Commonly made yet simple to fix, often overlooked with sad consequences .. here are 9 mistakes you can easily avoid.
1. Paying Scant Attention To Your Cashflow
Keep your finger on the cashflow of your business at all times. Otherwise you run the very real risk of not having enough money when you need it most. It’s important to remember your customers. They won’t always respond within the timeframe you think they should. It makes sense to ensure you’ve got enough cash to tide you over. We recommend working out your cashflow for at least 6 weeks in advance. This way, you you can see any potential problems (lack of cashflow) in advance and rectify it before you get there.
2. Little Or No Marketing Strategy
A good, practical marketing plan is vital. It will help you and your employees focus on getting in front of the right types of people. There are many ways to market your business at very low cost, or even no cost at all. A good marketing plan will be practical, fit for purpose, and end the need for “cold calls”.
3. No Sales Plan
There’s only one serious way to gauge the financial growth and progress of your business. This is a good sales plan. You’ll need to know where the sales will come from, how they’ll come, and who they’ll come from.
4. Not Knowing Your Customers
Make sure you know your customers inside out. All the products and services in the world won’t make a difference if you don’t know what your customers want. You also need to keep abreast of their changes in preferences. If you don’t have the right products or services right now then make sure you can be a resource for your customers. Find out what their buying patterns are, what they want now and what they’re likely to want in the future.
5. Getting Attached To One Idea
Be prepared to change – to move and shift with the circumstances. Don’t get hitched to a single idea. Play with lots of ideas and work out which ones bring money and success, or whatever else you might be after.
6. Overlooking Your Employees
Managing, motivating and training your staff is often a tough challenge. Without your persistence and “people skills” problems could multiply. This can destroy productivity and profits (not to mention morale) in no time flat. A satisfied and happy team will become one of your company’s greatest assets. It’s worth investing the time and effort to cultivate this kind of loyalty.
7. Confusing Possibility With Reality
Business owners often live in the realm of possibility and probability. To be a successful business owner you need to spend time in the world of possibility. But at the same time make sure you spend money only in the world of reality.
8. The Lone Ranger Syndrome
You can’t do everything yourself – not if you want to grow at the same time. You might be the key to your business, but as it grows you will need help. Make sure you hire the right staff and delegate responsibility.
9. Not Seeking Outside Help
Get an advisory board, a mentor, or a business coach. Don’t pass this off as a silly idea for a small business – it’s not! You need someone independent of your business. Someone who can review your business plans and results. Having someone to bounce ideas off and get an objective opinion is critical.