The 5 Biggest Mistakes Small Businesses Make

Studies show that nearly half of all small businesses fail within five years. However, your business doesn’t need to be a statistic and can successfully make it through the startup phase if you simply avoid the mistakes so many entrepreneurs make. Here are the five biggest mistakes that cause businesses to fail that you can easily avoid.

1) Not planning enough

Small businesses often don’t have a clear plan for what they want their business to achieve and how they will get there. Without a roadmap, it’s difficult to know where to start and whether or not the company is on track. Also, you must consider how you’ll raise capital during your startup phase. Will you seek angel investors, venture capital, or apply for a series of small personal loans? Whatever your decision, ensure that you’ve given your business enough foresight to consider how you’ll fund it and where you see it going.

2) Making mistakes with installment loans

One type of small business loan that can be helpful in growing your business. However, there are several potential pitfalls associated with personal installment loans that small business owners should be aware of. First and foremost, installment loans typically have high-interest rates, which can make them very expensive in the long run. Additionally, installment loans often have short repayment terms, which can put a strain on your cash flow if you’re not able to repay the loan quickly. Finally, installment loans are often secured by collateral, which means that if you default on the loan, your creditors could seize your assets. For these reasons, it’s important to carefully consider whether an installment loan is the right option for your small business before taking out this type of loan.

3) Not focusing on what matters most

Make sure that you and your team are laser-focused on what’s most important to the success of your business. Many small companies focus too much on things that aren’t important, such as marketing expenses, instead of on crucial goals such as increasing revenue or cutting costs. This can result in wasted money and lost opportunity.

4) Not taking advantage of technology

Many small businesses don’t take advantage of new technology to help them grow their business. This includes things like online marketing, social media, and even mobile apps. By not using these tools, you could be missing out on opportunities to connect with potential customers and partners.

5) Hiring the wrong people (or not hiring people at all)

One of the most common mistakes small businesses make is not properly vetting potential employees. This can lead to a loss of productivity and a high turnover rate. Make sure you do your research before hiring people so that you can be confident that they’re a good fit for your company and will help you reach your goals. Hiring the right people is key to ensuring that your business succeeds. Some entrepreneurs feel like hiring employees, at least in the beginning, is a wasted cost when they can easily do the work themselves. This ends up being a critical mistake because it can stunt the growth of your business and lead to a loss of productivity.

6) Not properly understanding or communicating their USP

If you don’t have a unique selling proposition (USP), your business will struggle to attract customers. Your USP should be something that sets your business apart from the competition and makes it more appealing to customers. It should also be something you are passionate about and can continually improve upon. Remember that your business is there to solve your customer’s problems in a way that no one else has been able to do before. What is that thing that makes your business different, and how can you quickly explain it through effective marketing and customer service?

The bottom line

By avoiding these five mistakes, you’ll be on your way to running a successful small business.

Adam Hansen

Adam is a part time journalist, entrepreneur, investor and father.