What are the 5 biggest mistakes business owners make?

Running a business can be tough, particularly if you’ve never done it before. Most of us start a business because we have a passion or a skill we think people need, but we overlook or underestimate the business basics and it can cause a few headaches. Here, we look at just some of the biggest mistakes business owners make.

Not making a plan

Having a plan in place means that when times get tough, or you’re overwhelmed with work and don’t have the space to think about how to move your business forward or manage an increased workload you have something to refer to and help you find that direction.

Things to include in your plan should be what your overall goal is, short term goals and steps you’ll need to take to achieve them. It should include a marketing plan, so where and when will you communicate to your audience. You should also look at the point in which you’ll be at full capacity, and what your options are at that point.

Feeling like they have to do it alone

So many business owners try to do everything. In the initial stages of launching a business, funds can be quite tight, so we tend to only spend on that which is really necessary. However, this forms a habit so that when we reach a point where we just can’t do it alone, we’re reluctant to pass work over.

A good middle ground is to outsource work. Many freelancers work on an as-need basis so you only pay for the hours you need.

See money rather than value

All businesses have overheads. Some we know we have to pay in order to operate but some such as marketing are things we see as a luxury or as an option if we can afford it. But, unless you spend on marketing, getting in front of your customers can be difficult. The issue here is we tend to see overheads as a cost. Whereas we should really be looking at them in terms of the value they provide. If you take a networking group for example that has a yearly membership of £500 it may look like a large amount of money to be spending. However, if that group brings in £1000 worth of revenue a year, there is added value. On the other hand, you may spend £25 on a social media post but get no leads from it at all, and therefore no value.

Instead of looking at money (although important too) look at value added.

Reluctance to change

Sometimes as a business owner, we can get stuck in the cycle of ‘that’s how I’ve always done it’ or ‘well it works’. And yes, sometimes change isn’t always necessary and the way we’ve always done things can be what makes us difference to our competitors.  However, sometimes not being open to change or doing things differently can stunt our growth and stop us reaching our full potential or meeting our customer’s changing needs.

Cutting prices

Usually in the early stages of our businesses, if something isn’t working or selling or we’re told we’re too expensive, we’re quick to cut our prices.

Before doing this, you need to really look at the situation. Are you actually to expensive for what you’re offering, or have you just encountered someone who is unwilling to pay that price? This is where a little self-belief comes in. If you know you have priced yourself fairly for what you offer, don’t be put off by people telling you you’re too expensive, or because a competitor is cheaper. Your product or service may be of higher quality, or your target audience may differ. And remember, for every person that is unwilling to pay that price, there is a customer that will see your value and will pay your price.

We hope that you have found these tips useful and if you would like to discuss outsourcing parts of your business, do get in touch.