From time to time, every business owner is its own worst enemy. Particularly when it comes to small business growth – the Holy Grail for every entrepreneur. However, the decisions we make with only the very best intentions often come back to bite us where it hurts most.
On the plus side, every lesson learned represents a valuable opportunity to get things right. Though ideally, it’s a case of learning from the mistakes of others, rather than making them yourself.
So with this in mind, what follows is a rundown of five common mistakes that could be stunting your small business growth from within:
Small Business Growth Error #1. A lack of realistic goals
First and foremost, any failure to establish realistic goals can and will harm your performance. It’s the classic case of attempting to complete a journey, without first selecting a destination and choosing an appropriate route. If you don’t have realistic objectives in place, you can’t expect to achieve anything. Once again, the keyword here is realistic – the kinds of goals you have a genuine chance of reaching.
Small Business Growth Error #2. Failing to enlist help
There comes a time in the life of every business where it’s no longer possible to handle things solo. Or at least, you’ve no chance of achieving growth without enlisting help. The problem being that far too many small business owners see recruitment as something of an unnecessary expense they can do without. When in reality, an investment in talent at the right time can work wonders for your performance and your profitability.
Small Business Growth Error #3. Unwillingness to spend
Speaking of spending, it’s important to remember that you have to spend money to make money. Cliché as it may be, truer words were never spoken. While it’s important to minimise and eliminate unnecessary costs when running a small business, tightening the purse strings too excessively can be harmful. It’s one thing to optimise the financial efficiency of your business, but take your frugality too far and you’re in for a rough ride.
Small Business Growth Error #4. Zero risk appetite
Only you can decide where to draw the line in terms of your company’s risk appetite. Particularly during those crucial early stages, taking unnecessary risks can prove costly – perhaps even fatal. Nevertheless, it’s also during the earliest stages of a business where taking risks is both inevitable and essential. Simply allowing things to cruise along in neutral doesn’t constitute a recipe for growth and improvement. Taking unnecessary risks is rarely a good idea – taking calculated risks in pursuit of growth is something else entirely.
Small Business Growth Error #5. Insufficient research
Last but not least, many entrepreneurs stand in the way of their small business growth and development through a simple lack of research. If you don’t know everything there is to know about your audience and your competitors, you can’t expect to gain a competitive edge. Research should be seen as an ongoing process that only intensifies as your business gathers momentum. Unless you’re willing to do the necessary homework, you’ll struggle to achieve the small business growth you expect and deserve.
As you’re emotionally attached to your business, it can be hard to step back and look at it objectively. However, if small business growth is your goal, this is precisely what you need to do. In doing so, you may be forced to accept a few home truths that aren’t to your liking. Nevertheless, it’s all for a good cause – the growth and success of your small business.
Get your small business growth strategy right and you won’t be running a ‘small’ business for long.