There are really only two big mistakes that you can make when running a small business: quitting and sticking. In fact, it can be just as much a mistake to quit doing something that works as to keep doing something that does not work.
As such, there are not a lot of mistakes that are concrete and set in stone. What works for one business owner might not work for another and what might be a mistake for a blogger or a video maker might not be for a web cartoonist or a baker.
Every small business owner has to gauge every unique situation and make a decision for themselves, but there are some general guidelines that you can follow to make the process a little easier on yourself:
1. Failing to Push Through the Dip
The Dip is a business and marketing concept that refers to that long period of relative inactivity between starting a project and finding some real success with it. At the start of any project you’re going to be very excited. Friends will be encouraging you and you’ll be getting investors interested and you’re going to be putting everything together and having a lot of fun with it.
Unfortunately, between that first high point and the next, there is a long period where nobody’s paying attention to what you’re doing, and you’re being forced to essentially sell every single unit personally. This is the point where you’re putting in a ton of effort for very little reward.
However, if you push through the dip, then there’s a chance that you’re going to be seeing a shift at the other end where you’re getting big rewards for little effort. This is what you get when a marketing campaign pans out and you have people spreading your product or service by word of mouth and sharing with one another. Quit early and you’ll never get there.
2. Mistaking a Flop for a Dip
Sometimes a marketing plan just isn’t going to pan out. Sometimes a great idea just isn’t going to work out. There’s really no telling when and how to identify a plan that isn’t going to work or knowing for certain that you’re going to see great returns if you stick it out for just a little bit longer.
This is the real challenge in marketing and business, knowing when to quit and knowing when to stick. The two biggest mistakes really do boil down to something so simple: Quitting when you should stick it out and sticking it out when you should quit.
The more experience you gain the easier this decision will be for you to make, but one rule to follow until then is this: Never be afraid to fail. If you don’t mind failing then, at the very least, you’ll be having fun whether or not your marketing plans pan out.
Harry Marks is a small business owner and experienced online marketing specialist. He is famous for being a guest blogger on various online marketing journals and magazines. He currently blogs for IronMonk, a company providing SEO services and Social Media Marketing solutions to small businesses worldwide.