There are many steps to take to grow your business, but first you must ensure that you are not making any of the following potential mistakes that could thwart that growth!

1. Not having a good website

Often, an individual’s first perception of your business is made from what they see of you online. If your website is confusing, or poorly formatted, or does not provide the information someone is looking for (or if the site simply does not exist!), your business can instantly lose credibility and intrigue. Every business needs a memorable domain name to build brand awareness, an attention-grabbing landing page, and the ability for potential customers to get more information from whatever device they are on.

2. Not having a vision or goals

Without a clear idea of where you would like to see your business go, there is nothing motivating you to help it move forward. Spend time thinking about why you started the business in the first place. Doing so might help you come up with a solid vision of what you would like for the business to do if you do. From there, set goals. What would you like the business to accomplish within the year? In five years? In ten years?

3. Not formulating a business plan

Just as is the case without a vision and goals, without a written business plan, your company’s potential for growth can lack clarity. More in depth than a list of goals, your business plan should include how and through what channels the business will grow.

4. Not collecting and evaluating data

With any effort you make, it is nice to know if it ends up paying off in some way. In marketing efforts made by your business through campaigns and promotional offers, as well as with your owned media (like your website), you need to make sure that you are collecting data. Utilize tools like Google Analytics to see how well your offers are performing and through what channels people are finding them. Check up on the traffic that your website is receiving and from where users are getting to it. Without collecting this information to analyze, your business will not have a clear picture of what marketing strategies and mediums of advertisement are working in its favor.

5. Not knowing your customer base

Know who your business is marketing and selling to. If you are unsure, create a survey to have customers take, or see who it is that your closest competitors have as their demographic to give you an idea. Being unaware of the specific wants and needs of your customer base will hinder you from satisfying, and by effect retaining, your customers.

6. Poor marketing tactics and decisions

This misstep directly relates to not knowing your customer base. You need to know who your customer is to know how to properly market to them. Having a business with customers who are primarily engaged with digital media but only marketing your business through print media is a poor marketing decision, and a poor marketing decision can prevent your business from growing and succeeding.

7. Never making any changes over time

Although it is true that one product can be successfully sold for an extended period, it can be dangerous to have too rigid a view of your business’s product line. If your business is completely static and never makes even minor changes or updates to what it has to offer, it can be viewed as stuck or boring. Being unwilling to or not thinking of how you can make changes for the better every once in a while, will have consumers headed towards your competitors who do.

8. Poor marketing tactics and decisions

This misstep directly relates to not knowing your customer base. You need to know who your customer is to know how to properly market to them. Having a business with customers who are primarily engaged with digital media but only marketing your business through print media is a poor marketing decision, and a poor marketing decision can prevent your business from growing and succeeding.

9. Lack of leadership

Strong leadership contributes both to motivation and organization. With proper leadership in a business, everyone can know what exactly it is they are responsible for accomplishing and be motivated to do so. Lacking the sense of leadership that every business needs will prevent your company from working its best as a team toward the shared goal of growth.

10. Lack of basic technology for business

With today’s technology, practically every step of every day in your business can be automated or streamlined. Although it may not be necessary for your own business to be that technologically advanced, every business needs to have its foot in the door of the technological world enough that it meets both its employees’ and its customers’ expectations.

Make sure your employees have the basic technology they need to complete their work efficiently and that your customers can do things like see what you have to offer online and pay for your services without any hassle or inconvenience.

Sarah Saker is a mother of 2, a small business coach and proud small business owner. Writing, leadership development, and business process implementation are three areas that get her excited. For questions or coaching, contact Sarah on About.me

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