Top 10 common SME mistakes - part two

The decisions you make, or sometimes the decisions you don't make, can have an impact on the success or performance of your business. Here's the next five in our series of common mistakes SME owners fall into when operating their business.

6. Not acting quickly to address problem employees

Having a problematic employee work for you can be detrimental for business but also for the working environment of your other employees. Firing an employee is never easy, but if you identify an employee who is continuously performing at an unsatisfactory level it is in the best interest of all parties involved for you to act quickly and eradicate the problem.

A further common mistake is to employ family or friends due to the personal relationship you share with them outside of your work. If an issue does arise in the workplace it can be extremely tedious to resolve and can have damaging effects for both your business and friendship.

By using the correct process you can improve your chances of hiring the right employees and minimise any chance of future problems.

7. Not conducting thorough market research before starting your business

Before going into business it's essential that you determine how your product will position itself in the current market. In order to determine this you must know your market, the industry it operates in, who your competitors are and the target audience that will be interested in it.

This will allow you to make adjustments to either your product or strategy to ensure that it is best positioned for success when you start your business. Remember, the purpose of your business is to drive customers to purchase your product and in order to do that you need to do the proper market research in the first place.

8. Closing the door on change

When things are going right it's often easy to fall into a routine and forget what is happening around you. But it isn't uncommon to find yourself slowly drifting away from your current business plan or even switching off from industry trends and missing an opportunity as a result.

It's important that you don't lose sight of what you are trying to achieve and make sure you have the right plans in practice to embrace flexibility and openness to change. By acknowledging things that are going wrong in your business and changes that are occurring to the industry, you will be able to tweak your current business plan to better prepare you for the future.

9. Forgetting aspects of the business that don't interest you

Many SME owners will be driven by product or idea that started their business but they will rarely find themselves overcome with joy when it comes to running the day-to-day tasks necessary to grow.

It's very easy to neglect these roles and focus only on the roles you are passionate about, andin doing so howeveryou could expose your business to vulnerability and serious issues further down the track.

10. Ignoring customers

Studies generally agree that it will cost you around five times more to gain new customers than it will to keep your current customers happy. Therefore it is essential that you take all customer feedback into account and look to incorporate necessary changes to keep your current set of customers happy.

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