The 5 Things New Small Businesses Get Wrong Every Time

8 February 2023

When I started my business, I had no idea what was going on. So many founders find themselves in the same position because there’s no map towards being a successful founder. It’s trial and error, persistence, and understanding that failures aren’t failures: they’re simply learning curves.

Come say hello to Heather and I as we launch GrasshoppHer Go on February 24th at Kendra Scott x UT Austin!

Small businesses can find themselves feeling like they have the opportunity to make mistakes. We want to be free in the choices we make, especially at the very outset, but time and time again, there are mistakes small businesses make that harm them for a number of subsequent years. A small business is not in competition with the big ones, but you still need to have a template in place that helps you to feel confident that you can go the distance. Here are a few things that new smaller businesses can potentially get wrong.

Poor Quality Marketing

Many businesses fail to acquire customers during the first few months, primarily because they do not know how to get their name out there. It pays to know some of the simple things that can get your business up the search engine rankings. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) encompasses so many different tools and tactics, like if your website is optimized for mobile, the backlink quality on your content, or your keywords. 

If you can hit some of the basic essentials of SEO, you can see an impact in a few months’ time. Because SEO involves optimizing your content to make it more readable by the Google algorithm, this will take a lot of the guesswork out of actually hitting your customers. A good analogy would be that SEO is like having a megaphone, so you can shout louder, and in the right direction, to the people that use your services.

Lack of Market Research 

You need to do your homework and understand who your customers are and what they want. It is a chicken in the egg situation sometimes- you may think that you can create products that cater to a certain type of customer, but if you don’t do your market research and understand who your ideal customer is, you are not creating the right products. Making sure that you have a product to sell is the first port of call, but market research gives you greater insight into who your customers are, what they purchase, and how they purchase it, which can help you to diversify.

It can be tempting to diversify your product range at the very outset, but it’s important for you to gain a better understanding of who the right people actually will be. When you do not conduct this, lack of focus or lack of the right products means you are spending more money than is necessary.

Not Networking

A small business needs to capitalize on the right relationships. In terms of marketing, if you can start to find the right bloggers that create content for your website, this builds a very symbiotic relationship that can improve your website rankings, but also helps you understand who is out there and how they can help your business. Of course, it’s not just about them helping you; you’ve got to help them, and establishing connections or relationships that complement your business means that you can start to work on creating a business that prioritizes people. 

You need that support because you will have better information going forward, and you will also have that moral support that can be invaluable when you feel like everything is against you. Ensuring that you position yourself in your industry is critical. You need to make your presence felt at industry expos or trade shows, and as tough as it may be to learn to network, especially as a small business owner that feels in the minority, it is a skill that comes with time. The more you do it, the better you get at it, and before you know it you start to fine-tune your elevator pitch and you gain more beneficial relationships with suppliers. Your business success is always going to boil down to relationships in every form.Poor Management

Many leaders think that they’ve got to save money, but what happens is that when companies are focused on the bottom line, the finger is pointed squarely at the leader, and for good reason! Their inefficiency and lack of appropriate leadership will make for an incredibly disorganized business that causes mistakes. It also sets the template for an ineffective company culture. 

A business needs to find the right leader, and if you are in charge but your skills are not up to code, you may have to go back to the drawing board or think about finding the right people that can achieve your vision.

A small business is in a good position to learn from its mistakes. These are a few things that will greatly improve your business, make sure you avoid them!


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