Starting your own small business can be an exhausting venture, but if you succeed it can be one of the most rewarding things you ever do. Unfortunately, it can be difficult for small businesses to make it in a tough market. But with some careful planning and effort you will have a distinct advantage over other small business owners.
If you want your small business to succeed, avoid these common mistakes:
1. Not Having a Clear Plan
You may have a great product or service available, but that is not enough to grow a thriving small business. Before you invest any capital in getting your business up and running, you need a clear, written business plan that outlines your goals for the future, and how you plan to make your business achieve those goals. Thinking through every detail of your business will give you time to reflect and see what things you need to focus on.
2. Failing to Have a Tax Strategy
When you're starting a small business, it is easy to overlook taxes in the excitement of focusing on other details. It is fine to put taxes on the back burner while you are brainstorming ideas, but it is essential that you have a tax strategy in place before you open for business. Taxes can be incredibly complicated and hard to understand, so your best bet is to seek the services of accounting companies in this field, that can take care of payroll taxes, corporate taxes, and bookkeeping.
Many small businesses forget this due to the fact that they don't have a long term tax plan, so when taxes are due they do not have the funds to pay them.
3. Undercharging for Products and Services
In the excitement of getting customers and making sales, many new small businesses undercharge for their products and services. It is easy to think that having the lowest price is the best strategy to gain new customers, but in the long run your business will actually suffer from this strategy. It is important to do a careful market analysis to discover how you should price your services or products to maximize both sales and cash flow. If you do not know how to do this properly, it is well worth the investment to hire a consultant to guide you.
4. Not Focusing on Customer Service
Your small business may offer the best product or service on the market, but if your customer service is lacking your business is not likely to grow. In this day and age, it is not enough to have good customer service- you want to exceed your customers' expectations by providing exceptional service that will lead to repeat business and word-of-mouth referrals.