Learn about 5 common small business mistakes and how to avoid them.
The journey to grow your business is usually pretty rocky and there are things that you can only learn from experience. Some of these lessons have to be learned over time, but there are some mistakes you can avoid if you know what to watch out for.
The stats on business failure is depressing, according to Forbes ‘8 out of 10 small businesses are bound to fail‘. Yes, investing in a new business has a certain level of risk, but making a few mistakes along the way doesn’t have to be a business-ending event. Instead view these mistakes as necessary steps in the journey to creating the business and life you truly want.
As you start to build your business, watch out for mistakes that many successful entrepreneurs have done and then learn from them. Scroll down to learn more…
1. Don’t assume, always test instead
There’s a danger in relying on what you think your customers will respond to. Don’t just do what you think works, instead test to find out what actually does work. You need to understand your customers and what makes them click/buy. This is discovered through research and testing. Just because a related small business is successful using a certain strategy or process, doesn’t necessarily mean it will work for you and your business.
There is always a danger in following popular advice or going with your gut instinct. Your potential customers may be different than you think. Market testing will show you what is working and where you should invest more of your time and resources.
2. Don’t hesitate to raise your prices
You do good work and offer a great product, but you worry that if you raise your prices you might lose too much business. Your goal should always be to get compensated for what you are worth. Successful entrepreneurs avoid ‘tire kickers’ at all cost, they learned that it’s not worth the effort to try to convert them.
Good customers see the value in hiring someone that can do what they want them to do and businesses that offer reliable, well made or unique products. Pricing should be based on value, and successful entrepreneurs as well as small business owners need to charge accordingly. If you’re doing good work, help people and offer great products then charge a fair price that makes what you do worth your time and effort.
Your time is your most valuable resource!
3. Don’t follow popular advice blindly
There are tips and strategies that have been passed around so much that they’re considered facts. These urban legends might work for some business owners, but that doesn’t mean it will have any impact on your own business.
Testing and feedback from your customers are the only ways to hone in on best practices and what you need to help your business grow. Your decisions should be based on figures, not hearsay. The next time you see someone touting their amazing results from using a certain strategy, smile and determine to research it for yourself. It’s better to make a profit than to be popular.
4. Don’t give away your expertise for free
There was a time when the ‘free’ consultation call was how you got business. Today we have blogs, podcasts, and video. We offer free information to the world as a way of getting customers to know, like, and trust us. These mediums are the new free consultation call.
Most people don’t place a value to something they get for free. You will end up lessening the value of what you actually sell, and you sacrifice your most valuable resource, your time. Every minute of a successful entrepreneurs time has a cost associated with it. Don’t waste your time by giving it away for free!
5. Don’t lose your focus
The Internet and social media have created an environment that is ripe with distraction. We hear the popular advice, we witness success from other entrepreneurs and we get distracted trying to replicate what they’re doing. The key to gaining traction in your business is learning and understanding where to focus your time and what strategies will work for your small business. Ignore what could work and use proven data to amplify what does works. Working in uninterrupted blocks of time is a secret strategy of successful entrepreneurs.
There are many jaded present and former business owners and their one goal is to try to bring you down to their level. Avoid these people and what they have to say. Their negativity will affect you and how you see what you’re building. Realize what happened to them does not have to happen to you.
Ignore the naysayers! Choose to spend your energy on learning from successful entrepreneurs, and remember what you’re doing is to help and serve your customers.
Before you move on, also check out our 27 Ideas To Grow Your Small Business article. Because slow times give you the perfect opportunity to grow your small business.
What are your thoughts? Have you learned an important business lesson you would like to add? Please leave your comment below.