As a business owner, you’ve probably wondered once or twice, “What could kill my business?” As expected, you’d have probably listed out the apparent factors that could possibly ruin a business. However, there are several events and factors that could ruin a business – far too numerous to count. In fact, the most dangerous business “killers” are factors that you probably overlooked or dismissed as being harmless.
Small businesses are typically vulnerable especially in the initial stages. However, there are measures you could take to avoid plunging your business into a disastrous pit. Let’s take a look at some of the most dangerous business pitfalls and how to avoid them:
#1 Underestimating the Competition
“Pay attention to the competition”. You’ve been hearing this mantra for decades. From the business lectures you attended, to the webinars you tuned in to. All the experts seem to love harping on the competition. Unfortunately, many small businesses owners tend to overlook and underestimate the competition. Wrong move.
Your competitors can totally eliminate your business if you aren’t careful. Take a look at brands that used to lead the markets a few decades ago but have somehow faded into obscurity. In some cases, the reason why these brands faded into obscurity could be tied to their competitors. Some of them simply couldn’t stay one step ahead of their competitors and move with the times.
Whether your business is a small or a large-scale one, it is important to thoroughly study the competition and of course, always stay ahead of it. Never underestimate your competitors. In fact, it is highly advisable to devise useful strategies for beating the competition. Make sure your brand stands out from the competition. This way, you can ensure that your brand will continuously stay relevant for years to come.
#2 The Superhero Syndrome
It’s totally fine to be a perfectionist. However, a lot of business owners often assume that they can take on every single activity when it comes to running their business. From the administrative tasks, to more technical duties. Do you fall within this category? Pause.
Even though it’s a great idea to get directly involved in all your business projects, you just might be ruining your business without knowing it. Certain situations call for outsourcing or at the very least, seeking expert opinion. As such, it is advisable to hire professionals for certain projects.
You definitely can’t handle everything yourself. You’d either burn out or cripple your business in the long run. Learn to outsource or delegate more work to your team members.
#3 Over dependence
Many companies and businesses today are overly dependent on one thing or factor. It could be a dedicated employee. It could be a customer. It could also be a particular situation or condition. While dependence may seem like a pretty harmless idea at first, it is quite dangerous and could potentially ruin your business.
When it comes to running a business, it is important to bear in mind that the tides will constantly change. Your dedicated employee could leave. You could lose your loyal customer. Situations will definitely change at some point in time.
As such, being overly dependent on one person or factor is a risky gamble you definitely don’t want to take. Instead, broaden your choices to avoid crumbling your business empire.
#4 Avoiding New Tools or Ideas
Thanks to technology and of course digital transformation, new tools are being churned out daily. As a business owner, you now have tons of tools and ideas within your reach. If you aren’t utilizing these tools properly, you’re putting your business at a huge disadvantage.
Today, many entrepreneurs are holding back their progress because they’re scared of change. It’s okay to constantly try out new tools and of course, experiment with new ideas. Don’t be afraid to try out new concepts or tools.
In fact, if your business is to compete with other top brands, you have to be open to new concepts. This way, you can always create room for improvement and subsequently stay on top of the competition.
Don’t worry about making mistakes. We all make mistakes even in our personal lives. The key is to build something substantial out of your mistakes.
#5 Not Planning
“If you fail to plan, you’re planning to fail” – Benjamin Franklin.
You’re probably of the opinion that this is an eye roll-worthy quote. However, no matter how cliché or overused this quote may seem, it does hold an atom of truth when it comes to companies and businesses. Planning and organisation are integral elements of any successful business. For every project you launch, you have to back it up with adequate planning and organisation.
Launching a new product? Plan ahead. Running an ad? Plan ahead. Brushing your teeth? Plan – Okay, this doesn’t require planning but you get the memo. For every business move you conceive or think of, it is important to map out strategic plans so as to avoid failure.
These five pitfalls are in no way the only mistakes you could make when it comes to running your business. There are tons of other pitfalls and disasters waiting to happen. However, these are some of the most common and easily preventable pitfalls that entrepreneurs face. It doesn’t matter if you’ve already made these mistakes or other unmentioned mistakes. What matters is how well you handle and bounce back from these mistakes.
Finally, as an entrepreneur, it is important to watch out for hazards and take strategic steps towards thwarting them. This way, you can focus on building your brand and business.