By Nathan Strum
Learn from Mistakes, At Someone Else’s Expense
Being a small business owner requires an array of different skills. For your business to run smoothly you must know every single detail of your business. Consequently, it is vital that you are adequately skilled in everything from customer service, technical support, to sales and product development. That is a tough weight to carry on your shoulders, and considering human nature, there are many mistakes made along the way. It is pretty common, when you are developing your business, to feel like a chicken without a head, but lucky for you there are mistakes that many business owners make. Here are a few of those reoccurring slips and the plan on how to avoid them.
Two Tasks a Day Keeps the Procrastination Away
With so many things running through your mind, getting tasks accomplished can be a complicated process. Your to-do list is stacking up, and you simply just do not know where to start. While it is easy to feel overwhelmed, make it a priority to get at least two important projects done each day. Put the much desired procrastination aside, sit down and get things done. Business consultant, Barry Moltz, gives his advice to Forbes, “People mistake being busy with being productive. Figure out two things you have got to get done the next day, and do those two things before checking your email, voicemail, or Facebook.” When you make it a priority to complete these essential tasks early on, you are eliminating possible distractions your email or voicemail will provoke.
The Price is Right
Typically, many business owners that are new to the game do not know how to set an effective price. Either you undercharge and offer the lowest price in town, or you resort to cutting prices when business is tough. In either situation, it is beneficial to realize that customers will pay the reasonable price you impose. As CNBC Business News and Finance noted, “During tough economic times, an increase in price, coupled with improvements in quality or convenience, can drive customers to your door. Price slashing is a dangerous game.” Ultimately, the lack on cash flow and profits will lead to cuts on other areas. The best habit is to create a well thought out price.
Do not be Dependent
One of the biggest mistakes business owners make is becoming reliable on a certain group of loyal customers. This is extremely dangerous because if they decide to leave you for the competition, your company is going to suffer tremendously. Captureplanning.com weighs in, “The easiest way to give away financial control of your company is to grow your business on a small group of customers. While this may look tempting and free of hassles, avoid it at all costs.” Save yourself the headache and broaden your horizons. A major client is great, but it is important to have multiple sources of revenue; thus, you have avoided possible suffering from the loss of a client.
Pick and Choose your Clients
With the business mindset, more usually means better. In this case, remember that you are in charge and you have the right to refuse services. Sometimes, it is productive to eliminate a bad client that cannot be pleased. Save your time and energy; there is no need for bad business relationships. Move on to retaining your current clients and diversifying your revenue.
There is Always Competition
Although you may argue that your service or product is one of a kind, there is always a competitor. It is a good idea to keep an eye on the competition and stay up-to-date on what they are doing. Forbes weighs in, “What are they changing? If they made a change a while back and haven’t switched back, it’s probably working for them. Don’t blindly copy your competitors, but don’t ignore them either.”
Put Emotions Aside
Whenever making a business decision, make sure that it is from a business perspective. You have the business thumb and business judgment. Use it. For example, if you know one of your employees is not meeting the productivity standards then hold them against the consequences. Is there a fine line? Yes. Feeling bad for them is only natural because you form a relationship with your employees, but always put your business interests first.