There are certain business functions that many entrepreneurs and small to medium-sized businesses take for granted. The finances, accounting and wages, deliveries and logistics, the brand, and business identity are some of the most basic business functions that can be overlooked, or taken for granted that they will always work effectively.
Running a business is hard work, so it is easy to see why some might take some of the core business functions as easy to establish and maintain when this isn’t always the case. As long as these aspects are working, everything is fine. However, it’s when they don’t work so well and the associated business risk of this that can lead to considerable damage to the business brand and the business itself. Below are the business errors you should look out for and rank among those that can cause budding businesses and new startups to fail.
Inferior quality or products and services
Starting with the product or service itself, all businesses need to ensure that their offerings to the general public are the best that they can be. This is the one aspect of the business that cannot and should not be outsourced or managed externally as it is the core of the business. It is common knowledge for many that as soon as the sales and client numbers reach profitable numbers, businesses relax, and their quality begins to wane. It’s the biggest mistake that you can make, and it will take longer to win back a lost customer and the additional people that they have dissuaded from your business than it would have been to simply maintain quality. The quality of the products and services that the business puts out are the most important aspect and the range of business functions that are needed to ensure this must be driven efficiently and effectively for as long as the business is trading and in business.
Poor financial management
Being able to manage your business funds to ensure that the business is able to function as well as being able to pay wages and expenses a is a skill. Startup finance, specifically, can be very tricky and as a balancing act you need to be able to prioritize how you spend and the payments you make. Paying on time, whether it’s wages or suppliers, is a critical aspect of any business that can very quickly sour relationships.
Many make the mistake of not realizing how important this is to get right. Avoid the common mistakes doing payroll or paying suppliers late, and either have a professionally outsourced service or ensure that the internal employees responsible for finance are at the top of their game. For many businesses their cash flow, sales and debtor lists are the most important aspect of the business, and all of these are related to fiscal management and recording. If there is no clear system of tracking income, expenditure and producing a clearly understood financial situational analysis of the business, it is likely that there will not be a business for very long. Finance in all its intricacies and as a business function is key and must be regarded as such.
It’s easy to lose focus of the brand and its meaning when you are consumed by it on a daily basis. You know what the business stands for and as such it becomes a common mistake to ignore what others need to know about your brand.
It is also a common mistake for new businesses to immediately have a presence on all marketing platforms even though a holistic and energetic marketing campaign is encouraged. However, it is easy to lose brand clarity unless you ensure that you have precise brand uniformity across all of the platforms and forms of marketing that you choose to use.
There needs to be brand consistency across all platforms or there really is no use being on all these platforms. Any uncertainty as to what your brand stands for, what it does and why the customer has chosen to purchase from you are potentially business ending, and as such the brand must be clearly understood and then communicated both internally and externally.
Both storage delivery and receipt of goods needs to be a seamless process and often will be, for the best businesses out there. From the ordering to receipt and recording of deliveries using an accurate logistics system is key. One of the easiest ways to lose a customer or client is to be unable to deliver on an order or to be consistently late, or early with delivery.
The basic business functions mentioned in this article are as discussed some of the most overlooked and neglected. When they work well no one will notice them; however, as soon as there are any issues these basics can soon become the iceberg that sinks your Titanic.