Businesses are committing mistakes that are more common than they thought. Fortunately, the solutions to these problems are readily available, but the timing of implementation is crucial.
Before we dig deeper into solutions, let’s first discuss the six common business mistakes you should avoid.
Overconfidence That In-House Staff Can Handle Customer Service
The holidays are a crucial time for businesses, especially those seeking to expand. Retail sales in the United States are projected to hit $1.3 trillion in 2022, up 3.3% from 2021, while online purchases are expected to rise by 15.5%, reaching $236 billion.
Since holiday sales and deals attract new customers, excellent customer service becomes critical.
Exceptional customer experience is the key to turning these casual holiday shoppers into loyal customers. However, with so many orders and inquiries, it may take a lot of work for your team to keep up.
Dismissing the Benefits of Having a Virtual Assistant in the Team
Because holidays are the most critical season for businesses, it’s also the busiest. There’s much to do, from annual reviews and year-end accounting reports to holiday office parties and sales. Staying on top of everything may prove to be a challenge.
Some may think it’s impractical to have an assistant who can’t physically be at the office, but that is only sometimes true. With the help of cutting-edge technology, virtual assistants can do what a personal assistant or executive does on-site.
Virtual assistants can keep track of your schedules, inventories, expenses, and other essential business data. Going above and beyond what most employers expect, some have specialized skills like marketing and finance.
The holidays are the perfect time to hire dedicated virtual assistants so you can truly appreciate their contributions in the long run. As your in-house team winds down to spend time with their families for the year, you can work with remote assistants to ensure your business runs smoothly. With greater efficiency and more flexible work hours, an offshore virtual assistant can help your business grow.
Not Having Enough Inventory
Whether it’s stockouts, shipment delays, or other supply chain issues, the holiday rush tends to amplify inventory problems that companies already face.
For instance, it’s common for customers to place online orders for items that are already out of stock. This often leads to a drop in customer satisfaction or higher churn rates. A study showed that 41% of consumers expect better inventory management from companies.
Thinking That Accounting and Bookkeeping Are for Big Enterprises Only
Whether it’s a multi-billion-dollar organization or a startup, all companies need accountants and bookkeepers onboard to keep their finances in order.
Accurate books are just as important to small business owners. For one thing, a small business will find it much harder to recover from a financial error because they have limited assets to fall back on. It will also be more challenging for smaller enterprises to find investors if they need help to keep the books.
Only Considering Logistics Outsourcing After Peak Season Mishap
The holidays are the peak season for the shipping industry. Due to the sheer volume of deliveries, this time of year is plagued with delays. A recent holiday survey showed that many retail executives were concerned about delays in receiving inventories, with 44% expecting two or more weeks of delays.
It may sound counterintuitive, but the best way to avoid these delays is by anticipation and planning ahead. Before you lose loyal customers to missing, late, and wrong orders, consider delegating your logistics to experts during the holiday season.
Looking at BPO Services for Seasonal Hiring Only
Companies typically boost seasonal hiring during the holidays to meet consumer demand. However, there may be better decisions for you.
The tough competition for seasonal employees would make hiring more difficult and expensive. Short-term employees with limited training time may need help to handle a heavy workload during the holiday season. Another reason is that seasonal employees will have a different degree of staff loyalty than permanent employees.
Your BPO partner should be part of your operations year-round. From customer service and accounting to inventory management and logistics, BPO services can significantly boost productivity and add value to all aspects of your business.
A straightforward solution that decision-makers often overlook is integrating a BPO partner into their whole business scheme. For instance, partnering with a BPO company right at the start of the fiscal year would have prevented those holiday pitfalls.
Here are BPO solutions that significantly help firms better manage holiday seasons:
Customer Service Outsourcing
Working with a reliable BPO partner gives you 24/7 access to a team of skilled customer service representatives dedicated to resolving customer issues. As your in-house team focuses on more critical on-site tasks, this remote team of customer service representatives handles your business.
Customers will no longer have to wait long periods for a response from your company. Your business will run like clockwork with customer service agents from all over the globe.
Just as BPO companies provide firms with excellent customer service, they can also help companies manage administrative tasks with virtual assistants. You can think of them as online secretaries who typically work offshore.
Data Entry and Inventory Management
Inventory management is another aspect of business that BPO providers can help with. Inventory problems can be easily avoided when you outsource your data entry and inventory management to professionals. Outsourcing these tasks reduces the risk of data entry errors and other costly mistakes that can hurt your business.
Outsourcing companies leverage advanced inventory management software and data expertise to ensure that your inventories are always up-to-date. Amid seasonal volume increases and promotional spikes, your data outsourcing partner can guarantee that the right products will always reach customers at the right time.
Accounting and Bookkeeping Services
Not all firms have room for an entire accounting team. This is where outsourcing from a BPO provider can come in. Accounting is yet another service that companies can outsource.
Since most small businesses do not have the skills or resources to conduct their bookkeeping in-house, accounting is one of the services they outsource the most.
A BPO partner can help small businesses access a pool of highly-skilled certified public accountants and bookkeepers who can track their finances and boost their savings. Outsourced accountants use the latest accounting technology that provides firms with actionable insights guaranteed to drive business growth.
What are the top 10 startup mistakes?
1. Creating Something No One Wants
The law of supply and demand is simple enough. Nevertheless, many entrepreneurs still need to understand the concept.
They need help with a business idea that appeals to them rather than their market. Without a good grasp of its market, a startup can lose valuable assets on a product that no one wants or needs. Understanding your potential customers will help you cater to their needs.
Knowing your competition will also help you create a niche for your brand in an overcrowded market. What can you offer that they can’t? This is the product that will help bring success to your brand.
2. Going Headfirst Without Planning
One of the upsides of working in small businesses is that red tape and bureaucracy don’t hamper their growth.
The narrow organizational structure of startups allows more freedom when implementing policies and changes. Nevertheless, this can quickly become a pitfall if you dive headfirst into action without plans.
Strategic planning helps startups maximize the use of their limited resources. A solid business plan can also attract investors as well as clients. Additionally, it serves as a framework that can give you much-needed foresight into what you can do to achieve your goals.
3. Investing in the Wrong Places
Startups typically work with minimal assets, which is why they need a return on investment for every dollar they spend.
For instance, there may be better decisions than investing in an elaborate workspace for a company with employees who prefer remote work. It would help if you considered reallocating their budget for more practical things, like equipment and software.
Making simple changes guarantees you more seed money to improve your products.
4. Fearing Change and Innovation
Startups are called startups for a reason. They’re the kick-off to something much more significant.
Small business owners should always be in a growth-at-all-costs mindset. The safe zone is a dangerous place to be in a hypercompetitive market. When they can keep pace with the evolving demands of their market, businesses succeed and beat competitors.
5. Partnering With the Wrong People
Like other businesses just starting, startups always seek investors and partners.
Investments can indeed help grow your business. However, not all investors fit your brand values or business model well. Understandably, it can be challenging to say “no” when people show interest. But being discerning now will put you on the right track for your business’s future.
6. Pursuing Investors Instead of Customers
Far too many businesses put more effort into their investment pitch than their actual product. The safest way to ensure your business’s financial health is to have a steady stream of clients, not investors.
Financing your firm with investments alone is risky. Investors are bound to pull out if your startup needs to make more money. On the other hand, improving your offerings builds your client base, which draws in investors.
7. Launching at the Wrong Time
The timing of the startup’s launch is critical.
If the product is released too soon, preparations may be half-baked. Meanwhile, if you wait too long, your competitor could beat you to market with a similar product, or worse, your assets could dry up sooner than expected.
The best way to avoid these scenarios is with a meticulously planned timetable. Before you even begin marketing your launch, ensure that you’ve done market research, fully developed your product, and have enough stocks to meet the demand.
8. Not Pacing Growth
The success of a startup is anchored on its capacity for growth.
Growing too much too soon can also be detrimental to your firm. Taking the time to ensure the quality of each employee will pay off in the long run. Make a business plan for expansion and know what positions will need to be filled and when you target to bring them onboard.
9. Lacking a Brand
Most entrepreneurs need a catchy name and logo (which can be created by a logo maker) to build a brand.
It’s what people think when they hear your company mentioned and how you make your customers feel, from your first touch point well into after you’ve closed the deal.
10. Thinking Small
New business owners may find it difficult to succeed if they are too focused on what already works for them. However, startups need to think big to scale up.
Major players are fearless in taking significant risks with revolutionary business ideas. Thinking big is vital to expanding your customer base, boosting sales, or leveling up your brand.
What are the mistakes to avoid when starting a business?
1. Underestimating the Necessary Capital
New business owners often need to pay more attention to the cost of starting a business. They need to account for potential roadblocks and delays — frequently anticipating the best-case scenario, which is rarely the case.
This overly optimistic outlook leads to significant financial setbacks derailing a business’s growth.
2. Lacking a Proper Legal Structure
Another common blunder new business owners make is failing to establish a legal structure before operating. This leads to costly errors such as the need for licenses and permits for operation and other documents that protect their intellectual property.
3. Taking On Too Much Work
New business owners tend to take on much more work than they can handle to clinch as many clients as possible. They end up falling short of their goals and making a wrong impression on their clients.
What are three common business mistakes?
1. Trying To Do Everything In-House
One of the most common mistakes businesses should try to avoid is thinking you can handle all tasks without help.
After all, your in-house team can only do so much. Maximize productivity by keeping them focused on what they do best – your core competencies.
Outsourcing can free them from the unnecessary stress of tedious tasks so that you can zero in on your team’s areas of expertise and develop them to their fullest potential.
2. Ignoring the Competition
Your competitors are more than just rivals out to steal your loyal customers. Like you, they are also industry experts who analyze and study the dynamic market. Keeping track of their initiatives will help you stay ahead of the curve.
3. Weak Marketing Strategy
Powerful marketing can make a significant difference in a company’s bottom line. It has the potential to increase brand recognition, generate leads and revenue, and establish your brand as the ideal market choice.
But with a proper strategy, you’re saving valuable time and resources on marketing campaigns that yield results.
What are 3 of the biggest mistakes entrepreneurs make?
1. Taking Their Staff for Granted
Nothing causes animosity and a loss of motivation like having one’s hard work, extra effort, and significant contributions ignored.
Time and again, studies on workforce motivation have shown that taking employees for granted is one of the top reasons for higher staff churn and lower productivity rates.
2. Being a Weak Leader
Your success depends on your ability to lead your staff as a business owner. This entails charting the course for the company, communicating these goals to your team, and motivating them to achieve tremendous success.
3. Not Knowing Their Strengths and Weaknesses
An honest assessment of your weaknesses and strengths can help you better position your company for success.
Learning about your strengths will help you capitalize on them. Meanwhile, your weaknesses can help you gain focus. Knowing your areas of improvement enables you to rethink which functions to outsource and which to hone.