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5 Mistakes Small Business Owners Make That Prevent Them From Growing

If you’ve been in business for any length of time, you’re likely to have acquired some valuable insights into what it takes to succeed. For example, keeping your focus on your target audience is crucial to growing your brand. On the other hand, you may not know why so many small businesses fail within the first three years. The problem is that many first-time business owners make recurring mistakes that prevent their businesses from growing. All of us make mistakes every now and then. However, when you recognize these common pitfalls, you can avoid repeating these mistakes and accelerate your business’ growth. Here are five of the most common mistakes new business owners make:

1. You Have Too Many Ideas

Businesses aren’t defined by ideas; they’re defined by their ability to execute them. Without a clear focus, you won’t be able to effectively implement any of your ideas no matter how good they are. For new, cash-strapped businesses that can’t afford to spread themselves thin, this is particularly problematic. When you aren’t sure where to focus your efforts, consider your skills and the top problems you see that your target audience faces. The area where your expertise intersects with the problems your target market are facing is where your main ideas should be built from. As a result, you’ll be able to focus your attention on the one idea that has the highest chance of succeeding. In case you still can’t narrow down your focus, make a list of all your ideas and revisit it later after giving them some thought.

2. There Are Fundamental Flaws With Your Product Or Service

Have you ever gone through the whole process of making a beautifully decorated holiday cookie, just to bite into it and realize it tastes horrible because you forgot to add some essential ingredients? If your essential ingredients are missing from your product or service it is extremely difficult to revert back and fix it after it’s already been implemented. You’ll find yourself spending more time and money trying to salvage your offering than if you had started over with a clean slate. 

To help you recognize when your product is flawed, filter your ideas through these questions: Are you solving a problem that’s relevant to your audience? Are you solving it in a way that customers are able and willing to pay for? Are your offerings too broad? Do they provide a solution to a specific problem? If you aren’t sure, consider bringing in an expert to evaluate your offering and provide you with some feedback.

3. You Over Invest In Advertising

An important part of growing any business is advertising. Nonetheless, it’s a mistake to spend a lot of money on advertising before you develop a customer base to target. A large ad budget doesn’t guarantee sales. Your return on investment depends on targeting specific customers who are interested in what you have to offer. Instead of thinking about how much you’re willing to pay, focus your attention on how many customers you’ll need to purchase your product in order to earn enough money to pay for the ads and acquire a profit. It is always worthwhile to do a series of small ad tests and make adjustments as you learn from the analytics than to pour your budget into any avenue with the assumption you’ll gain a lot of customers. 

4. You’re Constantly Spinning Your Wheels

It’s necessary to keep the big picture in mind when marketing your business. If you’re constantly tweaking your website copy, testing different landing pages, or updating your branding, you’re almost certainly spinning your wheels. Trying to do everything at once isn’t possible. Instead, focus on the few things you know you need to do to get your business off the ground. Once you’re past the initial stages, you can start experimenting with more ideas. Until then, focus on growing the foundation of your business instead of getting too caught up in the small details.

5. You Don’t Have A Solid Understanding On Who Your Ideal Customer Is

This common mistake can be the root of the other mistakes mentioned in this list. If you don’t know who your ideal customer is, you won’t be able to effectively market to them. You’ll struggle to find them and even if you do, you won’t be able to tailor your products or services appropriately. To better understand your ideal customers, you must do some market research, put yourself in their shoes, and learn as much as you can about them. Where do they like to hang out? What are their values? What are their struggles? What are their dreams? Being able to answer these questions will provide you with a valuable tool that you can use to better serve your customers and reach your business goals.

No matter what business mistakes you’ve made in the past, you can always turn things around for the better. By recognizing these pitfalls early and correcting them, you can take proactive measures to prevent them from derailing your business and put yourself on the path to success as an entrepreneur.


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