The failure of a small business often happens when the owner fails to pay attention to areas in which he or she has no expertise: warehousing, for example, or order fulfillment. Avoid the pitfalls – look at these five common mistakes made by otherwise excellent brands, and learn from their errors.
Failing to follow the crowd
Your customer is your only ally when it comes to making money. If he or she doesn’t want to give it to you, then you’re not going to survive. Your product or service starts its life appealing to your audience, of course – that’s how you get your start in business. But the market changes: and if you don’t follow it, you run the risk of getting left behind. Listen to your consumer, watch what he or she enthuses about on your social media streams and keep your service offering up to date.
Failing to fulfill your promises
Making a promise and breaking it is disaster for a small business. If you can’t fulfill it, don’t say it. A small company doesn’t have the resources and reach of an internet giant, so making promises to ape the market leaders is only going to end in disaster. Remember that your consumer has come to you because he or she has seen something special in what you do. Keep your promises realistic, and keep them, and you’ll never lose faith with your fans.
The thing about online trading is that it only takes one Facebook post to quadruple your orders. You’d think that was a dream scenario for a small business: and if you can keep up with the sudden increase in demand, it is.
Let it catch you unaware, though, and you’ll become known as the company that never has anything in stock. One way to combat this is to outsource your stock control to a fulfilment partner, who has access to a tried and tested network of delivery agents. Learn to spot trends and seasonal demand early, and take advantage of your partner’s expertise.
Outgrowing a warehouse
A small business with growing popularity inevitably comes to a dilemma: expand premises now, and risk paying too much in rent before orders increase, or try and stay where you are and get overrun with extra stock. Again, a fulfillment partner can help by giving flexible warehouse space to your business – allowing you to grow your stock in line with your orders rather than taking the gamble of full expansion too early.
Using substandard equipment
It’s not always true that a bad work person blames their tools. Sometimes, tools are just bad. While substandard equipment can cut costs in the early das of a business, its lack of quality becomes quickly apparent at every stage of the game. Your key trick is to look for much higher quality used equipment and buy it from reputable dealers. Warehousing equipment, like shelf racking and forklift trucks, is a prime example. Refurbished pre-owned lifting and storage equipment from Lift 4 Less is the perfect solution.
The Author is a professional business writer. His blogs and articles have been published in more than 200 high-authority websites in the last 15 years, and his personal network of business blogs is often used to supply content and information to trusted business advice pages and news sites. He lives in London.