critical business mistakes

5 Critical Mistakes Small Business Owners Make and How to Avoid Them

By Matthew Gillman

Running a business – even a small one – is not a walk in the park. Even though small businesses are crucial for the economy, it could easily fail if not managed properly. Tracking your progress, investing in the right resources, and knowing when to get instant business loans can help you direct your business on the right path.

According to statistics, at least half start-up small businesses fail in the first 5 years. Oftentimes, small business owners get too involved with the small problems that they forget about the long-term ones. Although a mistake is an opportunity to learn something worthwhile, knowing how to avoid them can help you dodge a bullet that might ruin your business.

If you’re fixed on seeing your business succeed in the next few years, here are some critical business mistakes you should avoid.

1. Not Having Enough Capital

As an aspiring successful entrepreneur, you might have heard about the expression “it takes money to make money.” This is true most of the time when it comes to running a business. Many people make the mistake of opening a business without securing enough capital that’s needed for expansion and operation.

Having sufficient working capital is important because you won’t be able to predict the stability of the economy. If it’s on its best today, there is a possibility that it will not remain like that in the future. It helps to think of the worst-case scenarios that might happen in the future when preparing the capital for your business. 

2. Not Having a Plan

The main goal of starting a business is to see it prosper in time. But without a plan, this dream won’t become reality. No matter how small the business you’re planning to establish, you need to have a plan that you can focus on. This will help you concentrate on the type of customers you should be targeting, pursue opportunities, and have a clear view of your business objectives.

The secret of a lasting business is to have a small business plan. It doesn’t have to be intricate or long. A single page plan will do since the plans may still change in the future. Plus, a written business plan could be your key to getting the lenders to approve your loan.  

3. Taking in the Wrong People

Your employees will be the front-liners of your business and your great investment. Most business owners take in employees without carefully looking at them. This often leads to a fragile work environment that not only affects other employees, but the customers as well.

When planning to take in people, it’s important to have a system to follow. While skills are important when hiring people, it doesn’t hurt to have a look at other aspects of your soon-to-be employees, too. Your employees should be able to work in a stress-free environment where they can all comfortably work with each other.

4. Neglecting Tax Responsibilities

Many entrepreneurs become so invested in their business’ day to day routine that they often forget about their taxes. As businesses grow, their taxes will also grow with it. This means that while you may have paid lesser taxes before, the rapid growth of your business will mean that you’d have to pay more expensive taxes.

The best way to avoid this mistake is to outsource people. A bookkeeper and a CPA will be your best hire when it comes to taking care of your taxes. This way, you won’t have to incorporate the daily calculations into your piling work. Besides, they could probably do the taxes better than you can.

5. Overlooking Competitors

Businesses, even small ones, naturally have competitors. Even if your small business centered around a brand-new idea, a lot of companies could still rise to become your rival. They will eat you up if you’re not careful.

Although competition is not a bad thing, it helps to stay ahead of other enterprises by differentiating your business. Keep a close eye on them but never copy their products. Prepare for the worst and have a strategy in place to counteract any innovations that could affect your products or services.

Featured photo credit: Depositphotos
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Matthew Gillman on Linkedin
Matthew Gillman
Matthew Gillman is the CEO of SMB Compass. He is a trusted business financing expert with $150 Million+ in direct lending experience. He enjoys spending most of his time with family and close friends. Whether it be on the beach surfing, or in the mountains skiing.

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