How To Avoid The Common Mistakes Made by Small Business Owners

September 30, 2014

Starting your won small business is always a risky undertaking. Every new business owner will find themselves under a lot of pressure trying to avoid mistakes. Given that 8 out of every 10 new businesses fail, this pressure seems to be overwhelming. To help you avoid the common mistakes made by new small business owners, here are a few easy tips to follow:

Make a Business Plan and Stick To It

A well-developed business plan should be the backbone of every new business. A lot of owners wrongly assume that they can get away with dealing with problems as they come up (being reactive instead of proactive). This is a great way to get yourself in trouble. Remember the saying, "If you fail to plan, you plan to fail." This goes double for new business owners. That is why creating a detailed, practical and realistic business plan is so important. Perform thorough market research and make sure your business plan covers all aspects of your business – finance, customers, marketing, competition, finance, etc.

Be Original

No matter how brilliant your idea may seem to you, chances are somebody’s already thought of it. To avoid falling into obscurity and getting lost in the sea of competitors, think of all the ways you can make your business instantly recognizable and different from your competitors. You need to have something that will separate you from the rest. You must be original and not another "me too" carbon copy of your competition.  Playing it safe and copying what is already out there is the surest and quickest way to fail.  If your business is not unique in your market, your market does not need your business.

Use The Internet

An Internet marketing plan is a must for every new business owner. You online presence can help you draw new customers, post promotional material, and get in touch with potential partners. When it comes to internet marketing, don’t forget that quality over quantity wins. Focus on dominating a specific niche market and getting your marketing message in front of them. Do not try to market to "the world" as that is the biggest marketing mistake small business owners make. Unless you are a billionaire, you cannot afford to market to everybody. Therefore, make the most of your marketing budget and focus on a specific and small niche market or two. Once you have dominated your niche market, then it is time to expand into another niche market and dominate that market. Rinse and repeat.

Money isn't Everything

Sure, you want your business to be lucrative first and foremost, but in order to get there you need patience and smart decisions. Many business owners overlook the importance of creating a community of loyal customers and employees. Create an atmosphere of trust and respect among your employees, and always remind your customers that it is your utmost priority to be at their service at all times. In order for your business to be successful in the long run, you need to make it revolve around people so those people love your business, love your products and services, and spread the word through word of mouth marketing both in person and through social media.

Take Risks

If you want your business to be at the top of the game, you need to be bold and ready to take risks to separate your business from your competition.  This doesn't mean you shouldn't be smart about the kind of risks you take. To avoid making hasty decisions, it is a good idea to make a list of pros and cons for every risky new idea you want to try out and weigh your odds. Finally, don’t turn yourself into an untouchable decision-maker. Instead, make it your habit to ask for advice from your partners and associates and learn from their mistakes.

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