’re working on getting a more detailed impression of your audience, so you’re doing some research into what makes them tick. Part of this research involves what kind of cinema your audience prefers, so you try to determine whether the favorite genre of your targeted audience is an inspirational athletic story, or a rough-and-tumble action flick. You run surveys and conduct other data collection efforts, analyzing every data point that is generated. However, what if your audience really prefers romantic comedies?
While this example is fairly goofy, the takeaway is still valuable: assumptions can have a detrimental impact on your efforts to attract an audience. Without the insight into their audience and their preferences, a business could easily miss their mark, targeting the wrong audience - or even potentially alienating the people they should be targeting.
Knowledge Bias Can Become an Obstacle
If you’re operating a business, you probably know your stuff pretty well, every in-and-out that your offering has as familiar to you as the face in the mirror. You truly are a subject matter expert. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the advantage it sounds like it should be.
Have you ever had someone with considerable experience with something unfamiliar to you try to explain some aspect of it to you, only to have most of what they tell you mean little (if anything) to you?
The problem that many run into is that they are actually too knowledgeable and experienced in what they do to be able to effectively explain it to someone else. There’s almost a subconscious assumption that the person being taught has some familiarity with the subject (even if they are a complete novice) so details and processes that have become second nature to the expert are omitted. This habit can be a dangerous one if it goes unchecked.
Cutting Costs Without Consideration
It isn’t uncommon for businesses to try and minimize their financial commitments by minimizing their investments. Unfortunately, doing so commonly puts these businesses in unpleasant situations. Let’s say a business is starting to see their capital being eaten up by technology maintenance, so they start to neglect some of this maintenance… only to suffer the many consequences of insufficient IT solutions. Of course, there are risks to any cuts you may make, so you should apply some predictive analysis and very deliberately consider your options before acting.
Treating Employees Like You’re a Corporation
While all businesses rely on their employees to operate, large business and enterprise corporations have a definite advantage - their capability to much more easily attract, hire, and onboard new employees than an SMB can (thanks to their visibility and name recognition). This advantage also allows them to absorb more employee turnover than an SMB could.
As an SMB, you have to make sure that you aren’t pushing away the people you’ve hired. Instead, make sure that your staff feels encouraged and supported, as this will bring your business immediate benefits, as well as some that manifest in the long term.
Taking on Too Much
As a business owner, part of your responsibility is to be a leader, which also makes it your responsibility to delegate tasks throughout your business. That old saying, “If you want something done right, do it yourself?” It has no place in a business, unless you’re operating as a sole proprietorship. Delegating tasks will allow you to focus on your responsibilities as a business owner, allowing the team you built to do the job you hired them to do.
Business technology has been developed over the years to resolve the challenges and difficulties that businesses often encounter so that these businesses can more effectively accomplish their goals. By allowing their technology to grow outdated (or by not using it at all) a business owner isn’t helping their business… they’re hurting it.
This is a mistake that Nexela can help you avoid. Reach out to us at (215) 525-3223 to learn more.