An enterprise is like a relationship. You need to invest time, effort, love, and passion to make it work. However, just like every aspect of life, you can’t expect a business
to always be smooth-sailing. Sometimes, a single mistake could prove to be fatal—a mistake that could have been completely avoidable.
Here are 5 avoidable mistakes to watch out for when growing a business.
1. Becoming too optimistic
So, you have your brand and your product. Maybe you even have your own brick-and-mortar establishment, and customers flock to you naturally. That should be enough, right? Think again. A few regular customers aren’t enough. Instead of waiting for customers to come, seek them out. Utilize social media marketing to your advantage. Be where your potential customers are and put your stuff out there.
2. Compromising quality for profit
Business coach and author Joanne Tombrakos said in her book It Takes An Egg Timer: A Guide to Creating the Time for Your Life that multi-tasking is great in the kitchen—when you’re trying to time the chicken to be ready at the same time as the potatoes. But don’t assume it’s a great way to manage a workday.
Sure, multi-tasking keeps you busy, but are you really progressing when all you’ve done is begin but not really accomplish anything? Having a number of projects to work on may mean more profit, but it doesn’t necessarily mean increased productivity or better quality.
You have to remember that, in order to have a successful business, you need a team that is dedicated to accomplishing tasks on time, without compromising the quality of their work.
3. Doing everything on your own
As your business is growing, you probably want to be very hands-on. That’s not a bad thing. However, in keeping yourself busy attending to tasks of lesser importance, you might lose yourself in the details, instead of seeing the bigger picture. In this scenario, attending to every single task that you think needs your attention is likely counterproductive.
Soon, you’ll find yourself overwhelmed with work you could have simply let someone else handle. This is a situation that can be easily avoided when you delegate tasks to acapable team. That way, you can maximize your time doing what YOU have to do best.
4. Hiring full-time instead of outsourcing
As a growing business, you might think you need to hire more in-house staff because work is piling up and you feel that you need an extra hand.
Hiring a full-time employee is a good plan when you are already established and can afford to spend resources on training new staff. But still, as a growing business, it’s more practical to hire freelancers or virtual assistants who can do the same technical or administrative jobs you need, for a fraction of the price you’ll pay for a full-time employee. Essentially, when you hire VAs, they become team members that are always ready on-call, since they work remotely.
Virtual Assistants are professionals specializing in different areas of expertise, from content writing, web development, accounting, and everything else in between—they’ve got you covered.
5. Dismissing feedback
Feedback is invaluable when evaluating customer satisfaction. We want to have a positive and motivational working environment; hence, we take positive customer feedback and proudly display them on our social media pages. This is helpful for your business, as it serves as good publicity and boosts your business’ reputation.
However, not everyone is going to be pleased with your product or service. Just because you’ve received good reviews doesn’t mean you shouldn’t listen to critical feedback. If you dismiss them, you are doing both your customers and your business a disservice, because you’re refusing to accept an opportunity for further growth. On websites where businesses can be reviewed by anyone, handling both positive and negative feedback will show a sense of accountability and commitment to deliver services better.
6. Considering debt as bad tool for your business growth
Growing your business requires working capital. And even when you don’t have enough working capital, there are ways to fund your business growth. One way is taking out a loan, which can be considered as good debt when utilized to invest in equipment, hire more reliable people, and add more physical stores.
Good debt is taking out a loan to finance an expansion or a product improvement. Suppose the lending institution charges 20% so you can loan from them—this is not a bad thing, if the loan goes to a product that would get a 100% return. This type of debt keeps cash flowing, and the faster you turn over your inventory, the sooner you pay off your debt.
Bad debt is taking out a loan and spending it on frivolous expenses. If your debt is not improving your cash flow, discuss it with your finance team, talk to a financial advisor, or have a very thorough audit.
You see, not all debts are bad. Sometimes, we just need to borrow money to meet the demand of our growing business and afford opportunities to expand our market.
When growing your business, you will go through a never-ending cycle of learning. One minute, you think you’ve already learned the system; next thing you know, the trend shifts. Be open to new learnings, and be teachable—this will keep you from committing these mistakes so your business can grow to its fullest.
Do you have more advice for entrepreneurs and business owners? Share them in the comments section!