Running a small business can be a challenge with pitfalls left, right and centre. But, you can learn ways to avoid business failure and stop making unnecessary (and costly) mistakes. Here are 5 for starters along with our suggestions on what to do to improve.
1.Not Having an Online Presence
Time poor customers are buying more and more products and services online because it’s more convenient. If you don’t have a website or some kind of online presence and are solely relying on word of mouth or a physical storefront, you’re missing out on a whole lot of potential sales.
What to do: building a website for your business doesn’t have to be costly. For example, a one page mobile responsive WordPress site with basic information and contact details, coupled with a LinkedIn and/or Facebook page, can help your business be found more readily online.
2.Not Marketing Your Business
Relying on word of mouth to get new customers is a time honoured method of marketing. But thanks to digital marketing, new leads can now be had from many different online sources. Not recognising the power of digital marketing is putting your business at a disadvantage, and leaving you at the mercy of your competitors, who do utilise it.
What to do: Take a course on digital marketing for small businesses or outsource your digital marketing to a professional, including: SEO web content, email newsletters, Facebook ads & Google adwords, advertising strategies and analysis reports.
3. Not Being Organised
If the right hand doesn’t know what the left hand’s doing, then your stuff ups will mean you won’t get referrals and your reputation will suffer. Inadequate procedures can lead to breakdowns in communication, wrong materials being ordered and key staff leaving. Small businesses that aren’t run well don’t last the distance.
What to do: Hold regular planning meetings to make sure everyone is clear on the goals of each project and any issues are sorted out in a timely manner. Foster an atmosphere of open communication to ensure projects run to schedule and you receive good referrals.
4. Not Managing Finances Properly
Concise financial planning is essential for any business, even ones that have a small number of staff. Leaving your accounting in the hands of a family friend or partner who’s ‘good with numbers’ to save money isn’t a wise move. In this scenario it’s very easy to run into issues that can cost your business time, money and its reputation.
What to do: Hire an experienced accountant to look after the financial side of your business who can deal with problems as they arise and keep you in the black.
5. Not Keeping Up to Date With Insurance
Is your business fully insured for an economic or natural disaster? Many small businesses think they are but underinsurance is rife in Australia because business owners would rather take a risk than pay insurance premiums that are often less than 1% of their total expenses. With 70% of businesses not likely to recover from a major loss, it makes sense to rethink your policy if you have one.
What to do: read the terms and conditions of your insurance policy to see if you have the correct cover and update your policy if needed, get advice from a professional if you’re not sure.
Now you’ve discovered the small business mistakes to avoid it’s time to forge ahead with getting some new customers. Bricks+Agent is a convenient community hub to connect homeowners with local trades like you. Stay ahead of the competition, register today and get genuine leads sent direct to your inbox!