Most business owners would agree that running a business is unlike anything else you will encounter in your career. The majority of business owners are learning on the fly, applying the skills and experiences they have picked up along the way.
Starting a business is exciting. Perhaps you have always dreamt of being your own boss and creating something from scratch. Maybe you have an innovative idea that will disrupt your industry. Or you want to share your passion with the world and serve your clients in your manner. Whatever your reason may be, you may find yourself building a business and wondering what you could be doing better.
Here are 9 of the biggest mistakes small business owners make:
- Devaluing your services to make the sale. When first starting a business, it is common to be unsure of your pricing and discount yourself in an attempt to make more sales. You need to be confident in your services and price them competitively within your industry and target market. Do your research and remember that not everyone is going to become a client. If you are scoring every client, there is a good chance you are underpriced.
- Not communicating enough with your current clients. Even though you need new clients to grow your business, you need to keep your current clients loyal and satisfied. Happy clients will come back to you for more business and will refer you to their colleagues. One of the easiest ways to stay in communication with your clients is to schedule a reoccurring monthly call with them to check-in and see how things are going.
- Trying to juggle too many tasks at once. Every small business owner runs into this problem at some point in their career. At first, you may be wearing all the hats of the business but at some point, you need to be realistic with how much you can handle on your own. Figure out what jobs you are best at and focus on them. Hire outside help to fill in the gaps.
- Not seeking outside help when you need it. Consultants exist for a reason. And yes, some consultants are in your price range. If you need help with a specific area of your business, start having conversations with experts in those areas to help build out and grow your business.
- Trying to bypass the need for an attorney. I have seen this mistake plenty of times before with new clients that come to Offit Kurman for help with lawsuits. Our attorneys are huge advocates for being proactive and avoiding litigation in the first place, which is why you should spend the time and money to speak with an experienced attorney before you run into an expensive legal problem.
- Not investing in marketing. In today’s digital age, it is important to have an identifiable, professional, and consistent brand. That includes everything from your logo to your website and social media accounts. You also need a clear marketing strategy and messaging to promote your business.
- Waiting too long to hire employees. If you are overworked and being pulled in multiple directions, you need to start seriously thinking about hiring employees. This is especially true for small businesses that are looking to grow. It may be intimidating to bring someone onboard, but the pay-off is often worth it.
- Hiring the wrong people for the wrong reasons. Yes, that person you just interviewed may seem really fun and interesting, but they may be better suited as a friend than a teammate. The same goes for someone who has all the skills and experience necessary for the job, but no synergies when it comes to their personality and your culture. When it comes to hiring, you need someone that fits in with your culture first, then has the ability to at least learn and adapt to the position they are interviewing for.
- Not having a long-term plan and goals to work towards. It is common for small business owners to take it day-by-day, but you need goals to work towards. This is especially true for small businesses with more than one employee. Your team needs something to look forward to and bring meaning to their work. Happy and engaged employees feel that they have a sense of purpose in their work.
What other mistakes are common for small business owners? What mistakes did you make when you started your business? I want to know. Share your thoughts and stories in the comments here »
ABOUT JIM RIES
Director of Business Development
email@example.com | 410.209.6455
Offit Kurman is a full-service law firm with over 225 attorneys focused on representing privately held businesses. With deep experience and knowledge dealing with the issues that business owners are regularly faced with, we bring value to every relationship. As Director of Business Development, Jim Ries drives revenue growth for Offit Kurman by helping business leaders and families of wealth address some their most difficult challenges. He also identifies and develops strategic partnerships and market opportunities. Jim has access to a deep network of attorneys in every practice area, and he is able to connect his clients to the right attorney who can resolve their legal disputes and protect their assets. Jim is a master networker, and his high-level connections call him for solutions when they don’t know who to call. Let Jim be your Google.
ABOUT OFFIT KURMAN
Offit Kurman is one of the fastest-growing full-service law firms in the United States. With 14 offices in seven states, and the District of Columbia, and growing by 50% in two years through expansions in New York City and Charlotte, North Carolina, Offit Kurman is well-positioned to meet the legal needs of dynamic businesses and the individuals who own and operate them. For over 30 years, we’ve represented privately held companies and families of wealth throughout their business life cycles.
Whatever and wherever your industry, Offit Kurman is the better way to protect your business, preserve your family’s wealth, and resolve your most challenging legal conflicts. At Offit Kurman, we distinguish ourselves by the quality and breadth of our legal services—as well as our unique operational structure, which encourages a culture of collaboration and entrepreneurialism. The same approach that makes our firm attractive to legal practitioners also gives clients access to experienced counsel in every area of the law.
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