3 Actions (or Inactions) That Are Hurting Your Small Business
The majority of small businesses will fail within their first five years. That’s a frightening fact not only for entrepreneurs but also for the economy as an approximate 60% of employment in the U.S. comes from small businesses. So where do owners go wrong? As Toby Nwazor recently wrote about in The Huffington Post there are a number of ways that small business owners can sabotage themselves and aid in their own demise.
1) Keep Your Personality
One of the top ways this is done is by trying to emulate larger corporations. Whether that means making your locations sterile and free of character or trying to grow too quickly only to get in over your head, trying to take on the big guys by imitating them rarely works in your favor. Remember that what consumers often love about small businesses is their personal touch and attention to detail. Sometimes that can get lost in your rush to expand, update, and incorporate the latest technology that the corporate stores are using.
2) Using Technology Smartly
That isn’t to say that all new technology is bad. In fact, if you aren’t managing an online presence for your business, you’re doing yourself a major disservice. Not only does the internet give you a number of platforms to promote and market you business but it can also be used as another outlet for selling your goods. Look at it this way: having physical store and doing nothing else opens your business to your direct community but having an online presence and storefront allows you to open your doors to the world. Which sounds better to you?
3) Don’t Lose Focus
Lastly, in order to run a successful business you have to be creative but focused as well. While it is important to brainstorm and come up with new ideas for your business you should also be careful not to try and do too many things at once. Again what people love about small businesses is their ability to be niche and specific. Use your creativity to build upon what you can do that’s new and different within that core niche instead of letting yourself get distracted by other ideas that would expand the scope of what your business offers. It’s a difficult balancing act but one that’s essential for growing your business.
The reason so many small businesses fail isn’t because the competition was too strong or because customers didn’t like what the retailers had to sell. While those can also certainly contribute to the problem, most often it’s the entrepreneurs themselves who are sabotaging themselves. By avoiding these three common mistakes you can help ensure that your business continues to grow and thrive.