It is only a mistake if you don’t learn from it, someone once said. You probably didn’t make any huge blunders last year, such as forgetting to pay your employees on pay day or using the company budget to splurge on a shiny new car. But the missteps you made don’t have to continue to be mistakes in the new year. Instead you can learn from them and turn them into positives. Take these five common mistakes and turn them around to learn and help your business grow:
Doing the same thing
When businesses gets stuck on making an idea work, they often continue to try to make a square peg fit in a round hole. When a product fails, they may continue to make it, cut the cost and increase marketing. Doing the same thing over and over but in different packaging is not the path to success. The Huffington Post advises that small business owners recognize when it is time to let something go and try something new. Innovation and change may be scary, but will be more successful than rehashing a failure or trying to simply recreate a past success.
Never leaving your desk or computer
In today’s tech-heavy world, it is possible to never leave your office to do all of the tasks that you once had to travel for. Whether it’s going into another room or going to another country, most likely you can do it from your computer. However, you probably shouldn’t get tied to your laptop. While technology is an awesome way to get a lot done, it can’t replace the value of meeting face-to-face, shaking a hand, or sharing a lunch. Forbes suggests balancing your time online with time in the real world of business by taking your clients out to lunch, setting up meetings when you can, and picking up the phone instead of playing email tag.
Waiting to prepare for taxes
Taxes may be painful, but they are far from unexpected. Waiting until they are due and going crazy trying to pull everything together is exhausting and needless. Stay on top of things throughout the year by utilizing payroll services to maintain employee and business records and update your profit and loss statement monthly.
Losing your customer focus
Customer satisfaction and retention can sometimes get lost in the rush of “doing business”. It is important to remember that the customer is why you are here. Without happy repeat customers, you may find yourself out of business. By remembering to keep your focus in the right place, it will also make doing business easier. Come up with a strong marketing plan to gain and keep customers.
Letting fear hold you back
While taking large risks may not always be the wisest way to run your business, letting your fears keep you from moving forward is just as bad. It is common to run out of steam when you are running your own business. Remind yourself why you are doing this, renew your belief in your success, and don’t let the fear of failure hold you back.
About the Author
Sharon Flagman is an etrepreneur, business writer, marathoner