Small Business Mistakes to Avoid

Owning a small business has many built-in challenges. On top of that, you may make some self-inflected errors that can also set you back. Simple mistakes can turn into costly setbacks if they happen too often, and minor errors can become major ones if left uncorrected.

Some setbacks are inevitable, but here are four small​-business mistakes that are within your control that are important to avoid:

1. Not doing your homework
Mistakes can be made before a business even has a chance to get itself off the ground. You should know, prior to opening, if your company will have any direct competition and what it will take to draw customers from that business and attract them to yours. Doing research ahead of time will allow you to create a strategy for establishing the business, be it in a crowded marketplace or an area where you are the only business of your kind.

Having a distinct skill or feature that sets you apart from the competition will be valuable, Entrepreneur magazine wrote. For a small business to succeed, finding that competitive advantage is necessary, and that requires studying the overall business landscape before opening.

2. Biting off more than you can chew
It is wise to think big, but you also want to be realistic when running a small business. That means taking it step-by-step instead of trying to skip from Point A to Point G. Having a plan in place, and sticking to that schedule, can help a small business grow incrementally over a period of time.

“Mistakes can be made before a business even has a chance to get itself off the ground.”

Trying to do too much in too short of a time can end up setting the entire business back. That’s why knowing what has to happen for your business to succeed is so important. If there’s a task that you need to have done, and you don’t have the time or personnel to do it, outsourcing is a strong strategy, CNBC explained. Let experts come in and handle the jobs you can’t do, so that you can stay focused on what comes next.

3. Poor attention to detail
Sometimes it is the little things that make the biggest difference. Issues such as typos and poor grammar in emails, or failing to to thank customers for coming to your business, may not seem like huge issues especially if the quality of your work is top-notch. But those things matter to people and represent a company that doesn’t pay close attention to details.

The Houston Chronicle recommended you make detailed lists to ensure that you are paying attention to doing all of the small things your business needs.

TS - Wise to Think Big - Merchant Capital (4)

It’s important for small business owners to follow their plan and not skip any steps along the way.

4. Not planning ahead
Say you reached your initial goal for your business. Great – now what’s next? Having a plan in place to move forward is needed for a company’s success.

Being unprepared for large growth or a major influx of new customers can crush a business. Before your reach that point, develop a strategy for how to handle those situations so your small business is able to keep thriving when that time comes.

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