Small Business Owners are full of ideas and capable of wearing many hats! When it comes to their business journey, an entrepreneur may hit a few speed bumps, but can learn that any error is an opportunity to become stronger.
With 50% of small businesses failing within the first year, it’s important to reflect on other entrepreneurs’ mistakes. Unfortunately, some major mishaps that can occur at the wrong time of the startup phase could threaten the business’s overall longevity.
Your BBB is here to support small businesses in our community with information on the top 10 mistakes that small businesses make:
- The Business Doesn’t Have a Defined Mission. Each business should take time to clarify their exact mission and why they exist. It can also be beneficial to create a mission and company values. No matter the business, it’s necessary to have an articulated focus that helps provide direction for decision making and employee expectations.
- Failure to Create a Plan. All businesses, large and small, need a strategic plan. Planning involves taking time to think ahead and evaluate.
- There Aren’t Clear Goals. Business owners should write down and track their goals on a timeline. Without goals, how can you measure your success?
- There Isn’t an Operating Budget. Entrepreneurs should take the time to budget yearly to help plan and fund future goals. Budgeting helps the business stay organized and grow.
- Employees Aren’t Held Accountable. Once the business’ goals are set, employee responsibilities are described. If an employee isn’t performing to help the business reach its overall mission, then they must be held accountable.
- Not Anticipating Market Changes. The market can quickly shift and change. It is essential that business owners keep track of the changes in technology, customer requirements, and financial viability in their market. Take the time to research new trends and talk to your customers to learn from them.
- Failure to Understand Customer Requirements. Customers pay your organization, so you must understand their wants and needs. A great way to connect with your customers is by sending them a survey. There is a difference between building a business on what you think the customer wants, and what you know the customer actually wants.
- Not Creating an Environment to Help Employees Thrive. Although employees must be kept accountable, it is important to celebrate their hard work as well. Employees are the base of your company and will help to create a positive work culture when they are encouraged, rewarded, and given the tools and training to help do their jobs successfully.
- Lack of Communication. Entrepreneurs have to communicate with both customers and employees. Building a transparent organization that continues to share information will result in customer loyalty and informed employees.
- Not Looking For Ways to Improve. Always looking to improve is what helps businesses grow and change positively. All changes, big and small, are important.
Finally, one of the most important things that small businesses often forget is to celebrate successes. Don’t forget to acknowledge how far you’ve come, and realize when you have hit your goals!
Your BBB is proud of our recent small business, millennial entrepreneur Spark Award recipients:
Griffen Hollow Studio
This post was written by your BBB Serving Central Ohio's Content & Communications Coordinator, Jordan Abbruzzese.