5 Crucial Mistakes Small Businesses Make



When you’re a small business owner and things are going well, it can feel like you can do no wrong. Your business strategy is sound, your employees are all efficient and skilled, and the market is booming – in short, you’ve got it made. You’ll maybe allow yourself a small amount of time to rest on your laurels and admire what you’ve created before you get stuck in, but overall you’re happy with your progress.

It would be a mistake to become complacent, though. Business is a cutthroat environment, and it’s entirely possible to fall behind if you take your eye off the ball for just one second. Many small businesses constantly make fatal mistakes that severely impact their productivity and can, in some cases, cost them their very existence. Here are 5 mistakes small businesses make, and how you can avoid them as a business owner.

Not Separating Accounts

If you’re embarking on a journey as an entrepreneur or business owner, then keeping your business and personal accounts separate is of paramount importance. You might be tempted to simply merge the two and think “well, my business is kind of my life right now, so I should just keep one account for ease of access”. The thing is, though, it’s hard to get an accurate picture of what your business finances look like when your accounts are similar. You might have just hit a personal windfall, which is great, but that doesn’t reflect on your business. Aside from separate accounts, you’ll also need to make use of the most reputable and relevant accounting software for your business. For instance, if you’re running a healthcare clinic, then utilising EHR revenue cycle management software can help enormously with day-to-day operations as patients and doctors alike should encounter no issue in regard to processing payments and bills.

Alternatively, you might be looking to draw a personal loan from a popular lender like this one for your personal finance, and siphoning money from your business isn’t advisable in these circumstances. In addition, you need to keep separate accounts for tax preparation purposes. With this in mind, it may be useful to get a san francisco tax preparation service or similar in your area to help you, to ensure that all your paperwork and finances are in good order. Trust us – keep your personal and business accounts apart. 

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Overenthusiasm – Rushing in Without Planning

Small business owners are an enthusiastic bunch. They’ve just decided their new business venture is going to change the world, so they rush out into the market to make their mark. Without proper planning, though, your business is almost certainly going to fail, because you’re going to come up against challenges you hadn’t anticipated.

As such, you should have a thorough business plan that details the operations of your company – for example, if you are hoping to operate in the healthcare sector, will you need a patient management system or some other kind of software system to optimize your processes? How many employees will you need, if any? Will you outsource things like accounting, or use tailored cloud-based solutions instead? After deciding on these, you will also need a marketing plan, complete with a well-researched target demographic and ways to engage with said demographic.

You could also make use of a resource like this marketplace financial model template to plan your finances as effectively as possible and have something to show, should you decide to approach a bank or investors for funding. Everything you do as a small business owner should be planned out and mapped to as much of an extent as possible. There will, of course, be moments where this can’t be done, but if you’ve planned for every eventuality then surprises won’t be quite as shocking.

Undermarketing

With a strong enough idea under your belt, it’s tempting to believe that business will simply find you and that you don’t need to market yourself. Nothing could be further from the truth. So many businesses go under because they believe so ardently in their product that they fail to remember marketing is crucial. If nobody knows your business exists, then it doesn’t matter how great your product is because nobody will buy it. Whether you choose to go digital, work with this company offering printing in Evanston, IL, for example, to create print marketing materials, or use a combination of the two, you need to market yourself, and you need to find the right balance between aggressively putting your product out there and knowing when to back off and let the product speak for itself. There is a fine line, and with experience, you’ll understand it. Until then, err on the side of caution and market, market, market.
Mistakes Small Business make

Lack of communication

You don’t have to go it alone. If your business has employees, then you need to clue them in and speak to them about problems you’re facing and triumphs you’ve orchestrated. When things are tough, turtling up and not talking about it with anyone is definitely a poor decision, because there could well be someone on your staff who could help that you’re not appealing to. Similarly, if things are great and someone needs a raise or a promotion, if you weren’t there during the tough times then you might not feel like you can be there for your staff during the good times. Businesses only work when the people involved in them collaborate, so make sure you’re talking to the people around you at all times.

Ill-defined demographic

Most small businesses zero in on a niche or demographic that isn’t served by other businesses and cater almost exclusively to those people. That’s not to say that you can’t start a business with a more general clientele; if you’ve got a good idea and you know how to implement it, great. For most small businesses, though, a specific demographic should be decided upon before the business is set up. If you don’t define your audience, then it’s impossible to construct marketing campaigns which specifically cater to that audience, and so you’ll see your sales suffer as a result. When you’re laying out your business plan, make sure you specify what your demographic is, as it’ll make your mission statement that much clearer.

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