When you start a business, you probably don’t manage it with failure in mind…but maybe you should? If you at least know some of the pitfalls that plague most small businesses, then you can be better prepared for problems that you might encounter. There are a multitude of reasons that a business can fail, but here are some of the top pitfalls that you can try to avoid.
1. Poor Management
Most people start a business (especially a small business) because they have a product or service to sell, but how much do they really know about how to manage a company? Poor management skills can hurt anything from your financial books to your ability to retain good staff. Another thing that can sometimes go wrong is that a new owner can get so involved in the day to day workings of their business that they often neglect to plan ahead or tend to customer relations in a timely manner. If you are looking for some help in this area, the Small Business Administration has articles relating to this topic specifically.
2. Insufficient Capital
Starting a new company can be very overwhelming financially, so some new owners tend to look at what it costs to “start” the business, but not what it takes to continually run it every day. Many statistics say that you won’t see much a profit until the 3rd year of business, so there’s a lot of financial planning to be ready for that gap. Be prepared, there’s lots of financial help out there that won’t break your bank. (Statistics from Smallbusiness.chron.com)
3. Location, location, location
It’s very simple – the better your location, the better traffic you’ll get. When looking for a storefront make sure that you take into account the amount of car traffic driving by, the type of neighborhood you’re in (safety mostly), and what other types of business are around you. Are you placed near a neighborhood of thriving new businesses? Do customers feel safe stopping in at your store? Do you have signage around to catch their attention and help customers to locate you easily? These are all very important questions to ask yourself before purchasing/renting a space.
4. No Online Presence
We feel like maybe we are a bit of a broken record on this, but we simply can not say enough about needing to have an informative website and a social media presence. This is no longer an age where your company can stay in the game and not be online. This new generation no longer has the Yellow Pages to look you up in, now it’s all online. If people look for you online, and you’re not there, they basically assume two things; 1) that you’re possibly not a safe, legitimate business to deal with, or 2) you simply don’t exist. It doesn’t have to cost thousands of dollars to get your business online, you can even do it yourself!