Here are four common small business fouls and advice on how to learn from them.
1. Advertising Mistakes – Even if you are guilty of making one of the 5 mistakes that can kill your advertising, there is always another “at bat.” Each new direct marketing campaign is an opportunity to try something new to improve the performance of your ads; from changing up your message, to the marketing channel, to the discount or offer.
2. Research (or lack thereof) Mistakes – Just like momentum shifts can turn the tide of a game, excitement and passion are two of the biggest drivers in small business success, but they can also make you impulsive. And rash decisions can hurt your bottom line. So, be mindful of the importance of research on your biggest decisions – from thoroughly reviewing a potential employee’s background before you extend an offer, to doing some market research on your target audience’s wants, needs, habits and buying habits prior to a direct marketing campaign.
3. The Email That Shouldn’t Have Been Sent – This is perhaps one of the most notorious, widely-known professional sore spots because it’s a strikeout that almost everyone has made. We like the advice that Harvard Business Review blog doles out about handling a humiliating mistake like this one.
4. Flawed Record Keeping – In baseball, good statistics on you and your opponent help create a solid game plan. Business advisors will agree: one of the first and most important persons every entrepreneur needs on his side is a trustworthy and reliable accountant or book-keeper to let you know how your business is doing. The same goes for the performance of your direct marketing campaign. Use a local marketing consultant or trusted business advisor to help you plan campaigns and track return so you can measure what worked and what didn’t.
5. You Tell Us! What common mistake have you made and learned a major league lesson from?