Is one of these five easy business mistakes losing you customers right now?

Are you losing precious customers and sales in your small business? Find out if you’re making one of these five easy mistakes – and what to do to correct them.

There’s so much you need to be an expert in when you start your own business. From day one you’re expected to be brilliant at marketing, sales, planning, bookkeeping and more. So it’s no surprise that so many entrepreneurs end up struggling in the beginning.

The good news is that if you can survive the first couple of years in business, your expertise and turnover will have hopefully grown to the point where you can either hire someone else to help with areas of your business you aren’t great at or don’t enjoy, or you’ll have mastered them yourself.

But what do you do before then? And how can you ensure that your business even makes it to the two year mark?!! To help you work out where you may be missing valuable opportunities right now, we turned to the results of our BIG Business survey and looked at the areas that most entrepreneurs fell down on.

Is one of these five easy business mistakes losing you customers right now?

So here are five of the easiest, and most understandable mistakes that you might be making, plus how to tell if you need to work on this area of your business.

1) Are you actively implementing a sales plan?

As incredible as this may seem, our BIG Business report revealed that 97% of small businesses we surveyed were not actively using a sales strategy. Just as incredibly, 85% said they had no regular sales messages going out. And that is costing them dear as the businesses who WERE using a sales strategy were turning over the most money.

The simple fact, as we often preach, is that if you want to GET sales you need to DO sales. And that means spending the time planning a sales strategy and then implementing it consistently. And that doesn’t mean becoming a marketing genius, even a basic plan will bring in more business than no plan will.

And the more you experiment with different sales strategies, the more you’ll get to learn what works and what doesn’t, and the more your confidence will grow… as will your customers and sales!

How to tell if you’re making this mistake

So do you have a sales plan, however rudimentary, that you are consistently implementing? Do you have regular promotional messages going out to new and existing customers? If not, we recommend fixing this as a top priority!

2) Is your pricing right?

Last year we ran two five-day pricing challenges with hundreds of business owners… and most were horrified when they discovered how much (or rather little) they were really making. But we weren’t surprised, because our BIG Business report had already revealed to us that most business owners don’t properly calculate their pricing.

And again, this is a costly mistake because the people who didn’t work out their pricing carefully were turning over the least amount of money. In fact, 87% of them were in the two lowest earning groups. We have also often found that business owners who hadn’t properly calculated their pricing are working for less than minimum wage. And some are working for free.

How to tell if you’re making this mistake

Is your pricing carefully calculated, factoring in your production and delivery expenses, business running costs, your time, the market rate and your place in the market? And are you getting an expected number of sales for your marketing activity?

If so, great! It sounds like your pricing is spot on. If not, then you could be losing valuable sales and we recommend evaluating your pricing and profit margin, and conducting market research as soon as you can.

3) Are you missing out on new business?

Few businesses today can afford to ignore the power of SEO, especially if you want to attract local customers. Gone are the days when only large businesses could afford to employ SEO agencies and dominate the search results. Today any business can attract valuable customers with a DIY SEO strategy using the right keywords.

And yet, our research shows that only 30% of small business owners are doing that. Which means that 70% of small business are letting valuable business potentially slip through their fingers.

How to tell if you’re making this mistake

Are you consciously using SEO in your business? You don’t need to be an SEO guru, but by acquiring and using a basic understanding of SEO you can ensure that your chosen pages are ranking for the keywords your customers are searching for. If you’re not actively using SEO right now, you could be losing business to your more savvy competitors.

4) Are you constantly fire fighting?

It doesn’t matter what your small business does, your most precious and finite resource is your time. Spend that resource wisely and your business will prosper and grow. Waste it on the wrong tasks, or squander it on procrastination and your business will struggle to ever take off.

So we were shocked when our survey revealed that a massive 67% of respondents said they spend their time putting out fires by working on what is urgent. Of course there are times when we all need to prioritise urgent tasks. But there are two caveats to this rule: firstly they must also be important tasks, and secondly this should be the exception, not the rule.

If you are constantly firefighting in your business then you are never allowing yourself the luxury for calm, careful planning. You could also be missing out on valuable opportunities through lack of planning and strategic implementation.

How to tell if you’re making this mistake

How do you normally spend your working day? Are you consistently working calmly to a plan on projects that will help your business to grow? Or are you often worrying about activities that demand immediate attention? If the latter sounds more like your average working day you could be losing opportunities through lack of planning.

5) Are you missing opportunities on social media?

Pretty much everyone today knows how social media works. But do you properly understand how to use it for your business? And are you using your time and resources on social media in a targeted way?

Our BIG Business report revealed that only 28% of small business owners are targeting their time and effort properly on social media. Which means that the remaining 72% of entrepreneurs are missing out on valuable opportunities.

How to tell if you’re making this mistake

Do you have a proper social media strategy for your business? And are you implementing it consistently and growing an engaged following on the right platform? If you can’t answer these questions with a confident “Yes!” then you could be missing opportunities on social media.

Download our free report and get more invaluable business insights

If you’d like to learn more about the mistakes that are costing small business owners like you customers and money right now, AND what the most profitable small businesses are doing differently, download your free copy of our BIG Business report here right now. In it you’ll discover the full 10 mistakes our survey revealed were holding businesses back.

And don’t just leave these insights as theory. If you see areas for change or improvement, please do make a list of actions and get working on them. You deserve to have a business that repays you generously for your time and effort, but you need to put the right work in to achieve it.

Download your free copy of our Big Business report and discover the full 10 mistakes that are costing small businesses money right now.