It is no secret that a small business is the most fragile type of business there is. Funding is scarce, customers can be unforgiving and navigating the social landscape can be exhausting. The constant battle to stay afloat in a sea of good and bad possible outcomes is also unforgiving. Everything from the economy to a bad customer experience can leave you with a crumbling empire.
Small Businesses have to encourage constant growth, innovative methods, and lots of data to survive. Knowing where you stand, how you measure up to the competition, and your specific goals only outline a small portion of your duties as a business owner. While there are many bumps in the road to a rewarding business, there are five mistakes that can put you out of business entirely:
Bad Customer Service
A business thrives on word of mouth, no matter virtual or storefront. Your clients run the show. Social media has made it easy for consumers to give their opinion (and specific details) about their direct experience with companies. It's perilous to the health of your small business to have too many bad experiences spread around the internet. Be sure to hire reputable, friendly employees and to always put your best foot forward when dealing with anyone from suppliers to leads.
For a small business, a rainy day fund could suddenly end up as your only source of cash. Record-keeping, up to date accounting, and responsible spending have a huge impact on whether your business will maintain success or not. Having an accurate forecast of cash flow can save you from a dry season with absolutely no resources and no way out. Factoring is a viable option to help quickly regulate cash flow and keep your business funded through the tough times.
Lack of Focus
This is a big one, and it drags many companies into the depths of bankruptcy. Lacking focus hinders your ability to plan, to strategize, and to assess your growth accurately. Without a clear understanding of what you are doing right (and why), your business is just floating from shaky client to unstable client. Marketing, finances, and social presence will all fail without a clear set of goals, objectives, and methods to attract and nurture leads.
No Clear Target Market
Who are you talking to with your marketing campaign? A murky marketbase will leave your small business struggling very quickly. A clear business plan and marketing plan help to narrow down potential clients while filtering out liabilities, giving you access to a more tailored business experience.
Refusing to Change
There is power in adaptability. While the country rebuilds itself after a terrible economic climate, change is the only reliable constant. Moreover, with so many people venturing into the world of entrepreneurialism, it is a willingness to adapt that will keep you in business. Planning for rainy days, both financially and mentally, is a necessity. Unfortunately, the world of small business is not always whimsical, and success is more than just charisma and good intentions. It takes diligence and the ability to change and adapt quickly to stay relevant.
While small business management is a stressful venture, you can protect your hard work with the right attitude and the necessary steps. It is hard to love your work if it seems fruitless; remember that keeping up with your business will help you find joy in all that you do for and with it. Keep your attitude about positive but realistic and you'll see it thrive for years to come.
Catamount has always been there for us and has been very instrumental in helping us succeed.
Without Catamount we would not be where we are today...period. They have been a tremendous help and are very supportive!
When we needed help Catamount stood up to the plate for us. Their service is outstanding...great people to work with!