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Bike Shop Management

10 Things to Avoid When Growing Your Small Business

If navigating how to grow your small business feels like stepping into a field filled with landmines, you are not alone. In an effort to help, we’ve compiled a list of what NOT to do while growing your small business.

While this is not a comprehensive list, it is a good summary of major errors made as companies enter a growth stage. Have you already learned from any of the mistakes below?


1. Don’t let yourself get too busy that you can’t find time for strategic initiatives

Across the country – there are bike shop owners kicking themselves for not making time for initiatives like strategic planning, budgeting, marketing, hiring, and more. The easiest way to stop that is to keep your schedule open enough to invest time in ensuring you’re in control of your business’s future. If you don’t have the time, you need to make it…whether that means implementing a new project management system or looking at some new hires – the boss needs bandwidth to focus on growth. 

2.  Don’t lose sight of your main goal: serving your customers

Often when businesses grow, they lose sight of the immediate interaction with customers and customer service. This continues to be the most important thing. If you don’t have customers, you don’t have a business.

3. Waiting too Long to Hire

Many small businesses struggle with hiring. Some wait to hire more employees because they want to get things set up or maybe they think they need more money first. But when you wait to hire, you risk overworking and total burnout. Figure out how to bring employees on when they are needed.

4. Waiting too long to provide employees with health insurance

Offering a benefits package with health insurance coverage is a huge advantage in attracting and retaining valuable team members.


5. Don’t Neglect to Get Important Documents and Business Contracts in Writing

This seems small, but as businesses grow –  casual agreements and handshake deals will no longer work. As you grow, the legitimacy of your legal documentation must also grow. Work with a lawyer to make certain you have documents in order.

6. Don’t Ignore the Incredible Power of the Internet

This means you need a website. Period. This means you need social media accounts. Period. You don’t need all of them – but you need to give your customers somewhere to go to sing your praises. So do a little research – where do your customers hang out? Where are they most likely to engage with you? But that’s not all. Make sure you are utilizing the full offering of today’s digital world: free online task management products, free social media accounts, email newsletters to customers, and much, much more. 

7.  Don’t miss out on opportunities to share in the power of scale and bottom line savings through membership groups (like ours!)

Join other businesses cutting costs on fuel, shipping, credit card processing fees, marketing solutions, and more by using their member benefits. Get the link to your unique savings dashboard at myS4M.com

8.  Don’t fail to get appropriate business insurance

Most small businesses need general liability, property insurance, and possibly workers’ compensation. Make sure you are covered. An expensive claim is the last thing you want to deal with. This is another area your TBC member benefits from Savings4Members can help out. Just get access to your savings dashboard at myS4M.com and filter by HR / Payroll. 

9.  Don’t miss out on sales opportunities by mispricing your product and/or failing to meet demand

Use focus groups, customer surveys, break even analysis, and competitor pricing as a guide to determine what price is the right price for your product or service. As you grow, this will only become more critical. And once you have the prices set correctly, make sure you can meet the customer demand with ample product or service available.

10. Don’t fall into trouble with bad budgeting and lack of cash

Many of the things listed above will help this initiative, but as you grow you need to ensure you have ample cash to survive. Scrutinize your forecasted financial statements versus your actuals to determine areas of variance. Create cash flow statements showing 1, 3, 5, 10 years out to show your business has available resources. Evaluate all financing options as you grow.


Remember: There will always be a challenge to solve

Keep these 10 things in mind as you grow. With a little work and extra focus, you can avoid these landmines and watch your business thrive!


Looking for more advice?

Overcome the challenges facing small to medium sized businesses with help from some of the expert advice below… 

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