Running a small business is a challenge. An owner faces numerous challenges on a daily basis, and the decisions made from those obstacles can mean the life or death of the company. Small Business Trends has five small business mistakes that you should be sure to avoid. Each section discusses the challenges and offers a solution.
Putting employees into generational boxes (Source)
Generations tend to get put in categories. Baby Boomers are stuck in their ways, Millennials are hard to get along with, and Generation X is full of angst. That type of thinking is bad for business. Older employees can find innovative solutions to problems, and young workers can work well with others.
Solution: Companies should hire on fit and merit. A multi-generational team is the best way to build a company. This way the team brings a variety of perspectives to a project.
Cutting prices to compete (Source)
Lowering prices are a natural inclination in a competitive market, but that’s a small business mistake with larger consequence. Lowering prices is not always the best solution, because it devalues the product. Small businesses also have a harder time absorbing the lost revenue.
Solution: A company must add value to the product in other ways. A business owner should talk with his or her customers and find out ways that the company can add value.
Being content with success (Source)
Business owners can become complacent after a small amount of success. As a company grows, owners must delegate and a focus on operations becomes more important.
Solution: A business owner should remember why he or she got into business. Management and operations might play a more important role, but the overall vision and direction of the company must be the founder’s responsibility. A business owner needs to stay hungry and move a business forward.
Handling all performance issues the same (Source)
Human resources will become its own department as a business grows, but business owners should resist moving all human resources functions to a separate department.
Solution: Business owners must empower department heads. They should be allowed to provide feedback to employees, and constructive criticism if an employees needs it.
Following all generic advice (Source)
Another small business mistake is following general advice. Listen to business people and read publications, but know that their generic business advice might not apply to your specific situation. Each business is different, and as a small business owner, no one knows it better than you.
Solution: A business owner must evaluate all business advice and determine if it applies. Experts in a particular sector can offer better advice than a general statement about business.
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