Five pitfalls every business owner is sure to encounter
Businesses are rarely ever successful from the very beginning. In fact, it will probably take a good few years for a business to even start turning over a profit. This goes for both big and small businesses, as size does not necessarily determine success.
However, no matter how successful a business may be, it is sure to encounter pitfalls along the way. Below, you will find five of the most common pitfalls every business owner is likely to encounter at some point in time.
A lack of planning
Anything can happen at any point on your business journey, and business owners need to be as prepared as possible for this. While it’s not possible to predict everything that will happen in the future, we can make provisions for them along the way. When a business can’t adapt quickly to new trends or cirsumstances, it may start to crumble. For example, businesses lose a lot of potential income during loadshedding, particularly restaurants. Always plan for the worst when something like loadshedding is on the horizon and invest in a generator. While the initial capital needed may be quite steep, the pros of such an investment will soon outweigh the cons.
An insufficient online presence
We’re living in an age where most research is done online. Businesses can’t really rely on outdated marketing techniques like word of mouth and pamphlets alone (although these are quite effective when used in conjuction with other efforts). Successful businesses are present online and have a well-structured, informative website that makes it easy for consumers to find the information they need, including what a business’s product or service are, as well as where the business is located.
Not utilising a business plan
Business plans are created in order to help prevent businesses from failing. Many business owners start off strong and use their plans every step of the way for the first few months. However, it then slowly starts falling away and ends up gathering dust on a shelf somewhere. Deviating from the business plan and ‘winging it’ can often be harmful for a business, as a plan is often based on well thought-out, researched ideas, where as off-the-cuff decisions may not always be best. Rather stick to your plan as much as possible and use it to guide you from inception to expansion.
Lack of on-the-ground commitment
We know that business owners and CEOs are busy people. However, in order for their vision to be efficiently translated within their business, they need to spend time on the ground and be as involved as possible from day one. A lot of the time, it’s easy just to delegate tasks to others here and there, and while this is a good option in the long run, it’s important for their involvement to be maximised until the business has proven itself and can float on its own. A business owner’s presence can make or break a business, especially in the beginning stages.
It’s been said time and time again: location, location, location. You will be surprised at how much of an impact location can have on the success of a business. And this does not necessarily refer just to the physical location of the business, but to the convenience of it as well: Is there enough parking onsite? Is the business near a busy road or intersection that would make entering or exiting the business difficult if there’s traffic? A business’s location is key, as it can often mean the difference between consumers coming to your business or not.
Even the most successful businesses struggle when it comes to the factors listed above. However, if you, as a business owner, make yourself aware of them and take the necessary precautions, you may be able to steer your business clear of any potential problems in the future.
Featured image: http://www.giftsandtablewares.ca