Running a business and all that it entails can keep us extremely busy, especially for a one-man (or woman) band. It can be easy to fall into bad habits and make fatal business mistakes. These types of errors will negatively impact your business growth, profits and potential.
We all make mistakes, it’s human nature. So why not learn from business mistakes that other people have made and short-cut your own path to success.
In this post I’m going to share the most common and fatal mistakes that business owners make and offer solutions to prevent them killing off your business…
#1 Inconsistent Marketing
Marketing is the process of building awareness of a business and its products and services. It is the starting point of the relationship with potential customers. Effective marketing builds the know, like and trust element and when done well, converts viewers/readers into buyers.
Therefore, marketing is essential part of every successful business.
When we find ourselves in a busy period, struggling to keep on top of customer orders, marketing is usually the first thing that gets put aside but this is actually bad for business.
Is it any wonder that so many businesses end up in the feast & famine cycle?
Likewise, posting on social media every now and then or only writing a blog post when you have some quiet time is not enough to get people to buy from you. You need to be consistently showing up for your customers, reminding them how you can help them.
Whatever marketing methods you choose to apply in your business, you need to be consistent with them. Otherwise, people will forget who you are, what you do and why they followed you in the first place.
Create a marketing plan that details what marketing activities you will focus on and when. It can be as little as 5 minutes every day or as much as a full day each week. Where possible, create a repeatable process that you (or anyone you hire to do it for you) can easily follow.
Consistency is the key to a successful marketing strategy
#2 Not Automating Regular Tasks
There’s an endless selection of tools, software and apps available to simplify the day-to-day running of a business that you can use to save your time, increase your productivity and raise your income potential.
Manually completing every little task can be a huge drain on your time.
Automation software can help you to free up time that you could spend working with customers and on other money-making activities. So, whilst these tools can cost money, it depends on the individual business whether they are worth the investment.
Here’s some examples:
If you make back and forth phone calls to arrange customer appointments, you could implement a scheduling software such as Calendly or Acuity to save you time. You can set up automatic reminders to be sent to your customers prior to your appointment.
You could integrate payment systems with your booking system. Again, this simplifies the process for both you and your customers.
Social media posts can be planned and scheduled ahead of time using software like Hootsuite, Meet Edgar or Later. This allows you to remain consistent in your social media marketing and prevents you scrolling through your newsfeed looking for inspiration on what to post every day.
List the tasks that you complete on a regular basis and make notes on how much time you spend on each. Identify which tasks you can automate, set a budget and research the tools that meet your requirements.
Make Use of the tools that are available to you
#3 Poor Branding
Branding is like the personality of a business. It should clearly convey the core values, benefits and key qualities of your business. Customers will resonate with these principles, which gives them a reason to connect and follow your brand.
Your branding gives your business an identity
Most business owners dismiss branding because they see it as just the business colours. But branding is so much more than that and it plays an important part in every successful business.
Not convinced? If you’re wondering what brand loyalty can do for your business take a look at Apple. The success they continue to have with their branding is phenomenal.
Build a brand profile that your potential customers can resonate and connect with. Determine what your business stands for. What is your business mission? What experience do you provide for your customers? If your business was a person, what would they be like? Use your branding to portray this image to your customers.
Branding is the overall image that your business portrays
#4 Inadequate Money Management
One of the main reasons that businesses fail is down to bad money management. This is the process of financial goal setting, tracking expenses and income and budgeting.
Tracking your business finances is critical when running a small business.
Not knowing your business expenses can make it difficult to generate a profit. Inadequate money management can lead to cash flow problems.
Businesses that are positioned for growth have good money management solutions in place. The very basics of money management include:
- Knowing what your regular business expenses are
- Understanding how much revenue you need to generate to both cover those expenses (break-even) and generate a profit
- A solid plan in place to generate the necessary sales income
- A process for recording all financial transactions (sales, receipts, paying invoices, etc)
- A system to track these figures and recognise any problems that may arise
Setting a budget for your business finances can significantly improve your money management. Your budget should include income forecasts, expense limitations and revenue goals.
Money management can make or break your business
#5 Failing to Reinvest in your Business
When starting a business, we invest heavily in our new venture, but for some business owners that’s where the investment stops. Whilst of course, you should pay yourself every month, it’s not always beneficial to take 100% of the profits and leave no cash in the business.
Think of reinvesting as a way to grow your business.
Reinvestment options include purchasing tools, software, equipment that could save you time to spend on extra money-making tasks. You could also consider hiring a virtual assistant, purchasing training to increase your knowledge or improve your skills in a particular area, or investing in a business coach.
Make your business more efficient, sustainable and profitable by allocating a percentage of your profits to reinvest in your business.
Reinvesting will help your business to grow
You put a lot of time, effort and money into your business because you want to see it succeed.
Whilst, there’s lots of mistakes we can make as business owners, there are also solutions available. What we need is to put the systems in place that will safeguard our business and prevent these fatal business mistakes.
A business coach can help you to identify, avoid and/or rectify these mistakes and offer more solutions for your business growth.
Register for this FREE masterclass recording, where I share the secrets to successful business planning.
Including how you can get better results for your efforts, how to create your personalised plan and how to implement strategies that will increase your income.
We'll also take a look at how you can use the planning process to improve your productivity.