Running a business in this climate means that you need to be careful and avoid making mistakes that could cost you valuable resources and money. Here are some of the most common mistakes made in business:
Not understanding your customer base or target market: many people launch off with that one amazing idea or product without seeing if there is a demand for the item.
- Mantra: Conducting market research is one of the first ports of call when it comes to setting up and running a business, you need to understand what your customers want, and then how to supply their wants.
Not having a marketing campaign: people may think that marketing is a job that only needs doing from time to time.
- Mantra: Good marketing needs to be done every day, it’s vital to ensure that your brands/message is constantly put out there so you can get new customers as well as maintain your current ones.
Hiring too many or not enough staff. Staffing is one of the biggest issues of running a business, you will need to ensure that there is work for the number of people you have and that your staff aren’t over stretched or getting bored because there isn’t enough work to do.
- Mantra: Staff are expensive ‘commodities’ but they are also people who need their views and voices heard. The right team behind you means you can spend your time growing your business and not get caught up in basic admin tasks that could be done by someone else.
Don’t misjudge your finances: running out of money is the worst thing that can happen to any business, especially start-ups.
- Mantra: If you’re new to the game, you should try to plan for shortfalls and have money reserves or credit waiting in the wings to tide you over for the first year or so of trading. Realistic budgeting will be the backbone and also lifesaver of your business, it’s a good way to ensure you don’t overspend in certain departments.
Not using the right Experts: if your accounts are due don’t feel tempted to do it yourself to save money, unless you’re a qualified accountant. Not using qualified professionals to do your books etc. is a mistake many businesses make and then find their taxes haven’t been paid properly, which can incur serious offences and fines.
- Mantra: Use an expert, do what you do best and leave the rest to the ones who know what to do and how to do it!
Not making hard-nosed decisions: Kindness and understanding are great traits to have, but as a business you’re constantly up against competition so you need adopt a hard-nosed attitude when it comes to conducting business decisions. Obviously you need to be good to your customers.
- Mantra: When it comes to making new ventures, be bold and don’t think about how it can affect anyone else but your business.
Running a business is an exciting venture once you get yourself established and the sky is the limit.
Only you can choose where you go and the hours you work, and now you can avoid some of those common mistakes many businesses have made in the past.
Good luck with your business!
Arsim Shillova – International Business Development
Arsim is part of the Beacon Initiative, Grow Programme Virtual Management Team, which can assist qualifying SME’s to grow through the provision of management expertise that may not be accessible to them currently