10 Common Mistakes Small Business Contractors Make
Contractors who own small businesses may be making their mark, but along the way, many are encountering roadblocks to their success. Those mistakes run the gamut from customer relations to marketing and the very model the business is based on. Here are some of the most common mistakes small business owners encounter.
Flawed Business Model: a well-planned business model is essential to success. If your current model isn’t generating the customers or the income, it’s time to rethink and redo the model. All too often, small business owners stick with a familiar routine and hope that time will make a difference. Be progressive and create new or additional services, different products, and more focused approaches to marketing your expertise. This will both entice and retain a consistent avenue of new business and income.
Out-of-Balance Marketing Budget: just like a marketing plan is necessary to promote small business ventures, so, too, is a marketing budget. If you haven’t designated a portion of revenue to marketing that develops new revenue through contractor leads, your top line growth will remain stagnant. Marketing is an investment in your firm’s growth; don’t short change it.
Ignoring Details: this may seem like a small problem, but it has a direct impact on your image. If brochures, presentations, flyers, newspaper ads, your website, and even your business cards are fraught with spelling and grammatical errors, that’s a negative reflection on your business. Many potential customers will assume that a business that is careless with marketing details may also be careless with other aspects of its business and look for a provider that is more focused on getting the small things right.
Being Out of Touch with Customer Needs: before creating a marketing plan, you need to understand what customers want and how your business will provide the services. What is it about your business that attracts customers? If you take the time to know your target audience, you can hone your services to be above and beyond the competition. Going in head first with what you think customers want instead of determining what they really want can be a costly error.
Brand Loyalty: your customers rely on your marketing activities to be true to what you provide in your products or services. Whenever your marketing focus deviates from your brand, customers are left wondering why. It’s frustrating to see or hear one thing but receive the opposite. Stick with the brand you promised so you don’t disappoint and lose your customer base.
You’re Not in Tune with Your Business: this can happen when you take on a service you think you’d like to be involved with, only to find you have no interest in the product, service, or even the customer base. Your customers will pick up on the fact you aren’t 100 percent invested in what you’re selling. If your heart isn’t in it, you won’t be at the top of your game promoting your product—and business will suffer.
Email Etiquette: one of the best ways to lose potential customers is by bombarding their email accounts with unsolicited newsletters or ads. Many end up in spam where they’re never even read, and a potential customer may ignore and delete your email out of frustration, as well as block your address. It’s to your advantage to create and add to an in-house email list from your current customers/clients who have shown interest in your company.
Lack of a Website and Social Media: in today’s world, if you don’t have a website promoting your business, you’re missing out on thousands of potential clients who are actively searching the Internet. It’s fast and easy, and it provides a list of results, which makes it easier for customers to find what they’re looking for. If you’re not actively engaging in social media, you’re also missing out on free marketing through posts, shares, likes, and tweets.
Customer Appreciation: it’s the little things that keep customers coming back again and again, but if they receive poor customer service, they won’t return. Your current customers are a gold mine for ongoing business, and if you’re not following up, saying thank you each and every time, and treating them with the utmost patience and respect, they’ll go elsewhere.
Unrealistic Expectations: If you’re impatient, your business can fail before it even gets off the ground. If you’ve put everything in place—from a marketing model and budget to a website or attending networking conferences—and business isn’t booming, too often small business owners throw in the towel. But starting a new business takes time and effort. Expecting overnight success is simply unrealistic. You must be diligent and consistent with your marketing messages and developing relationships with potential clients. Staying the course may seem insurmountable but by doing so, your business has a better chance of success.
If you do end up making these common mistakes, make sure you know how to manage your angry remodeling customers.
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