When it comes to running a business, there are certain things all business owners should do. Some people make mistakes, which is fine, we’re only human after all. Most people learn from these mistakes and turn things around, but others seem to make the same mistakes repeatedly.
#1 Employees are people, not a number
Some business owners or even managers treat their employees or team members a lot different to how they expect to be treated. But that’s just something we’re taught as children, ‘treat others how you wish to be treated’ right? Now the problem with this is that those employees that they see as an unimportant asset to the business are a lot more valuable than they realise. Let’s say for instance the business has a call centre, if those advisors answering the phone all decided to not show up to work one day you’d be screwed. Each person within a business is as important as the next, after all, a machine won’t work if a part is missing.
#2 Lack of planning
It happens all too often, someone has a business idea and jumps right in without careful planning. Starting a new business is a huge thing, it takes a lot of time, money and effort and should not be entered in to lightly. Do you think people like Richard Branson or Steve Jobs had their ideas one day and set things up the next day? Nope, it took them years of planning. They wouldn’t be where they are today without planning each step. And this doesn’t just go for new businesses. So many established business owners fail to plan ahead when a change to business is being made. Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day.
#3 Online presence
So many people’s businesses fail due to their lack of online presence. Now I get what you’re thinking, why should an independent retail store have a website and multiple social media accounts? They have a store, that’s, enough right? Wrong! People don’t shop the way they used to. There was once a time when a simple shop was enough to draw in customers however, we are now living in an online generation where people want everything at their fingertips. Sure, they may come down to your store but that’s probably only after seeing it online, checked what you sell, read reviews and compared against other sites. The more you’re seen, the more you sell. Simple.
#4 Under/over pricing
Sure, you’ve started a business, you’re here to make money, we get that. But charging over the odds for a product or service that we can get down the road for 2/3 of the price is going to get you nowhere. As is undercharging, yeah there’s competition that you want to beat, but cutting yourself short just to sell a few more than them will seriously hurt you in the long run. Running a business comes with a lot of overheads, rent, wages, bills etc. if you’re making just enough to cover that then what’s the point? This is where planning and research really comes in to play. In order for this to be worth your while you would need to calculate all of your weekly or monthly outgoings in order to calculate how much you would need to take in each week / month. And don’t a wage for yourself… after all that’s the reason you’re doing this right?
#5 Cutting corners
Now, this can apply to all aspects of the business, staff, websites, décor, programs. The list is endless. All too often business owners hire the wrong staff for the job, cutting down costs by employing someone they can pay less. They rush a website to get it up and running quicker. I cannot stress enough the importance of a decent website, it is after all in most cases the first place someone sees your business and what you offer. This kind of falls into the ‘lack of planning’ point I made earlier, you can’t rush things if you want to be successful.
There are other mistakes that people seem to make when it comes to running a business, but these tend to be the most common. A good business isn’t something that can be built overnight. There is so much thought and effort that needs to go into this. Not only when starting a business but also to have it run smoothly. A lot of people seem to forget that it’s not yourself that represent the company, Often, it’s your staff, website or advertising as that is the first point of contact for customers. If either of these is lacking, it can have a damaging effect on your business.
Ensuring that you do not make these mistakes is not guaranteed to make your business successful, it will, however, put you on the right track.
About the author
Written by Rachel Erin, Media manager at Australian Accident Helpline. They are a national personal injury compensation company based in Australia.