1. Lack of an Online Presence – In this day and age people assume that everything is online. It can be quite a shock to search for a business only to find that they don’t exist in cyberspace. It’s important to have a well-crafted website or even just a Facebook page so that customers can find your business.
2. Information is Hard to Find – Have you ever looked up a restaurant, only to find that while they have a website their menu or opening hours are impossible to find? In such cases, you’ll likely go somewhere else. This is a common mistake with the websites of many smaller businesses. When designing your online presence, think about things from the customer’s point of view and put the most important information in a prominent place.
3.No Social Media Presence – This is different from a total lack of any online presence, as a social media presence is a modern form of marketing that not every business has caught up to. Use social media to your advantage, it is a form of advertising.
4. Not Looking for Help – Many people are unaware that there are services out there to assist small businesses. In the UK there are many financial assistance schemes or grants available. These tend to be regional, so contact your local council for more information.
5. Confused Branding – Your business should have an image that customers recognise. It is important to find a successful brand that works for you and stick with it.
6. Cheap Workmanship – When hiring staff such as graphic designers or someone to work on Search Engine Optimisation, if the price seems too good to be true then it probably is. If you can’t afford quality work then invest some time in doing it yourself, or be prepared to be disappointed with the results of your website, logo or brochures.
7.Underestimating the Benefits of Being a Small Business – As a small business, you have certain advantages that larger companies don’t. There is the ability to appeal to a niche market, your knowledge of the local market and the trust you can build with consumers on a more personal level. Think about what your business can offer that others can’t.
8. Unrealistic Expectations – As a small business, of course there are certain limitations you must face. Consider what you can realistically achieve and go about that aim to the best of your ability. This will allow you to focus more than if you were attempting to achieve an unrealistic goal and wasting your resources in the process.
9. Extreme Pricing – Avoid under or over-charging for your product or service, as both can damage your business in different ways.
10. Hiring Friends, Not Workers – This is a major pitfall for many small businesses because in an attempt to give a job to someone you know you risk missing out on someone who would excel in that role. Remember, your staff are there to help your business succeed, not to repay favours.