As a small business owner, you will often face the challenge of keeping up with time and managing finances. While trying to keep up with all the struggles of running your business and managing your life, some bad habits will come up.
Under all this pressure, most business owners start neglecting some duties to prioritize others. I have been there, and I have done that. Some bad habits blend so well with our daily routines that we barely realize that they are there. Well, these bad business habits have robbed me of money, customers and much time trying to recover.
Luckily, you don’t have to go through the same horrible mess I went through. Follow my tips to find and face your bad business habits – before they harm you and your company.
Not Protecting your Data
As a small business owner, it’s very easy to neglect your data thinking that no one is interested in stealing from you since your business is small. If you have this mentality, you need to stop this habit immediately. This is a very dangerous habit!
If a hacker gets your data and learns how your business is run, they can easily get and sell your customers’ data or use it to steal from you and your customers. This can quickly put you out of business if your customers realize that you don’t value their privacy and personal identities.
To avoid this happening to you, make sure to backup all your data or use cloud storage services to protect your data automatically. It’s also important to train your employees and implement strong policies regarding data safety in your business.
Remember to use strong passwords to protect your data and avoid clicking on suspicious links that are usually embedded in emails sent by scammers. Sometimes a sneaky employee can harvest your data and who knows what they could do with it. Ensure that only a few select employees are allowed to access your computer system.
Neglecting Mobile Marketing
I bet you are using your smartphone to read this article. Most of your customers are busy people too, and they have little time for browsing the internet using their desktop computers. People are now using smartphones at rapidly increasing rates which eclipsed desktop usage in 2018.
Make sure that your website is mobile optimized for your customers to access your content from their mobile phones – quickly and easily. You can ask your hosting provider to optimize it for mobile views. Do not let this great opportunity pass you.
Speaking of content, ensure that your website has a blog that you can add fresh content on a weekly basis to keep more customers coming and ranking on the search engines, which will, in turn, bring you, new customers. People are more inclined to read about you, your business and how you can solve their problem.
Bad Health Habits
Just as you are starting your business, the first few months can prove to be challenging trying to set boundaries between your business and your home.
The only thing going through your mind will be your business and how you can grow it. Most entrepreneurs will eat poorly and work all night as they will be busy working on their businesses. This is where most of us go wrong.
You can’t work efficiently without giving your body proper nutrition and rest. Your body gets tired, and you have to replenish it with a healthy meal and have a good night sleep to stay energized and focused for the next day.
Not Replacing a Failing Business Plan
No plan is perfect. The most successful entrepreneurs have always fine-tuned their plans to give them a maximum return. Sticking to your ‘perfect’ plan will be a disastrous thing to do.
Your business is always growing and your customer’s preferences are changing all whilst your competition is working hard to gain more market share. This means that your startup business plan needs to be continually reviewed and adjusted to meet current market conditions for success.
You need to implement new plans as time goes by to stay ahead of your competition. Plans are made to be broken. You also need to learn how to adapt quickly to your new plans.
Flexibility is one of the key factors in the entrepreneurial world. You and your employees must be capable of implementing new plans that can accommodate your customers and bring in profits. Also carefully plan to protect your business from life’s changes such as divorce and death.
Not Being Relevant Now
With the ever-changing technology, it would be fatal not to employ new ways of acquiring customers. Every day, the world is adopting new technologies. You have to be smart and keep up to date. Knowing where your customers are and how to reach them will always give you an edge over your competition.
Be a forward-thinking entrepreneur. From mobile marketing to email marketing and video marketing, you must be ready to embrace all of these technologies so that you can keep closing more sales and retaining customers.
Not Frequently Meeting your Accountant
Honestly speaking, most small business owners think that they can manage their accounting with good small business software. Most of us will often call our insurance company more than we call our accountants. The point is, you cannot do your business books properly as an accountant can. There are so many rules to be followed, and as your business grows, the rules keep getting more complicated.
To avoid being among the 32% of small business owners who end up failing to pay their annual income tax, keep in close contact with your accountant. Trust me; you do not want to be on the wrong side of the IRS tax laws.
Checking in with your accountant is essential for growing your business. Checking in on a monthly basis will help clear any problems. Ensure that your accountant knows your business goals. They should also be aware of when your business transitions to a new phase. Last but not least, ensure that your accountant is up to date with the current laws and regulations.
Once you eliminate all of these habits out of your business life, it should be easy for you to skyrocket your business to its full potential. Note that some of these habits are hard to spot and can take a lot of your time or money before you realize that you are killing your own business.
About the Author:
Marsha Kelly sold her first business for more than a million dollars. She has shared hard-won experiences as a successful serial entrepreneur on her Best4Businesses blog, where she also regularly posts business tips, ideas, and suggestions as well as product reviews for business readers. As a serial entrepreneur who has done “time” in corporate America, Marsha has learned what products and services work well in business today. You can learn from her experiences to build your business.