Just because a business is large in size doesn’t mean that it is immune to financial mistakes. There are a number of things that small and large businesses alike tend to do that will end up costing a lot of money in the end. The difference is that a small business opportunity is going to miss the money a lot more than a huge enterprise.
As a budding entrepreneur, pay attention to the seven mistakes below that small businesses – and large businesses – tend to make that can be costly over time…
- Lack of planning ― Your initial business plan is not the only plan you will ever need to make. A solid business requires careful planning throughout the entire life of the company. If you’re going to launch a new product or expand into new territories, plan carefully to insure you have enough money in your budget for what you want to do. For example, if you want to send out brochures to your client base about a new product, you have to plan ahead. Also, sometimes it’s a better idea to plan a less expensive solution, such as an e-mail blast, which is just as effective and a lot less costly.
- Lack of flexibility ― While you need to carefully plan budgets, etc., you also have to be prepared for roadblocks. If you decide that brochures are the way to go, you can’t trash the entire idea when you realize you’ve made a huge spelling error. Instead, see if there is a creative way to salvage the brochures so that they can still be used as an effective marketing tool.
- Not properly utilizing the Internet ― I won’t name names, but you’d be surprised how terrible some of the websites are that belong to larger companies. The sites are either too busy and confusing or they simply don’t work properly. While those companies might not miss the customers who are turned off by the website that is broken or difficult to use, you will. Make sure that your site is clear and user-friendly so potential customers won’t run away. Also, always make sure that it is in operating order! On the same note, social media is practically a free method of getting the word out about your small business. Many large corporations are just starting to understand how to utilize Facebook and Twitter, which means you need to be an expert from the start.
- Fear of spending money ― You must spend money to make money. While you need to be somewhat frugal in the beginning, there are times when it doesn’t pay to scrimp on costs. You’re going to have to spend money to find quality employees and create influential marketing materials. In both cases, it is worth it to spend a little more to get the best results. Large companies aren’t paying attention to every single employee, and are therefore wasting money on people who are not getting the job done. As a small business, you have the luxury of making sure your employees are getting paid what they deserve and doing the work that needs to be done.
- Broad advertising ― With limited funds, you should focus on targeting a specific audience with your advertising. Have you ever seen a billboard that advertises a product that makes no sense in the neighborhood where it is located? This is a waste of money and won’t bring in any new customers. Make sure you’re targeting the right audience with your advertising dollars.
- Unnecessary overhead ― At big companies, no one notices when an employee uses company postage to mail wedding invitations. Large companies have a set budget for office supplies, etc., without looking into what they actually need. As a small business, you don’t want to stand over your employees and monitor every letter they mail, but you should have a good idea what the company needs to run smoothly. Paper has two sides, and if it isn’t an important letter, there is never a reason that only one side should be utilized. Saving on the little things can add up to a lot.
- Doing everything alone ― This problem affects small businesses more than large ones, but overall every entrepreneur needs to know when to ask for help. Large companies may decide to plan a marketing tactic on their own when outside help can result in a better outcome. While you might not have the monetary resources to hire a PR firm or outside marketing team, you could always hire a consultant on a freelance basis for some input. Never be afraid to ask for help. Not only will it save you money, but it can also save you a headache.