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Sunday, July 28, 2013

Four common mistakes small-business owners make

Small-businesses ensure market strength with competitor analysis and technological capacity
Micromanagement curbs employees' natural work style
By Scott Murray

First-time small business owners have tough roads ahead of them. Running an independent company without any assistance is borderline impossible and many entrepreneurs make mistakes that wind up hurting the long-term prospects of an organization.

While some snafus are minor, they can quickly snowball and lead to huge headaches down the road. Unfortunately, many owners don't have the business acumen to prevent the exacerbation of small issues.  You don't have to allow mistakes to hurt your business. Look out for these common errors other owners make:

Micromanaging employees

It's difficult to cede control of your business. After all, the company is the product of your work ethic, so you want to ensure that every process is in good hands. Unfortunately, this philosophy can often lead to micromangement, according to the National Federation of Independent Business.

Don't excessively demand that employees perform actions in certain ways. Everyone has their own work style, and as long as workers are productive, there shouldn't be an issue. Additionally, you must realize that you can't run a business without any assistance, so you must trust staff members to do their jobs.

Not minding the competition

CNBC notes that assuming you have no competition is an easy trap to fall into. Even if you're entering an emerging market, there will always be other businesses that will market toward the same consumers as you. Unless you have a complete monopoly over a sector, there will always be competition.

Always keep a sharp eye on other organizations so that you don't fall behind. Ensure that you're always on the cutting edge of the marketplace so that you're viewed as the industry leader while other business owners struggle to keep pace.

Failure to address technological requirements

Implementing software and installing equipment is critical for a small business. Kyle Haroldsen, managing director and chief technical officer at Intrinsic Technologies, notes there are many technical aspects involved with running a company. "There are a lot of different things that make up a business, and there's some aspect of technology associated with all of it," Haroldsen told Fox Business.

Stay abreast of new technology so that you can integrate recent innovations with your current systems. This can ensure that you always have a state-of-the-art enterprise that is always improving and streamlining processes.

Not using social media effectively

It’s not enough to just to have a Facebook and Twitter page to post on.  In order to succeed in the realm of social media, you need to have a fully developed marketing plan that includes goals, target audience strategy and content to offer.  Every platform is different and your approach to each platform should be different.

It’s important to have a plan and be prepared to interact with people on your company Facebook page.  Not understanding the power of a social platform like Twitter can also cause inordinate amounts of damage to a business.  Twitter has been around awhile, and you can learn from other people’s mistakes.

With the economic and business climate in flux, it’s important to learn the newest ways to start and develop your organization through business skills training.  In a competitive, technological and social business environment, there are real benefits to having a comprehensive strategy.

About the author: Scott Murray is the Social Learning Evangelist for www.TrainUp.com, the web’s largest career marketplace.  He is also a contributor to TrainUp.com’s Training Insights Blog, a series of blogs dedicated to career and professional development.

Image license: Royalty Free or iStock source: www.istock.com