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Three Ways Small Business Owners Sabotage Their Success

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The way the world does business is changing. Ignore these three major shifts at your own peril.

You might think that things are going great for your business.

Sales are up, profits are better than ever and your customer base is solid.

While these are certainly traits of a successful business, there might some secret weaknesses lurking behind the curtain.

These three mistakes are not only common among small business owners, but are often unseen until the damage is already done.

Quit Treating Social Media Like A Fad

Much like the world being flat, global warming being fake or the bird being the word, there was a time when businesses met social media with skepticism.

That time is behind us.

Whether you’re a mom and pop operation in a small town or working on opening your 10th franchise, there are benefits to social for any business.

There are some very real dangers as well. Consider these statistics from Jeff Bulas:

Active Internet Users Worldwide

Active Social Media Accounts

Tweets Per Day

Facebook Users

That is a whole lot of zeroes. 

If you’re not using social to promote your business, connect with customers and research new opportunities, you are killing your business.

At this point, social media is no longer an emerging trend or bleeding edge opportunity. It’s an essential part of any business marketing plan.

If you’re not sure where to start, here are five excellent guides from around the web.  

Embrace Mobile or Pay the Price

A Pew Research study from 2015 found that 64% of adult Americans now own a smartphone.

Smartphones and tablets have quickly become the central hub of daily life. For many, its the first thing they check in the morning and the last thing they see before falling asleep.

Once restricted to the library or office, people now carry a full-featured web browser and social media reader in their pocket.

If your business offers mobile-friendly features, potential customers can bring you along for the ride.

If not, you’re stuck collecting dust like the computer in the office.

This doesn’t necessarily mean you need to invest huge sums in a mobile app or create your own social network, but you should definitely update your website for mobile viewers.

Ignoring your mobile viewers isn’t just a pain for potential customers, it might result in penalties from search engines as well. 

With all the hoops to jump through, updating a site now is often much simpler than figuring your way out of the penalty zone later.

Still on the fence about if going mobile is worth it? TechCrunch recently reported on Adobe’s analysis the 2015 holiday sale season.

One interesting point?  

35.3% of Black Friday sales tracked by Adobe came from mobile

Monitor Your Online Presence Or Be Buried Alive

Establishing an online presence for your business–whether it’s social media or a website–will only get you so far without a little more effort.

To maximize the benefits of your various platforms, it’s important to do a little digging into how things work and what’s working best for you.

From quick social surveys to in-depth site analytics, the options are endless.

With the power of these tools, you can tweak and test your online efforts with ease.

Unfortunately, there’s two sides to this story.

Just as your business now has unprecedented ways to interact with and engage customers, customers can send information around the world in seconds.

There are entire review sites, such as Yelp or Foursquare, dedicated to helping customers share feedback with each other.

How can you ever hope to keep up with what everyone is saying? This is where brand monitoring comes in.

Brand monitoring doesn’t need to be complicated to be effective. Free services, such as Google Alerts, make it easy to fill in a few black and receive a notification any time your brand or chosen keywords are mentioned online. Red Rocket Media offers an excellent guide to get you up and running in minutes.

You can do the same for your social media platforms using free tools such as HootSuite or TweetDeck by creating lists with your brand name or keywords. When the software sees a mention, you’ll get a notification.

Both options allow you to resolve situations before they escalate or even connect with loyal fans without having to spend your day constantly monitoring your streams.

So now that you know the pitfalls, take a step back and look at how you’re handling them for your business. 

If you find you need to polish up your approach in one of these areas, the links provided should get you off to a great start. 

If this article helped you–or might help someone you know–take a couple seconds to click the share button on the sidebar and let the world know about it. Have a question we didn’t answer or an addition to our tips? Drop us a line in the comments or hit us up on social media. It’s your feedback that helps us to create useful content!

Jon Stone

Jon Stone

Content Marketer/Web Content Creator

When Jon isn't busy coming up with content ideas or building new projects, he's usually busy drinking way too much coffee and enjoying time with his kids. He's also a fan of writing about himself in the third-person. Jon Stone thinks that's fun. Other things Jon Stone thinks are fun include MMOs, cooking and reading fantasy novels.

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