Our business culture is built around the study of past triumphs. So if you read any business site, you will find yourself drowning in a sea of stories about founders who have made it. This is when the survivor bias comes into play.
As businesses owners, we tend to overestimate the importance of things done by successful people. Therefore, we must also examine the techniques that did not work to make better business judgments in the future. Here, we look at some of the mistakes that could cost you your small business – and how you can fix them.
Not having a clear vision of who your customers are
When you are just starting, any customer is a good customer in your mind. However, as your company grows, you will need to become more purposeful, and your data can help with this.
Assess your top customers based on their return on investment, who you enjoy dealing with, and which persons are simple to work with, among other factors. Include hidden costs such as customer service resources for those customers in your calculations.
Maintain an up-to-date list of client archetypes that you revisit at least once a quarter to ensure they are still relevant. The most successful business owners recognize that their ideal customer is constantly changing.
As a result, you must adapt your marketing activities to attract more prospects who fit your target persona.
Not dealing with issues as soon as they arise
No one likes to see a negative review or have a complaint made, but the fact is they are inevitable. Whether it is someone with a grudge against the company, a genuine mistake or a customer that just can’t be satisfied, whatever you do, negativity will cross your path at some point.
Ideally, you will call on the services of online reputation management companies to guide you through how to deal with issues like this, but the most important thing you can do is deal with the problem quickly and sensitively. Of course, you mustn’t dive in headfirst and be on the defence, even if the customer is wrong. Instead, have a plan in place for how to deal with them – and how to show others that you are dealing with them.
Not having the right people working for you
Beware of the halo effect, which is the danger of falling in love with a possible candidate based on a few qualities while overlooking red flags and inadequate skills.
As the owner of a business, it is your responsibility to hire people who have the skills you need.
Create job posts specific to what you are looking for in a candidate that is compatible with your company values. Do not use a job description from another organization as your own.
Every business owner makes blunders from time to time. The key is to be aware of when something is not working and take deliberate actions to correct the situation. Even though every field is different, the majority of challenges you will encounter have already been solved by someone else in the past.