Common Mistakes Made by Fledgling Small Business Owners
It would be an understatement to call the first year a crucial time for a small business. Between managing resources, recruiting fresh talent and drumming up clients, most small business owners have their work cut out for them – and the choices they make throughout their first year play a large role in determining their long-term viability. Needless to say, fledgling business owners would do well to keep mistakes to a minimum during this vital period. So, if you’re looking to set your small business up for lasting success, make an effort to avoid the following blunders.
Focusing on the Wrong Promotional Avenues
No matter how small your business is, effective marketing is needed to bring it to the attention of your target customer base. While word-of-mouth certainly plays an important role in creating awareness for locally-focused businesses, it shouldn’t be regarded as a substitute for a well-planned marketing campaign. When seeking to promote their small businesses, many proprietors adopt a “throw everything at all the wall” approach and put money into every promotional vehicle imaginable. While embracing this strategy is understandable – after all, the more you advertise, the more attention you’re liable to generate – it’s generally an unwise use of your resources.
For example, if your business is targeting a younger, tech-savvy demographic, purchasing ads in local print publications and buying ad spots on TV and radio outlets is likely to constitute a poor allocation of funds. By the same token, if your target demo skews older, focusing all your promotional efforts on the digital space is unlikely to produce the desired results.
If you’re unclear on the most effective ways to reach your target audience, get in touch with a highly-rated marketing agency. Seasoned marketing pros will be able to help you create, implement and refine promotional strategies that will grab the attention of your desired customer base and generate positive word-of-mouth.
Not Obtaining the Proper Licenses
Failing to obtain the proper licenses for your business is likely to result in a host of undesirable consequences. Immediately having to shut down your business and being thrown into legal jeopardy are just two of possible outcomes that await if you refuse to take the time to get properly licensed. So, before even opening your doors, make sure to brush up on any licenses you’ll need to obtain to operate your business and set to work obtaining them. This process is generally fairly easy in municipalities that utilize convenient business license software.
Not Being Active in the Community
Every small business with a hyperlocal focus should seek to become an active presence in the community. Fortunately, there’s no shortage of ways to go about this task. In addition to being a regular presence of local business gatherings and job fairs, you should consider organizing charity efforts and contributing to local causes. For example, organizing food drives around the holiday season can be a great way to do right by your community while building awareness for your business.
Renting Out Too Large a Workspace
There’s nothing wrong with having lofty goals or aiming high. In fact, all business owners should strive for success in a variety of areas. However, going too big too soon can have an adverse effect on your financial resources and contribute to the premature closure of your business. For example, renting out an office or store space that contains far more room than you require to operate generally isn’t the best use of funds – especially for fledgling businesses with limited resources.
In the interest of conserving funds, try not to get too extravagant with your business’s first base of operations. Should your first year or two prove quite successful, you may be able to relocate to a roomier workspace, but at the outset, cost should take priority over spaciousness.
Getting a small business off the ground is no mean feat. In fact, you’d be hard-pressed to find a small business whose proprietors don’t consistently put forth a significant amount of hard work. Given all the time, money and capital that goes into helping a small business thrive, it’s only natural that small business owners would seek to keep their establishments afloat at all costs. To this end, all small business owners would do well to avoid the missteps outlined above.