The competition is stiff for small-business owners, and if you want your business to grow and succeed, there are certain things you should and shouldn’t do. Hard work, commitment and dedication are critical as you endeavor to turn your business idea into a booming small business. Although it’s normal to make mistakes along the way, there are certain foibles you want to avoid, if possible. Consider these common mistakes and use them as a heads-up to help you improve your learning curve on the way to small business success.

  1. Don’t be Ruled By Fear or Risk-Taking. A solid middle ground will help you move forward in your business without going overboard. Many first-time small-business owners find themselves paralyzed by the fear that they’ll make mistakes. While others take the all-or-nothing approach and dive right in without a lot of thought. Neither stance is good for the longevity of your business. Stay in the middle by balancing out fear with calculated risks. Do a little research beforehand so you feel more informed and certain about the step you’re planning to take. Then take it; plans without action won’t get you very far.
  2. Don’t Be an Island. Many small businesses begin as one-man or one-woman operations, but eventually you’ll need to delegate some tasks to an employee or employees. Whether these employees are hired full-time, part-time or contracted to work for you on an as-needed basis, their help allows you to focus on the tasks you really need to attend to. Try as you might, it’s not possible to do everything by yourself without heading toward burnout.
  3. Avoid Micromanagement. Once you hire someone to help you, you’ve got to trust them enough to let them do their job. The point of hiring help is to let your employee do what he or she does well so you can focus on what you do well. Micromanaging will not help the job get done better or faster. Instead, it’s likely to result in the loss of an employee, which leads to a loss of time and training dollars for you.
  4. Don’t Ignore Red Flags. A warning sign, no matter how big or small, that something is amiss in your business should never be ignored. The best tactic is to be proactive so you can prevent difficulties from arising, but it’s not possible to prevent everything. Deal with a difficult situation or mistake head-on by focusing on the solution and remembering to behave professionally throughout the situation.
  5. Avoid Complacency. Once a goal is achieved, it’s normal to want to cruise for a while. This is seldom a good idea because as you’re cruising, the next small-business owner is sailing by. Always plan the next goal or step, instead of coasting, to make sure your business remains in expansion mode.

There’s a lot to think about when you’re the owner and operator of a small business. As you expand your business, take the time to network within your local and internet community to create a supportive environment where ideas can be exchanged. Other small business owners, especially those who’ve demonstrated success, can provide wisdom to help you as you establish a strong foundation in the business world.

Mary Ylisela writes on behalf of TouchpointDigital.co.uk,  for your digital marketing and communications goals.

2 thoughts on “5 Common Mistakes that Prevent Your Small Business from Growing

  • November 8, 2012 at 9:03 pm
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    Avoiding complacency is a major problem I've seen in many organizations. They see their goal achieved and fail to set another – which means they aren't growing.

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