We're all guilty of making mistakes from time to time. Yet when it comes to your company, mistakes cost real money that can seriously affect your ability to do business. Take a look through these three common errors many businesses make and ensure that you do your best to avoid these pitfalls.
Understand your true competition
Unless you are in a firmly established industry, your true competition is not the company most like your business that sells the same products, and services down the street. That company might compete for your customers, but in the end, they are in the same boat as you.
Your real competition is the business that does things differently in a way that drives customers away from you, they're the ones you need to strategize against, not your neighbor who does almost exactly what you do. If you try to optimize against your neighbor, you'll end up gaining only those customers that would be willing to buy from you anyway. Your focus should instead be on gaining customers from your true competition, which has a customer base that you've yet to even start to attract.
Manage your online reputation
One of the most common oversights companies make today is a lack of internet reputation management monitoring. Even if you don't hire an outside company to look over your internet reputation on a regular basis, you or one of your employees needs to have the responsibility of keeping up with what people say about your company online. Set up a Google alert with your company name as a keyword, and make sure you know whenever anyone is talking about you online. Not keeping up with your online reputation regularly, leaves you liable to a fiasco which can utterly ruin your credibility in the internet age.
Allow employees to be open
If your business has rules against employees talking office gossip on LinkedIn or against posting Facebook statuses about work, then you need to revise your rules. When it comes to the internet, talk that used to be limited to the dinner table, has become publicly searchable. The future of every business relies on how the employees of that business talk about the company online.
When you ban discussion, it only drives the comments underground, and causes resentment and negativity. By allowing your employees to tweet about the workplace openly, you'll help to engender a positive image of your company online.
While there are many more mistakes that businesses often make, these three exemplify easily-fixed problems that you probably have encountered in your own business. Thankfully, now that you're aware of them, they should be easy to avoid.