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9 Top Mistakes Small Business Owners Make (It’s Not What You Think)

woman sitting at the desk talking about mistakes small businesses make


In 2018, the SBA reported there were 30.2 million small businesses in the US.


Those 30.2 million small businesses employ 47.5% of all employees.


While you hear so much about small businesses failing, it seems like they are doing A LOT of good.


The mistakes small business owners make that I am going to talk about today are the ones I have personally seen people making over the years.


Grab your favorite cup of coffee or tea and let’s get into it.


Avoid These Mistakes Small Business Owners Make


These mistakes are all honest mistakes. I don’t think you purposefully decided you wanted to sabotage your business. (lol) Let’s get into it.


1. Showing a Lack of Confidence


Many small business owners have to wear multiple hats in their business. You likely not only wrote your business plan but you’re the brains behind marketing, sales and all other important elements of your business.


If you lack confidence in any of these areas, your business is going to suffer. People don’t want to hire someone that is nervous – even if it is not about the product or service you offer.


Despite what people think – confidence is not something you’re born with. Confidence is a choice. Confidence is a skill.


2. Undervaluing Your Product or Service


I know some of my small business friends that off their products and services for insanely low prices.


What happens then?


Low profits.


What happens when a business has low profits?


The business owner is overworked. Especially if the business owner is working solo.


When a business owner is overworked, that means oversight and lower quality work.


If you double your prices, you can work half as much and get paid the same.


Let the fear go. Understand your worth and know there are people out there that are willing to pay it. If the people you’re talking to aren’t willing to pay it then they aren’t your target audience.


Important Note: You should look at the competition and see what they are charging but only as a point of reference.


3. Giving Friends and Family Discounts


We are all so guilty of this. We want to give our friends and family deals. Most of the time the deals we give them don’t give us room for any profit at all.


If most of your business comes from friends and family, you’re not running a business – you’re running a charity!


I personally like to pay my friends and family that are business owners MORE than what they ask me for. If your friends and family can’t afford it then… uh… they can’t afford it!


4. Assuming Marketing Will Take Care of Itself


Never assume that marketing is going to take care of itself. Whether you’re marketing with a blog or other methods – it’s simply not going to.


You have to take some time to put a marketing strategy together so you keep business coming in.


Most business owners do marketing in bursts.


When the money stops coming in – that’s when they start marketing again. Does that sound like you? Shamey shamey… lol Just kidding.


5. Being Afraid of Technology


If you aren’t in the generations that grew up with technology, you may be a little (or a lot) afraid of technology.


Think about the last time someone asked you if you were able to do xyz. Did you say that you couldn’t because you weren’t equipped to do that? Hmm… may need to think on that.


How can you advance your technology?


6. Not Offering Options






Yes, I know that In and Out Burger has a very cool thing going with their limited options. That’s not going to work for every business model.


Make sure you’re providing enough options for the people in your market.


If you aren’t, they will go do business with someone else.


7. Spending Money on the Wrong Things


There are so many shiny objects.


Like – so many!


I am NOT guiltless here.


I used to be addicted to buying domain names. I had so many domain names. lol OMG It was terrible.


And training. Lots of training.


At least I did go through all of them. lol


If you spend a lot of money on things that aren’t going to bring a return on your investment quickly, you may spend yourself into a hole.


8. Not Spending Enough Money on the Right Things


When it gets to spending money on things that aren’t sexy – that’s when we clam up.


Do I really want to spend this money here?


Do I really need a functioning toilet? lol Just kidding – I hope!


9. Hiring Based on Relationship


Ah… this is a tough one. SO freakin’ tough! BAH!


So, I have hired people based on relationship. Because they were family or friends and they needed a job.


Once you hire these people – you often see WHY they needed a job. lol


Anyone that you hire should go through the same vetting process. Just because they are friends and family – they don’t get to skate through. Sorrrryyyy!


Continue Your Business Education


If you find yourself in these mistakes small business owners make – that’s great!


Think about it!


You now know things you’re doing that hurt your business – AND you can stop doing them.


Don’t get overwhelmed with the amount of change you need to make.


It’s OK!


Take one step at a time and keep learning.


Read for more? Read my article on online marketing tips for small business today.


9 Top Mistakes Small Business Owners Make (It\'s Not What You Think)


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