8 Common Mistakes You Should Avoid If You're Planning To Grow Your Business
Much has changed since the onset of the pandemic, and this includes the way businesses operate
The shift of consumer behaviour has caused businesses to change their approach, in order to adapt to the new normal. To stay afloat and remain sustainable for the long-term, businesses must take the necessary steps to keep up with the times, from identifying growth opportunities to keeping up to date with current consumer habits.
Despite the circumstances, it is not impossible for businesses to grow, as long as there is room to learn from mistakes and pick up new habits. While there are challenges to anticipate, there are ways to overcome them.
But first, you must be aware of the risks that could potentially harm your business.
1. Refusing to adopt new technology
There's no doubt that the pandemic has accelerated digital transformation across various industries. In fact, most businesses rely on technology to function more efficiently. If you choose to cut corners, e.g. sticking to outdated technology, be it for hardware or software, you'll have a hard time keeping up with your competitors.
Adapting to the latest technology trends will not only streamline business operations, it will also provide a seamless experience for customers as well. Whether it's sending products to customers via courier, or providing channels for customer feedback, these aspects are essential as your business grows.
2. Only recruiting people that think just like you do
While it's a good practice to hire employees that have a good work ethic and personality, their differing opinions should not be a deal-breaker. As a matter of fact, having employees that bring a fresh set of ideas and are able to provide critical feedback is just what you'll need for a thriving business.
For example, say you come up with a new product you believe will serve your customers well. Instead of having a team of yes-men, get a team that will challenge your product by asking the hard-hitting questions. Encouraging this two-way flow of communication will allow you to improve the flaws and weaknesses of the product you may have overlooked.
3. Selling too many different kinds of products and not focusing on your niche
It's easy to get caught up with the growth opportunities before you. However, chasing down every opportunity can leave you feeling overwhelmed, and that includes adding all kinds of products to your current lineup. Remember, more products means you will need more capital to store your stocks, which can be an issue money-wise.
While some business owners may find it exciting to introduce new products, consider focusing your efforts on your current products to ensure they are reaching their full revenue potential first. Prioritising what really matters is important for a growing business.
Echoing this is business owner Rohani binti Osman, co-owner of boutique Hijab Galeria, who believes that you should stay focused on your niche instead of offering products or services that are of no interest to you or your customers.
She shares, "Not doing what you love, e.g. selling items that you don't like or use, is a mistake. When my husband and I first started our business, we focused on selling shawls at the pasar malam as well as online. It was only later when our business became larger that we opened boutiques and expanded our products. However, by choosing to also sell modest wear and muslimah clothing, our new products weren't too far off from our original ones, and still catered to the same target market."
4. Launching products or services without attempting to perform market research
Aside from having your employees challenge your ideas, it's important to test the market to find out whether there is a demand for your line of business. Who is your target audience? How useful will your product or service be for them? What sets you apart from your competitors? These are the kinds of questions you need to know the answers to before you can gain more customers.
Luckily for you, the Internet has made it easier for you to gain valuable insights. From online surveys, focus groups, to reviewing your competitor's engagement, it's that simple to conduct research and discover if your business will be sustainable in the long term.
5. Not having enough cash reserves for unforeseen circumstances
Growing a business comes with its own set of risks. As a business owner, it is imperative for you to make sure you are equipped with the resources required to earn more revenue. While the general rule of thumb is to have financial reserves to cover at least six months' worth of expenses, it isn't always a one-size-fits-all solution.
This is why you need to keep track of your cash flow and profits, so you don't end up losing money.
6. Failing to invest in additional services to develop your business
Take training employees for example. If you are in a niche market which requires your employees to have a specific set of skills to carry out their tasks, it is your job to provide them with the necessary training to do so. Not only will this enhance their performance, they will be more likely to stay on, as training programmes benefit them too.
Aside from upskilling employees, investing in paid ads for online advertising purposes will do well to get your business more exposure. There are benefits to hiring experienced mentors to assist in this area, but always do your research to ensure your investments turn to profits.
7. Carrying out old practices that are no longer feasible
The pandemic has changed the way we live, and that includes the way we work. From utilising digital tools such as Zoom for meetings to WFH arrangements, it's become necessary for businesses to adapt to the situation at hand.
To promote a healthy working culture within your business, prioritising your employees' wellbeing and comfort is essential when growing your business. When your business is able to embrace new approaches and become more flexible, the same practice can be applied when facing challenges along the way.
8. Being afraid of change and not listening to your customers
A company will not grow unless it embraces change. Being innovative is one thing, but making revisions to your current offerings is another. That's why taking customer feedback is essential to improving your business, whether it be requesting their experience after using your product or service, or regarding your customer service interactions.
Understanding your customer's wants and needs in a business allows you to develop your products and services better. Creating this level of trust between you and your customers also increases the likelihood of them coming back to repeat their purchases, which is what you'll want to achieve.
According to Robin, a startup entrepreneur for Robin Hood Marketing, business owners should always prioritise their customers and pay attention to what they have to say about their experience with your business.
"Sales and after sales service should not be taken lightly, so be sure to always reply your customers, and make changes to improve by reviewing customer's feedback." she said.
While you can always learn from your mistakes, knowing what to avoid will help you progress quicker as you navigate through the competitive market
Conducting your business in this fast-paced world can be a challenge, but with a carefully planned strategy, you'll be able to scale your business in no time.
Scaling your business also requires investing in a reliable delivery service to keep up with customer's demands. That's why Pos Malaysia has introduced Pos Laju SendParcel, a digital platform which simplifies the shipping process for you and your customers!
What's great about Pos Laju SendParcel is that apart from having an easy-to-use interface, it has new and improved features that are both time and cost-efficient
Now, you can easily keep track of your shipments with its all-in-one-view dashboard, and you can share the tracking updates with your customers via WhatsApp. The platform also provides advance address book management, so you won't have a headache trying to organise everything manually.
Plus, you'll get to enjoy the best rates and even get instant shipping quotes so you'll know how much the service will cost upfront! They have various packages that fit your business' needs, with each of them providing free pick-ups for added convenience. :)
If you prefer to drop off your items, there are more than 1,000 drop-off points nationwide. So no matter where you are, you'll be able to drop off items at your nearest Pos Malaysia branches, Ezibox Parcel Lockers, or 7-Eleven outlets. You can count on Pos Laju’s reliable delivery service to send their items quickly and on time!
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