The 6 common mistakes you could be making as a business owner
It is said that mistakes have the power to turn you into something better than you were before – that’s why learning from them is so important. Whether they pay off or not, taking risks is a key part of running a business.
It is important to plan for your business’ future and look at the bigger picture. Often, you get so involved with your business’s day-to-day operations, you forget to take a step back and evaluate where you are, and where you need to be headed.
While mistakes are inevitable, there could be some that are unnecessarily being made without realising it. Here are 6 common ones you should watch out for if you want to grow your business without being too fixated on the present:
1. You keep problematic clients
While everyone is horrified by the thought of losing a client, it is important to evaluate your resources being poured into maintaining a problematic one. When you consider how much time, energy and resources can be sunk into retaining such difficult clients, you will realise it’s more profitable to cut your losses.
Invest your now free resources towards landing new leads and looking after existing clients who are more of an asset to your business.
2. You don’t prioritise customer service
Going above and beyond for your clients is no longer a point of difference you can flaunt to sell yourself over the competition. It’s become a hygiene factor. Customer satisfaction needs to be the number one priority of every business and this means always being on hand to answer questions, resolve problems and offer assistance.
If you say that customer service is one of your key assets but you don’t have the resources to dedicate to this level of customer engagement, you should take a look at restructuring your priorities.
3. Your revenue streams are not diversified enough
While it’s great to have a large client, if that one client represents more than 50% of your revenue, you are exposed. You may also find your profit margin is eroded as you price for volume. Consider how dependent their business is on you being their supplier and if the dependence isn’t mutual you are at risk. Have a plan to invest in the next top 5 clients to build up stronger revenue streams from multiple sources. This way, you’ll be in a better position to weather the loss of a large client.
4. You’re often playing catch up with what’s happening in your industry
We live in an increasingly digital world, and there’s a steady flow of new and emerging tools. If there’s new technology coming out designed specifically for your industry, you should be aware of it and already settled on whether you’ll utilise it or not. Falling behind with this will mean you’ll be outclassed.
The same logic applies to new industry regulations, policies, laws and any other information that could be crucial to your business.
5. You’re too focused on your business, and not evaluating what your competition is up to
Always know what your competition is doing; disregarding their achievements is a mistake no business should make. Understand what works for them and what doesn’t. What changes have they made recently and have they changed back? If not, whatever they’ve done is probably working for them.
Always consider how your own business sizes up and things you could implement to make it better. Sales reps of suppliers in your industry or professional service providers who niche in your industry are often great sources of competitor goings-on, well worth that casual catch up to get the longer version of the story.
6. You don’t have a game plan
The key to success for those who are in the top 1% is the fact that while they were happy in the now, they strived to be happy about the future too. They lived in the moment, yet took a step back when they had to and evaluated what the roadmap to the future looked like for their business. They always had a game plan, and for your business to achieve success, you need to, too.
Avoiding even half of these mistakes will allow you to prepare yourself and your business for the future and any potential obstacles that emerge. If you would like assistance reviewing your business plan or forecasting the impact small changes may have on your business contact your usual Hanrick Curran advisor or alternatively, call 07 3218 3900 to speak with Matthew Beasley, Tony Hunt, Nathanael Lee or Robert Pitt.