Common Mistakes You May Be Making as a Businessowner & How to Avoid Them

Small business owners have great ideas and solutions – after all, that’s probably what led you to launch a business; but sometimes, these ideas lack the proper execution that lead to success. While there may be several reasons a small business is underperforming, here are some common and avoidable mistakes small business owners make, along with tips for overcoming them.

  • Not Taking the Time to Plan: Lack of planning leads to the production of lower-quality work. Here, you are trying to do everything at the last minute without clear targets or a path to those targets. Take some time to prepare a detailed business plan, and ensure it brings out what your products or services are, how will you earn income, how you will finance business costs, and many other details critical to its success. Having a business plan will provide you with a road map for your business, identify potential challenges, and outline what resources you will need to run your business. Learn more about how to prepare a business plan by clicking here.
  • Trying to Do It All by Yourself: It is helpful to include people in your thought process as you are bringing your idea to life and choosing solutions to challenges that might arise. One mind provides the same range of answers and can keep an entrepreneur from gaining more knowledge that would better support the business. Rely on a team of diverse individuals, depending on the needs of your business for human resources, and delegate tasks according to their expertise.
  • Overspending or Underspending: Overspending often leads to the accumulation of debt, and underspending overlooks essential factors that would need to be carried out for business success. These two factors hinder the idea’s viability and can lead to closing a business or never seeing it fully off the ground. Create a budget to project your business expenses and income for a given period, for example, the upcoming year or quarter. Review that budget against actual expenses to understand where you might have overspent or underspent on your business, giving you a solution to the problem.
  • Forgetting About Financing: No matter how good an idea is, we need to think about where funds will come from to get that idea up and running and what will be required from us as business owners to access them. A business plan should outline how much start-up capital or financing you’ll need to launch or grow your business. Before approaching funders, make sure your business plan is clear and well-structured and that you have a short pitch prepared addressing why your business is a great investment to make. Seek formal financing wherever possible, such as loans from reputable institutions, government funds, or donor funds, to avoid high or unclear costs, unfair collection practices, and potential safety risks.
  • Not Marketing or Advertising: The world learns about what we are doing through marketing and advertising. When your business is not advertised or marketed well, it loses out on potential clients. Depending on your target market, use a marketing channel that guarantees a wider reach and engagement from your target market. With increased digitalization around the globe, consider using online platforms such as Facebook and Instagram, which are popular in East Africa, to put your business products or services out there. Create a content plan for the week or month to ensure your target market is always informed of new products or services your business is providing. If you have enough capital, consider paid advertising for platforms that are most popular to your target marketing such as Facebook. Ensure you include your business contact information and address in your marketing materials to make it easy for your potential clients to find you.
  • Losing Focus: Losing focus is the same as losing the heart of the idea. Most small business owners lose focus when they do not have a proper schedule for their daily, weekly, or monthly tasks for their business. Create a calendar with scheduled tasks, each with a start and end date. Having a calendar with scheduled tasks will help you to balance high-effort and high-priority tasks while tracking your progress against set deadlines for tasks.

For an idea or solution to excel, it needs proper planning and greater emphasis on all the points mentioned above. Putting all of them into practice will add more life to the idea and open more significant opportunities for the solution and its viability.