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Starting a small business involves making a lot of very important decisions. To be successful, you have to have a plan. While there is no fool-proof plan for success, there are some very common mistakes that small business owners should avoid at all costs.

1.  Not setting goals

Every business owner should have a clearly defined set of both short-and long-term goals. They should also be measurable, and the short-term objectives should be designed to help you achieve the long-term goals. By having a clearly defined plan in place, you can spend less time “thinking” and more time “doing” throughout your work day.

2.  Avoiding new technology

Small business owners sometimes feel that the time spent in learning new technology could be better served in performing another task that puts money in the bank. Others are simply afraid of change. By making the transition to more advanced technology, business owners usually save money over the long-term. For example, the Big Red Cloud accounting software streamlines several processes to save time and money while boosting customer loyalty simultaneously.

3.  Ignoring the “Double Helix Trap”

According to Forbes Magazine, a fundamental mistake that first-time business owners make is ignoring the “Double Helix Trap.” In the early stages, organizations often spend an enormous amount of time with marketing strategies. Then once business is booming, they tend to slack off. But the boom rarely lasts forever. So, eventually, they return to a full-on push to flood the Internet with another marketing campaign. Finding a healthy balance reduces this “boom or bust” cycle and helps the business owner to plan ahead more efficiently.

4.  Undervaluing your products and services

Getting that first sale is an incredible feeling that most business owners never forget. It can be addictive, too, which is a good thing. But when you lower your prices just to land a sale, perhaps due to a lack of confidence or a fear of failure, you might slowly begin to resent the very business that you are trying to grow. Know the value that you provide, and charge appropriately.

5.  Overspending

There are a lot of significant income tax benefits that come with owning your own business, and this sometimes leads to a false sense of security. With so many opportunities for tax deductions with business ownership, many people go overboard by renting expensive hotel rooms and eating at trendy restaurants. Please avoid this common mistake. Big Red Cloud accounting software can help you keep track of these expenses more efficiently.

6.  Doing everything yourself

Many small companies begin with very little financial capital, but you can’t possibly be an expert in logo design, social media management, and accounting processes all at the same time. Just because you can do something does not mean that you should. Delegating can be scary, but business owners always have to cross this bridge eventually. Learn to delegate sooner rather than later.

Marc O'Dwyer

After completing a Graduate program in Marketing, Marc’s impressive sales career began at Allied Irish Banks, Pitney Bowes and Panasonic where he received numerous Irish and European sales performance awards and consistently exceeded targets and expectations. In 1992, Marc’s entrepreneurial spirit led him to set up his own business, Irish International Sales (IIS). Initially, this company was a reseller for Take 5 Accounts and Payroll software. Within four years, IIS became the largest reseller of Take 5 in Ireland, acquiring four other Take 5 resellers. He also found time to set up two mobile phone shops under the Cellular World brand and a web design company offering website design services for small businesses. In 2001, he bought the majority share in a small Irish software business, Big Red Book. At that time, the company was losing money. The company became profitable within two months, and Marc then acquired a payroll company to compliment Big Red Books Accounting products. In 2003, IIS were appointed as Channel Partners with SAP for their new SME product, SAP Business One. Marc sold his Take 5 business and concentrated on developing this new market for SAP As a result, by 2007, IIS was recognised as the largest Channel Partner for SAP in EMEA (Europe Middle East and Africa). In 2008, the IIS Sales Manager bought the Company from Marc in an MBO. He launched Big red cloud in June 2012, the online version of big red book, to date the company successfully converts 59% of trials into sales and the number of customers is growing rapidly. Marc continues to run both Big Red Book and Big Red Cloud which now support 75,000 businesses. He is a very keen sportsman, having played rugby for 20 years, represented Leinster at under 16 and under 20 levels, and league squash with Fitzwilliam Lawn Tennis Club for 10 years. Marc has competed in 11 Marathons, including the London and Boston Marathons, and has completed several Triathlons and Half Ironman races. He has also completed six Ironman Races in Austria(x2), Frankfurt (Germany), Nice (France) , Mallorca (Spain) and Copenhagen (Denmark)

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