Top 5 Mistakes most commonly made by Micro Businesses

By Charlie Fenwick

It’s never been easier to start your business, but it takes skill to not only survive but succeed in business.

There are 5 common mistakes that many micro-business (MB) owners make when setting up their companies - but don’t be alarmed if you feel you’re ticking any of these boxes - it’s never too late to adapt your strategies.

 

1. Having No Clear Marketing Strategy

Marketing is more than posting a few pictures on social platforms. It is more than handing out some glossy leaflets to vaguely interested people on the street… it is a calculated tool that will make or break your MB.

 It is critical that you spend at least 20% of your monthly efforts on your businesses marketing efforts. Small Business expert, Mike Michalowicz, refers to this as ‘planting the seed today in order to reap the benefits tomorrow’.

Additionally, focus on retaining existing customers as well as seducing new ones as they are the traffic that makes your business what it is already; they shouldn’t be taken for granted.

In fact, it's proven that the cost to KEEP your existing customers is much less than the money you need to spend to get new clients.

 

2. Being All Business, All of the Time

Work-Life Balance is critical.

If you put your social life on hold to focus entirely on your business, then ultimately both will suffer. Your business does require your full attention, but within short daily spurts.

To get the most out of something, whether it be a sport or a hobby, you have to nurture it and that involves rest and refuelling. Your business brain requires the same TLC.

 

3. Being a Weak Leader

Whilst we recognise the importance of building friendly relationships when networking with other businesses, it is important that you retain strong leadership when navigating the trials and tribulations that accompany maintaining a MB.

You need to muster and maintain the courage to be vocal and confident in your assertions and business plan. If you are facing hardships (which many MB owners do in the initial stages) then don’t respond dramatically.

For example, it’s common to think that cheaper prices mean more consumers, right? Wrong!

Price slashing is a dangerous game, as customers typically spend more when they perceive the quality to be greater.

So if the price is cheaper, there is limited incentive to invest in your services/goods. This isn’t to say you can’t be flexible with prices, but don’t let fear dictate your decisions; remain level headed and strong-minded.

 

4. Trying to get Rich Quick

 Overnight success is rarely possible but talked about often!

There’s a higher chance of you becoming Brad Pitts wife, than there is for you to make mega-money straight away (…we for one wouldn’t complain about being Mrs Pitt though!).

Set realistic goals so that you don’t become disheartened early on and dismiss your dreams prematurely. We appreciate that many MB owners are pushing creative businesses so recommend that you prepare quarterly or yearly ‘Goal Boards’.

Creating a visual board of what you want to achieve financially, personally, socially… will encourage you to remain optimistic and determined. It’s also a great way to see throughout the year what you have already achieved and how far you have come.

 

5. Failing to Plan, is Planning to Fail

We live in a saturated society where most businesses already exist.

Don’t be downhearted by this realisation as we live in societies that love to consume, and therefore are open to all opportunities if they perceive your services/goods to be of greater value to them, than what already exists in the market.

Planning is the key component that will drive your MB. It allows you to see what you need to do weekly, quarterly and yearly.

Failing to negotiate your time is essentially a loss of profits for yourself, as they say ‘time is money’.

If you don’t actively plan how to continually differentiate yourself from the competition, then you’ll get left behind in the race; which will negatively impact the position of your MB in the minds of consumers.