As a small business owner, many times you might be tempted to look outward instead of inward when things are not going in the direction you had anticipated. However, when things are taking the downward spiral turn or if your business is not growing well, the best place to start is to look inward and you might find surprising ways you might be killing your small business.
In this post, I’ve identified 10 surprising ways you might be killing your small business.
1. Going with every wind of change
As an entrepreneur, you are burdened with the task of making decisions that could directly or indirectly affect the growth of your business. One of such choices might be deciding which new technology to embrace or which social media platform to become active on. Whatever choices present themselves to you, try and ensure that you don’t change what is already working.
Change is a constant, however, going with every wind of change is a surprising way you might be killing your small business.
Don’t try to be the first one purchasing a new technology neither should you position yourself in such a way that you are the last person to get on board. Always update your knowledge and be patient when making decisions that affect your business growth.[Read: Starting a New Business? Here are 6 Common Mistakes to Avoid]
2. Ineffective pricing
As a small business owner, the sole purpose of a business is to make PROFITS. If you don’t make profits, then you are not running a business; it’s a hobby. In order to make profits, you have to price your products/services competitively.
When determining your PRICE, don’t just look at the cost price of your product and add a comfortable percentage.
Rather, consider the cost price plus your overhead costs. Your overhead cost includes but not limited to transportation, communication (phone bills), meals, electricity bills etc. If you keep pricing your products based on cost price only, you are killing your small business in a way that it might be too late before you realize it.[Read: 4 Things Warren Buffet Wants You to Know About Wealth Building]
3. Lack of social media presence
If you think you are too busy to maintain an active social media presence for your business, you might find yourself in hot soup sooner or later. Think about it; if your customers spend most of their time on social media, you might as well socialize with them there.
Socializing with your customers and interacting with them gives you an opportunity to get to know them up close. When they know you better, they become your mouthpiece and introduce you to their friends.
4. Selling on Credit
If you want to fast track your business death, sell on credit! Selling on credit is bad for business and as a small business owner, you should not lay this foundation for your business. If you have been selling on credit, seek counsel on how to stop unless you are ready to shut down.
5. Not following up with your loyal customers
Let’s face it, your loyal customers are the one responsible for 80% of your business profits, why take them for granted?
If you don’t follow up with your best customers or you don’t touch bases with them routinely, they might start to lose interest in patronizing you.
Remember, your competitors are out there trying to woo your loyal customers to their side. Whenever possible, try looking for ways to keep them loyal. Give them a surprise offer or reward, they will appreciate you for it.
6. Lack of integrity
If you lack integrity in the way you conduct your business, it will die a sudden death. You might get away with your lack of integrity at first but when it boomerangs, it’s usually fatal and irreversible. Rather than making empty promises, it is best if you are plain about your strengths and weaknesses up front.[Read: How to Charge Customers What You Truly Deserve]
7. Poor customer service
Attitude is everything! If you don’t treat your customers well, you are killing your business gradually. People want to know that you appreciate them for choosing you over your competitors. One of the best ways you can show your appreciation is by offering a good customer service to them.
No matter the quality of your products or services, if you do not provide excellent customers service, you are gradually hurting and killing your business without you even knowing it.
8. Failure to keep proper records
One of the mistakes I also made earlier on was a failure to proper records. The importance of keeping proper records cannot be over-emphasized.
Keeping proper records ensures that you accumulate sufficient data over time and helps you to identify what part of your business that needs improvement. I
t also ensures that when you need the records, you can easily locate them. If you don’t keep proper records in your business, you are gradually killing your business.
9. Not conducting market research
Routine market research is a must for every serious business owner. The needs of your client base change over time so you need to identify their exact needs and ensure that you are meeting those needs in a way that is mutually beneficial.[Read: 6 Practical Ways to Inspire Creativity]
10. No marketing
As a small business owner, you should be involved in actively marketing your business to prospects and current customers. If not, you are like a boy winking at a girl in the dark. He’s the only one who knows what he’s doing while others don’t. If others don’t notice your business due to a lack of marketing, it will die a natural death.
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