Expensive small business mistakes to make

At this current point in time in 2020, avoiding costly mistakes is something every small business should be making an effort to do.

With the Coronavirus pandemic still very much at large, losing money you don’t need to lose could lead to catastrophic consequences.

No small business has money left to waste at this late stage of this extremely difficult year, so save your precious finances by following our tips and tricks on avoiding costly mistakes at all costs.

There are many different ways for a small or independent business to be wasteful with its hard-earned money and avoiding doing so can be one of the biggest early challenges in a business owners’ career. The truth is it takes time to develop a high level of business savviness and the deeper you get into your career, the more you’ll know.

Common business mistakes

You can always read further to brush up on your business skills, but by making mistakes, you can often learn to not make them once again in the future. However, if you can avoid those said mistakes the first time round, you’ll keep hold of your money, which is always the ideal outcome.

Read on to find out more about some of the most common mistakes among small business owners, particularly in the early stages of their careers.

Mistake 1: Demanding or expecting perfection 

This is often a mistake that plagues the actions of new start-up business owners. People can often wrongly believe that their business ventures should be constantly flying on autopilot, with no disruptions or distractions to ever get in their way. Of course, this isn’t right and can simply never be how reality actually works.

Insisting that every single thing should be done to an absolute level of perfection, both from the business owner themselves and their employees, will only ever cause a rising level of stress throughout the workplace and consequently cost you more money in the long run. With higher stress levels you’ll probably discover that things are taking longer than normal to get done and that the quality of you workers actions are generally decreasing.

All in all, by making this early mistake you’ll be setting your business up to lose money right from the get go and instilling an unhealthy working environment that’ll only prove to be ineffective.

Mistake 2: Failing to market your new business

If you’re the owner of a new forward-thinking business venture, that’s packed with original ideas, great products and unique services, you’re on the right track for success. Although, if nobody knows about the existence of this business outside of your family and friends, there is simply no way it can turn into a money-making success.

Unless you already have a strong reputation within the industry your business operates within, there’s no chance people are going to go out of their way to search for your new company. It’s your job to tell them and by tell them, we mean market to them. Spend money on an advertising campaign, get your business up and running with a fresh set of social network accounts and ultimately just start spreading the word. By using this method you’ll have to spend money to eventually make money, but it is far better than never making any money at all. Marketing your business will be a case of spending to save.

Mistake 3: Not knowing about unexpected costs

This is a common sin throughout new business entrepreneurs across the entire world. You have to be aware that you’re going to run into some unexpected costs while running a business of your own. Nothing is straight forward or simple in the world of business and as an owner of a brand, you should be well aware of that yourself.

You can avoid this mistake by calculating the costs of everything, rather than making off the cuff purchases from time to time. Try to follow your initial business plan as closely as you possibly can, as this way you can attempt to stick to only spending what you planned on originally.

Mistake 4: Approaching things with a negative attitude

Sometimes when things don’t seem to be going your way in a business sense, it can be easy to lose focus and drive. With the loss of these things you’re likely to lose the motivation that powers your business to succeed. Not having the right attitude is a sure-fire way of allowing laziness to enter your business and things can soon become unstructured. With a loss of structure often comes a loss of funds.

Do not let this happen to your business venture. The key to getting through these tougher periods is to set yourself a few goals you’re hoping to achieve each week/month By doing this you’ll know exactly what needs to be done and how much time you’ll have to take to complete your objectives. When you accomplish something at work you’ll boost your self-motivation, as well as those around you (your employees).

Mistake 5: Not conducting your market research properly

If you’re searching for those ideal customers that will help you to turn over a profit, but you don’t actually know a thing about what they want, or what’s already on offer to them via your competitors, you’re making a massive error. Any product or service you bring to the market will likely be set up to fail instantly if you haven’t properly conducted the market research surrounding your particular brand.

Know an extensive amount of information regarding the industry you’re trying to break into. Who are he competitors that you’ll be battling it out with to get the best possible level of sales? How does your product or service fit into the current market and what makes it different about the other options available to consumers and customers? These are just a few choice questions you’ll need to know the answers to before you begin your business if you’re hoping to avoid this costly mistake.

Mistake 6: Not hiring the right help

One of the most important decisions a business owner can make is who to hire to help run their company. The wrong employees can cost a business time, money, and customers.

For example, an employee who is frequently late or doesn’t show up at all can cause a business to lose money by preventing them from completing tasks in a timely manner.

An employee who is rude or disrespectful to customers can also cost a business money by driving away potential and current customers. Finally, an employee who doesn’t follow directions or complete tasks properly can waste the time of other employees who have to fix their mistakes.

As a result, it’s essential for business owners to take the time to find the right employees for their company. By doing so, they can avoid many of the problems that come with hiring the wrong help.

Have you made a mistake along the way? It isn’t the end of the road

It is worth noting that if you have made a mistake, you can go on to turn things around; it doesn’t have to be the end of the road for your business venture. In fact, by making the odd mistake throughout your business career, you can often learn a lot more about yourself and the company you own in the process. Learning lessons made from your own experiences is an essential skill to have for any business owner, so don’t be caught worrying too much by a little error; it normally just means you won’t repeat the mistake in the future.

Learn from your own errors

However, in order for that to be true, you need to actively look to learn lessons when and where you can. If you follow your business mistakes up with some thinking time on possible solutions to your problem and discovering what the root of it was, you’ll be better prepared to face or avoid similar situations in the future.

It is also worth noting that every failure isn’t the same, so just because you’ve discovered how to avoid one certain type of error, doesn’t necessarily mean you won’t run into a different problem somewhere down the line.

Also, every business is different and therefore, are the problems they face. This means you won’t necessarily be able to go out and discover some universal advice that can be applied to all situations. Though, don’t be afraid to look for solutions to your problems, either online or in-person, someone somewhere has likely faced some similar trails and tribulations to you.

Making mistakes can sometimes be good for business owners

If you’re the leader of a team of employees, it is sometimes favourable for them to see you making the odd mistake. That doesn’t mean you should go out of your way to make them more often, but it also doesn’t mean it has to be the end of the world when they see your get defeated from time to time. Everyone goes through difficult periods, but it takes strength to allow your co-workers to see it for themselves.

When you make an error, which is in some way harmful to your small business venture, it gives you the opportunity to set an example to your employees. You can show them first-hand how you learn from your mistakes and grow as a direct result of them. Show everyone how to react in the right way and not be beaten down too much by your own unfortunate errors.

Beyond this, your workers will be able to deal with mistakes themselves and understand what they actually mean more clearly. They don’t need to feel like the world is closing in on them because they did something wrong; they would be better off searching for solutions on how to minimise the problem and eventually make it disappear completely. This will result in a positive outcome for all involved: you, the business owner, the team of employees you have assembled thus far and the very organisation you’re all a part of itself.

Don’t play the blame game

If something goes wrong within your business venture, your first instinct may be to look for someone to blame, although this is often the wrong way to approach it. Pinning the blame on someone, regardless of what has happened, doesn’t often get you any closer to ensuring that the same problem doesn’t strike once again in the future. Talk through things with your whole team of staff members, rather than singling someone out and embarrassing them over a simple mistake.

You don’t want different staff members making the same error in judgement repeatedly, so when one individual makes a mistake, ensure that everyone you employ is able to learn their lesson from it. It is often the case that a strong business venture has good communication skills running throughout it, so don’t shy away from talking things through.

To summarise things

You may have read through these mistakes and thought you either have already managed to avoid them or you’re simply not worried about them. The truth is that every single business will face different challenges and different financial difficulties, etc. Take the points that apply to your business and utilise those on your own personal level. You do not have to follow the lead of others like a sheep, nobody knows your business better than you do, so if you know where you need to start saving money, target those areas before doing anything else.

Lee Jones profile picture
Business Finance specialist at Invoice funding

Seasoned professional with a strong passion for the world of business finance. With over twenty years of dedicated experience in the field, my journey into the world of business finance began with a relentless curiosity for understanding the intricate workings of financial systems.

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