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Common Mistakes Small Business Owners Make

Common Mistakes Small Business Owners Make

After working with more than 450 small businesses in the past four years, I’ve spent a lot of time watching them succeed, and fail. I’ve analyzed what they’ve done, how they’ve built, how they’ve shrunk, how they’ve overcome and how they’ve gone under. Now it’s my mission to change the statistic and give the small business owners the tools and training they need to build their business into the success they are dreaming of. To that end, today I’m going to talk about four common mistakes I’ve seen over and over again that have set businesses up for failure so you can learn to avoid them!

1) Not tracking.
Again and again I’ve seen business owners not track things properly. It’s not the most glamorous part of a business owner’s job description, but it is vital to success. If you don’t know your numbers, you can’t improve them. So many owners forget to track numbers religiously and I’m not just talking about sales numbers – although those are important too. Numbers such as how many hours you’ve worked on your business versus in your business, numbers such as turn-over, average revenue per customer, hours worked total per week, etc.
This is one of the number one reasons I’ve seen businesses go out of business! Get help, get it done.

Business tracking
2) Marketing without a plan.
Every business owner knows that they need to market. They all also know the quote about not knowing which half of the marketing doesn’t work. So there’s this assumption that the marketing is just dollars to be thrown away. So business owners try and pick and choose which options sound best and despise when sales reps try and steal their money. And yet they know they need to market, so they keep trying more stuff.
There’s two big problems that business owners ignore. One that marketing should be done with a plan and you should NOT vary from your plan. The plan isn’t cut and dry, but it should have specific routes of marketing to use and not vary from those. If radio advertising isn’t in your plan, and you haven’t put together a plan that will complement it, then now is not the right time to jump on that great sale. Wait until the rest of your marketing will complement. But if your plan does include online marketing, adding additional social media marketing isn’t a bad idea!
Second, business owners forget that their marketing is only as good as the business it promotes. Time and time again I’ve seen business owners blame their marketing for not working when the truth is that their team is not taking advantage of the leads being generated by the marketing and turning them into the sales that the business needs to succeed. Why? Because no one will sell for the business like you will! So you have to train them which leads to….
3) Putting Marketing Before Sales.
No matter your industry, you and your team need to be good at sales. And somehow this gets massively overlooked. There’s an assumption that your employees will be at least somewhat as interested in closing sales for your business as you are and so often, they don’t even know what to do to help make sure the most sales get closed for the business. Investing in sales training for you and your business is overlooked, and one of the most important pieces on this list.
4) Not Staying Focused on Education.
Small business owners are busy. When I say busy, I mean that they take busy to a whole new level. The dedicated business owner is often working from the moment they wake till late, late at night. They spend hours and hours working in the business and delivering service, then they go home and run numbers and fall into bed wondering why this business isn’t panning out like they expected.Stephanie S quote
Small to medium sized business owners rarely take time to continue their education – they don’t have the time to spare. But the vast majority of the millionaires in the world and almost every CEO for the top companies openly discusses the books that they read and the seminars they attend and the coaches they choose.
Why do small business owners seem to think that they can attain the same level without doing the same thing?

After all these years, I look forward to making a difference, for changing the statistic for small businesses that go out of business. If you’d like to learn more, you can check out my blog at, following me on facebook at or Twitter at and if you’d like to have a conversation about growing your business or anything I talked about inside this blog, feel free to reach out to me at I look forward to talking with you.

Stephanie Scheller is the #1 best selling author of the book Friend Power: How the Friends You Choose Can Change Your Life (Available on Amazon at She is also a speaker, a sales trainer and a business, sales & marketing coach located in San Antonio, TX. She spends her spare time painting, practicing taekwondo, hanging out with her incredible fiancé or with her longtime love, her horse ShaazamStephanies Horse