1. Not realizing that we are running a business.
You love what you do and are passionate and committed to providing the service/product. What many business owners forget (especially when grinding away in the operations) is that you are now running a business. To make it a successful one you must remember that marketing, customer development and relationship building are key.
2. Letting overheads run away on you.
It can be exciting times running and growing a successful business but don’t get caught up in unnecessary financial commitments. That big fancy office or the newest ute (I see you tradies) are not necessary and can be held off until the cashflow is there to support it. Focus on the important things first.
3. No clarity around your market.
Trying to be all to all people can end up having you lose sight of what you are trying to deliver. Identify who it is you want to target, who does your product solve a problem for? Once you know this you will be better able to focus your efforts and get more sales across the line as opposed to pitching to many that may not have a need for what you offer.
4. No clarity around your specialty.
This ties back to slip up number 3, but before you can target your market you need to know exactly what your product/service is. What do you specialise in and what makes you different from others? Run through this daily – who are we and what problem do we solve.
5. Not paying enough attention to the finances.
At the end of the day for the business to be a success the bottom line needs to be healthy (i.e. not red). Keep your eye on that bottom line right now and a projection of what things look like in a few months from now out to a year. (This is where efficient accounting systems come in handy.)
6. Ignoring advances in technology.
Huge mistake that so many of us are guilty of. With technology changing so fast we are forced to adapt and learn new things. Put this on top of everything else you need to do to keep your business going can prove too much. The flip side is that you miss the opportunity to cut down on operating expenses by cutting down on administration time and automating many dreaded tasks.
7. Not making customer experience paramount.
Word of mouth (or finger tips) is absolutely key in today’s market place. Word of what your experience was with a business can spread like wild fire (through social media/blogs etc) and you want this spread to be as positive as it can be each time. Make sure you and your staff put ‘ensuring customer experience is paramount’ to each and everything you do.