Small businesses face plenty of challenges to maintain a steady revenue stream and remain competitive. Any stumbling block can really set a business back. Here are 3 mistakes that can cost you if you make them.
Protecting your assets, cultivating sales, and maintaining customer service are paramount to a small company’s success.
Following the recent lean economic years, the rate of start-ups has grown while the rate for small business failures has declined, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration. However, that doesn’t mean that every business succeeds. Here are some key things to avoid:
Legal issues with corporate records
In its list of common issues for small business, Yahoo Small Business suggests having the right lawyers is essential. Intellectual property, disgruntled employees, federal and state taxes, and incorporation records are among the issues that could set small business owners back years due to court hassles or wasteful spending on ineffective legal counsel.
Small businesses notoriously fail at effective record-keeping, the article suggests, which “can cause problems with the IRS, hamper your ability to raise equity capital, and result in personal liability.”
While many business filings can be understood and handled by small business owners, it’s important to retain lawyers for other items to avoid being dragged into court.
Relying too heavily on word-of-mouth for sales
It’s easy for salespeople to become complacent and let sales come to them, especially in small towns or areas where longstanding accounts are common. Small insurance brokerages, for example, can get into bad habits that could lead to major revenue declines if they’re not using the Internet to their advantage.
Lead-generation websites provide easy ammunition for any insurance salesperson seeking to earn more money. Quote Wizard bills itself as a reliable source for high-intent insurance leads. The company validates information from online insurance shoppers and distributes qualified leads to agents across the U.S. It’s an easy tool to avoid wasting your time hunting down leads from scratch, or leaning too heavily on the small pool of leads in your territories.
Time is money for sales-based small businesses, especially those with small staffs.
Letting customer service dwindle
You risk being slammed online if you treat a guest or customer as less than the most important guest or customer ever. In today’s Internet era, it’s far too easy for the average person to express their feelings. One bad review on open-review websites and suddenly your company’s name is synonymous with poor service. It’s important to get ahead of those issues, primarily by training your employees and monitoring the effectiveness of your customer service delivery.
According to RetailMinded.com, “providing valuable customer service is one of the most important tools small retailers have in making their business profitable.”
The customer is always right, after all.