Running a small business can be pretty tough, and small business owners who trip up tend to make a few common mistakes.
Starting a small business can be an exciting experience, but that adventure can cause owners to overlook the small details. Some of these foundational aspects of running a business that must be considered are skipped, and that can sink an entrepreneur. If you're starting a business, you should be aware of several mistakes that an owner often makes regarding social media, their financial plan, payroll and more. For more on some of the most common oversights of small business owners, check them out below:
1. Not understanding their market
Small business owners rarely put enough time into knowing their market. It is important to identify competitors and recognize channels through which new customers can be acquired, David Bunton, president of The Appraisal Foundation, wrote. If you don't determine these aspects of your market, it will be hard to design a growth strategy that is conducive to your small business's long-term prosperity. Often, companies try to expand quickly without accounting for certain factors in their market, and this can lead to failure.
2. Forgetting payroll taxes
Another mistake small business owners tend to make is forgetting to complete their payroll taxes. Zen Payroll explained that over 40 percent over small businesses get fined an average of $850 per year for payroll-tax related violations – most commonly the issue is payments that are late or missed. These taxes are collected using a pay-as-you-go model. Speak with a financial services expert in order to work out a plan to make sure you remember your payroll taxes.
3. Not remembering that social media connects you to real people
When utilizing social media, you will be expected to engage with people who interact with your webpage or profile, according to Denise O'Berry, author of Small Business Cash Flow: Strategies for Making Your Business A Financial Success. If all you do is spew out information to the people who follow your business, they will probably grow bored with the repetition pretty quickly. Always remember to be authentic when responding to those who reach out and answer quickly, O'Berry wrote on American Express's small business advice website.
4. Operating a boom-and-bust strategy
Barry Moltz, a small business consultant, told Forbes that too many small business owners operate in "a boom-and-bust cycle" that he calls the "double-helix trap." He explained that when money is coming in, and they're being kept busy, too many owners neglect marketing and sales. When the boom phase of the cycle ends, the bust hits harder because they didn't work to acquire customers previously. Moltz recommended coming up with a plan to stay in touch with potential customers long-term, rather than only when you need them to come back to you.
5. Forgetting to play to your strengths
Moltz also recommended playing to your strengths as the owner of a small business. While some time ago, he explained, the little guys used to want to appear more like large corporations, these days the dominant companies want to seem smaller. Nowadays consumers are searching for a personal touch, the kind that small business owners are better suited to provide. Always focus on the customers, and maintaining a relationship with them, as this will be the path to success, he explained.
Don't be another small business owner who fails because of the usual mistakes. Use the tips above in order ensure growth for your small business.