Starting a small business all by yourself is a big deal. For most start-ups, this is a leap of faith which means leaving behind the old monotonous life, and beginning a new one full of adventures, and unpredictability.
When you burn your boats and embark on a journey with a truckload of hope and expectations, failure is simply not an option. Because if you fail, it will alter your entire life forever.
Unfortunately, statistics tell us that most small business start-ups do not succeed. In some cases, failure would have been inevitable owing to factors that the entrepreneur couldn’t control. However, somesmall business failures could have been prevented if the entrepreneur knew about its causes, and had done something about them.
In thearticle below, we will discuss a few things that small businesses must avoid in order to succeed, and not become part of the long list of failures.
- Not Having a Concrete Business Plan
Many small businesses cannot make it because their owners did not have a clear and concrete business plan.Of course, you know what you want to sell, but it is nothing more than an idea.It could although be a great idea, however, in order to be itsuccessful you need to have a plan that would turn that idea into a profitable business.Apart from the idea, you must have a plan to secure financing for your business, a marketing plan, and complete knowledge about the operations of the business.
Moreover, you must consider what is more suitable for your business: selling through a brick and mortar shop, or through an online store. The niche market for your product mustalso be clearly identified.In fact, all the nitty-gritty of the business must be viewed, discusses, decided, and put down in writing in the form of a workable plan. The constructed plan can then further be presented to investors as well.
- Impatiencewith Initial Slow Rate of Growth
Growth is imperative if you are running a business. However, your small business growth should not be so fast that it leaves everyone else behind.Such unpredicted growth can become problematic for the business at some point in time. Most small businesses finance their expansions through debts. Too many debt repayments can become a great cause for dwindling cash flows and an unmanageabletreasury. These problems can take your business down with them.
If you are expanding at an unsustainable rate, you are bound to encounter problems in your business operations. Your staff will barely be able to handle the immense workload that comes with expanding the business. The qualityof your product/service will decline to result in customer loss, fewer sales, and fewerprofits. Thissituation can lead to a disaster and ultimate closure.
- The Owner Acting Like an All-Rounder
The small business is the responsibility of the owner. As he is the person who is running the entire show so there is only so much the owner of the business can do. He has certain limitations that must be acknowledged. A person no matter how efficient he is, cannot be an expert at everything.It is absolutely necessary that some work is designated to your subordinates. This will render it easier for the owner to supervise the overall operations of the business.
The owner might at times also need the assistance of third-party professional services for maintaining the books of accounts or creatingand executing marketing campaigns. He must recognize these necessitates, and delegate responsibilitieswherever required.
- Inability to Change
Only the change is constant.This is a proverb that fits well with a small business. They need changes, and the owner must recognize when a change is inevitable. Perhaps, the original plan is no more relevant. Maybe, you can bring further efficiency into the business operationsby incorporating new ideas.
No matter what the reason for the change, the entrepreneur must always be ready to adapt to the changing circumstances. The worst mistake a person can make is to cling to the initial ideas and resist changes of any kind. Sometimes, it is a great idea to recognize your own mistakes, make amends, and move on.
- Not Paying Attention to Customer Feedback
Your customer is the person who will decide whether your product is saleable or not. In fact, the customer is a much better judge of your product than yourself. This is because the consumer uses that product and if there is any issue with it, he/shewill be the first person to know it.In most cases, the customer would share their experiences with you through feedback
Sometimes business owners regard negative personal feedback as a personal insult. On the contrary, it should be viewed as an opportunity to bring improvement to your product. Read customer feedback thoroughly, and look for workable advice on product improvement.A customer survey will cost you less, but it will allow you to obtain in-depth knowledge about your customers’ preferences and your product as well, and how you can incorporate them.
The Final Word.
Entrepreneurs must be encouraged to come up with novel business ideas. Those ideas can be translated into a workable business that will offer hefty profits.Most small businesses are although unsuccessful, but it doesn’t mean that yours could be one of them.Just read the above tips thoroughly, and avoid making such mistakes. You and your business will be just fine.