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8 BIG Small Business Mistakes: Part 2

Posted by Carmen Ventrucci

Here’s an interesting notion:  Do you realize that there are mistakes you can make at various stages of your business’ growth that can be slowly killing it for months or even years if you don’t watch for them? 

Last week we started talking about the 8 biggest mistakes small business can make.  Refer to Part 1 of this blog article to discover more about the first four:

1. Underestimating Your Project and Service Time

2. Not Knowing Your Company Numbers and Incorrectly Setting Prices

3. Not Charging for All of Your Time & Costs

4. Not Getting Paid Fast Enough

Here is Part 2 of the blog article and the remaining four BIG mistakes a small business could make:

5.) Failure to Have Solid Systems and Procedures in Place

Too many procedures (known as “red tape”) is the reason why many people start their own business in the first place. Unfortunately, having no procedures and systems in place at all is a bad idea. Depending on the type of industry, business owners must come to a happy medium or chaos and the unknown will ensue.

Some basic examples where procedures or systems are needed include billing, collections, payroll, human resources (interviewing, hiring, vacations, benefits, job responsibilities, etc.), manufacturing, operating equipment, maintaining equipment, inventory, sales calls/visits, and logistics to name a few. And always remember, you need a sales process because without sales, you don’t have a business.

6.) Spending Advertising Money Just to Say You Advertise 

I would almost rather see my clients not advertise than spend without tracking the results. There is no point in a marketing campaign if you do not put things in place that allow you to measure how well the plan is working. 

The other wasteful part of marketing that many people make the mistake of doing, is not tracking their previously successful campaigns.  Why some people think that just because a $400 dollar a month ad worked once very well for one busy season, that it will automatically work every year after that is beyond me.

7.) Spreading Yourself Too Thin

This is a classic mistake made by every entrepreneur, myself included. The key is to figure out when you are at that “wearing too many hats” point and start getting some help.  The solution here is to know your strengths and to be able to see when you are not performing the duties that demand these skills.

If you are the best salesperson in the company, you can’t get caught up in day-to-day operations. If you do, sales will slip, and eventually, you won’t have any operations to worry about.  Think about this to help you figure out if you are spread too thin: Did you really go into business for yourself to work 80+ hours a week? No, you went into business to make an impact, and you can do that by focusing on your personal zone of genius.

8.) Not Getting Help Soon Enough

Set goals to know when to hire people to take over where you are light on knowledge. Not getting help or waiting too long can kill a company. Most people who start a business do it because they are good at the technical end or the sales end.  If you know the best way to make a widget, then your strength is in production and that is where your time should be spent. Hire an outside company or consultant to take care of the sales and marketing and then hire inside when you can afford someone full-time.  Don’t be something to your company that you are not. It will only hold you back.


Carmen Ventrucci’s motto is Follow Your Road. She knows small business owners create their business so they can make an impact for their clients, community, family, and life. 

Nicknamed by her clients as ‘The Girl with the Golden Shovel’ due to results, Carmen helps her clients scale and grow their business so they can magnify their impact.  Carmen is a small business consultant based in St. Paul, MN, and serves clients across the USA with her company, True SISU Life, LLC

See how Carmen’s Golden Shovel can impact you at www.truesisulife.com


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