by Megan Totka
While it’s not fun to admit, the U.S. Small Business Administration tells us that just fewer than half of new businesses don’t see their five-year anniversary. This means it’s essential for the mom-and-pop-type businesses to use the right small business strategies from the very beginning and make sure your business embraces the killer startup characteristics it takes to run a successful business. Let’s talk about small business strategy mistakes—and cover four big ones you don’t want to make.
1. Presuming a product or service will sell itself
You may sell the most requisite and revolutionary product known to man, but if the product’s existence is unknown it’s not going to sell. Devise a marketing plan that will create business awareness and research ways to create brand enthusiasts and loyalists. Word-of-mouth generates business in a big way. However, growing a customer base able to create a big buzz takes marketing that extends far beyond the likes of social media. Make your business known in your community through active promotion so others know you exist and understand what it is you do
2. Not grasping finance
Entrepreneurs all excel in their own ways and possess unique strengths. Some are better at broad concepts, and others like to hand-deliver their products or services. Many are not concerned with the financial aspects of their business. The problem is that all businesses need to understand the numbers in order to make the best decisions. It’s hard to understand which products have the greatest growth potential. Many businesses just don’t have the right data. Businesses need the numbers in order to make informed business decisions.
3. Trying to do it all
A small business means that everyone pitches in and helps one another out, even if that means doing tasks that fall outside of their job descriptions. However, no matter how willing you and your team are to tackle tasks and learn new things, realize when you’re in too deep. Don’t fear outsourcing tasks that you and your employees can’t handle. There isn’t anything wrong with asking for help. Running a business is a venture that means you accept that each aspect needs to be handled by someone who knows what they’re doing. No amount of good intention or trial and error can turn a bookkeeper into an IT professional.
4. Ignoring the profitable aspects of your business
If you don’t feel that your business is thriving as you’d hoped, it’s easy to simply try to mix things up with a different product or approach. Business owners sometimes fall into the habit of chasing revenue here and there, but never realizing which sales are truly optimal. Businesses that succeed concentrate on what they know and do best. Find an area of focus and don’t veer too far from it, and you’ll do well. This doesn’t mean you can’t make changes within your business. It just means you should go after your goals whole-heartedly and don’t second-guess yourself. It’s important that small business owners recognize the most common mistakes in order to avoid them. Use these tips to lead your small business to years of success. What mistakes have you seen small businesses make? What advice would you share to promote small business success and longevity? Plan for the future by putting in place a solid marketing plan. Download "The Infusionsoft Guide to Sales and Marketing" for help.
Megan Totka is the Chief Editor for ChamberofCommerce.com. She specializes on the topic of small business tips and resources. ChamberofCommerce.com helps small businesses grow their business on the web and facilitates connectivity between local businesses and more than 7,000 Chambers of Commerce worldwide.