Even if you’ve got a lot of experience in your industry, running a small business successfully will require a little experimentation, trial and error. You may have developed an airtight business plan, learned from a great mentor and secured an excellent product or service, but there’s still room for various problems to spring up. To ensure you have the smoothest start to your business, here are some of the biggest mistakes small business owners tend to make.
Hiring the Wrong Staff
Perhaps you’re reading this because you’ve managed to get by as a solo entrepreneur for some time, and finally feel ready to expand your operation. If you’ve had no prior experience with managing a recruitment drive, then you’re already at risk of making a major small business mistake. Hiring the wrong people to your business can quickly bring your great idea to ruin, so make sure you’re not settling, or trying to rush through this process. Make sure everyone you take on board has the right skills and experience, and a personality that will mesh neatly with your brand identity and values. The one thing you don’t want to do is hire friends or family. This can lead to objectively bad hires, and strain close relationships.
Neglecting Health and Safety
This is another big mistake commonly made by entrepreneurs who aren’t used to having staff to take care of. Aside from giving them fair compensation, and enough guidance and feedback to reach their goals, you also need to make sure you’re giving your employees a safe and healthy work environment to come to every morning. I know, getting this out of the way can be a long and tedious hassle. However, just one disgruntled employee with work injury representation from an attorney can mount a seriously damaging case against you, and rightly so! Start off by identifying risk factors that your staff are exposed to, and making sure these are covered with a set health and safety policy. Read up on what the law requires from you as an employer, and make sure you’re playing ball with all the relevant regulations. Follow this up by appointing someone competent enough to enforce and monitor health and safety at your organization.
Misjudging the Market
Thorough market research is one of the many essential cornerstones of starting and maintaining a profitable business. Obviously, you’re raring to go ahead and turn your ideas into a reality. However, charging headlong into a market that you don’t have a decent understanding of will cripple your business faster than you’d believe! Remember that the success of your business isn’t about how great it seems to you or your upper management, it’s about how much money it can realistically make. How much experience do you have in the industry? How strong of a hold do your competitors have on it? What can you do to undermine them? Even if your product or service is incredible, you need to make sure your business plan has a chance of surviving in competitive, buoyant markets.