Top Small Business Mistakes

We all make mistakes, it’s human nature. As a small business owner, certain mistakes can slow growth or decrease your chances of success.

working woman looking upwards
  1. Losing Focus. Experts agree that the most detrimental mistake is loss of focus. With all the daily tasks in front of us, most being the daily routine of performing the tasks of ownership like managing employees, overseeing production, working with customers and clients, paying the bills, and growing the business, we tend to focus on a narrow set of tasks instead of devoting time to help the business grow and succeed.
  2. Wearing Too Many Hats. When business owners think they have to do everything themselves, productivity suffers. Great managers are great delegators, whether it’s knowing which tasks staff can handle or simply outsourcing time-consuming tasks that can and often should be done by someone (Hint: DL MoneyManagers) else.
  3. Failing to Strategize. Running a business takes time. Business owners often work much longer hours and more days in a year than the average worker. And never having time to quietly analyze where the business is now, where you want it to go, developing a roadmap to success, and documenting a set of strategies that can take you there…well, this too often takes a back seat.
  4. Doing Everything Yourself. Whether it’s brainstorming with a management team, a partner, a client, or a mentor, you have a much better chance of growing the business and meeting goals when you don’t try going it alone. Delegation also makes employees become better thinkers and more loyal to you and the success of the company. When you do what you are good at, and delegate the rest, you have more time to brainstorm how to set your business apart from your customers and gain important market advantages.
  5. Underpricing. Since the advent of the Internet, savvy buyers (your customers) can easily get an idea of what to pay for your product or service by searching similar offers online. Buyers often say that competitive pricing is the most crucial feature influencing a purchase decision of good or services. Include this fact in any decision to drop prices. Better to determine to keep prices fair so you can deliver a better product or service. This doesn’t mean you can’t discount unused or outdated inventory when appropriate, just don’t drain your margins or tarnish your brand with too many sales and discounts.

Promotions get attention and may attract new customers, but discounting during an inflationary economy, like these current times, can be bad for business. Try other ways to increase sales like: announce a price increase, bundle goods or services, create community on or offline. Rather than a sale price, consider a free trial period. Finally, believe in your people, customers, clients, and especially yourself. 

Pros and Cons: Growing Your Business

growing green plants

A string of good fortune in sales and income can tempt any small business owner to consider growing their business. An unexpected spurt of sales or growth can provide the financial resources to take that leap into expansion, whether it be expanding services or taking on new products. Yet before any decision, it’s good to consider possible problems caused by rapid growth:

— Hiring new employees requires more office space. Can you sustain your commitment to a higher lease amount or the expense to build out?

— Will new employees create staff turnover due to competition, hurt feeling of being passed over, or unusually heavy workloads?

— Will expansion hurt employee morale? A shortfall of cash to meet expansion costs could mean that workers must generate more income, creating a burden on all employees and risking the loss of experienced workers.

For business owners experiencing rapid growth, it essential to understand whether the growth is temporary or permanent, for example, the result of demand for your product or service or a local scarcity due to a competitor’s closing. Regardless of the reason, expand sustainably…that means, find a professional business adviser to help you:

  • identify your goals
  • understand the key phases of product life cycle
  • extend the skills and capabilities of staff and management
  • negotiate complex deals and contracts
  • minimize any business risk

At DL MoneyMatters, we wish all our customers good fortune, growth and prosperity!

What Happened to Work Ethic?

Blame it on the pandemic for changing the behavior and attitudes of millions of Americans — especially the American worker. When workers were forced to work from home, we were given (though not by design) the opportunity to reevaluate our priorities. 

office staff meeting around conference table

To summarize several studies, what America workers now say is more important:

  • Be and stay healthy.
  • Eat right; exercise often.
  • Pay equal attention to physical vs mental health.
  • Appreciate life over a job.
  • Put personal freedom above financial goals.
  • Rely less on large gatherings for entertainment.
  • Put relationships above a standard of living.
  • Put our own views ahead of public health officials and politicians.

Basically, American workers, post-pandemic, look at life as is more important that a job, and if that job can be performed over a computer from home, that’s even better.

It’s a far cry from the pre-pandemic times with life centered around the workplace and companies dreamed of expansion to multiple locations. How an office looked, worked, and functioned were considerations when deciding where to work. Now, it’s not about space, it’s about people…and the shift requires big changes in how companies shape, manage, tend, and lead their people.

The American work ethic in terms of productivity, creativity, and resourcefulness has not changed … after all, we are still proud, free, and strive for success. So employers are understanding the importance of offering, where possible, flexibility to work remotely. The challenge to reengage people back into the office, at least for the foreseeable future, is dim.

On reflection, is it so bad to want to be near our children and loved ones, putting fewer miles on our car, eating lunch from the refrigerator rather than a restaurant, and still be a contributing factor to the American workforce? History will know soon enough.