A small business is like a baby; it must be nurtured with utmost care and precision to grow. One wrong decision can adversely affect the business, causing irreversible damage. Therefore, while running a small business with a vision to scale it further, it’s necessary to take certain precautions.
There are five crucial touch points which can devastate your small business. Keep them in mind, write them on a sticky note, write them on your whiteboard, or make a poster. It doesn’t matter where and how you keep them handy, but it is important to avoid these five things while running a small business.
Not Knowing Your Competitors
If business is a battle, you are the warrior. And to win the battle, it is crucial to know your opponent. In business, they are known as competitors.
You might know your adversary, but being unaware of their offerings will certainly hamper your business growth. You must have thorough knowledge of:
- What do they offer?
- How do they work?
- How do they offer it?
- How will your product survive against them?
It is not that customers are afraid of switching to a new business. All they need is a strong reason to switch over.
Also, it is important to learn from your competitor’s failure. Make sure your business doesn’t repeat the same mistakes. And in the end, make sure you set yourself apart from the competitors in every aspect of business.
More Planning and Less Doing
Don’t get me wrong over here. I am not saying that you don’t need a business plan. But, you don’t need to spend your precious time in dithering with details and planning. Planning is a static activity based on preconceived perceptions and one-sided perspectives.
You might as well start doing things and break those, or mold those preconceived notions. It is how learning takes place in a small business. If you are launching your business, or perhaps, making some core alterations in business, you should be working hard to hit the goals right, not just planning to.
Focusing Too Much on the Business Image
I would consider this the biggest mistake of a small business. I’m sure that once you start looking at the bigger picture, you start seeing yourself at par with the market leaders and trying to be like anything but yourself. It is very easy to fall into the image-comparison trap. And this is certainly not an ideal thing to do for a small business.
It is always good to focus on your service offerings and maintain transparency in your business. These activities shall speak and create an image for themselves.
Accept the fact that you are a small business, and start operating like one. Try to put all your efforts in simply offering the best services to your clients. Because focusing too much on your company image at the initial stages will only lead to revenue downfall.
Hiring Too Quickly
Hiring people too fast is a sure shot to business failure, because this can eat up the largest chunk of your business capital. Ultimately you will be spending more money than you are generating in the first quarter after hiring.
But there is another side to this story, as well. Plenty of startups need manpower, but cannot afford decent salaries. A small business does need some helping shoulder to carry on business operations. But in the process of hiring too quickly, you might end up hiring the wrong people.
Nothing can be more dangerous for a young business than unfit people. The blunder lies in hiring individuals who do not understand your company or your vision, but are just interested in the next job offer.
Not Leveraging Technology
In today’s world, it is imperative to keep up with the pace of technology. Gone are the days of doing business in an old-school way. There is a gamut of technological resources available to be utilized for business growth. One such revolution is mobile applications. A smart investment in mobile applications not only yields high ROI but also scales the business.
Sitting in one corner of the world and thinking people will come and buy your products/services is unrealistic. A plethora of mobile apps is giving overnight success to small businesses. Not leveraging technology will only shrink your business market over time, instead of growing it.
The touch-points mentioned above are not exhaustive, as there are plenty of other things which could slay the hopeful wings of your business before it takes the flight of faith.
Make sure you don’t make these mistakes while operating your business. Or, if you are in the process of starting a new business, go back, and read point #2 again. You’ll be glad you did.
Author: Utkarsh Tiwari is VP and business strategist at Peerbits. The company is one of the top mobile app developers, delivering highly polished mobile app solutions to Startups, SMEs, and Enterprises. He is a seasoned leader and proven manager with prolific experience in expanding a small business, with expertise in strategic planning, marketing, business development, and resource management.