5 Small Business Mistakes and How to Fix Them


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Every small business has to start somewhere. Mine started because I got sick of letting others control my financial freedom and my future. Maybe yours started because you really like punch needle rugs and textiles. I love both of those reasons, and I’m proud of us for taking that leap into the unknown. However, we are all human and we all make mistakes. I’ve noticed some common small business mistakes that are easily-remedied and even easier to avoid with a little bit of guidance.

It’s not easy running a business on your own, and some slip-ups are inevitable. I want to help your business run as successfully and smoothly as possible, so be sure to keep an eye out for these common issues:

Small Business Mistakes: Your Packaging Isn’t Branded

Not to get all “girl boss” on you, but I like to use Glossier as an example for this common small business mistake. The reason being that Glossier is a company that skyrocketed pretty much on branding and packaging alone. When you get your boy brow in the mail, you can tell what it is immediately. Glossier killed it with their packaging, and now those elements are synonymous with the brand itself. No one else can use those little pink bubble wrap bags. If they do, they will be accused of stealing the idea from Glossier (they might also get sued but that’s neither here nor there).

You want to set yourself apart from competitors with your packaging, and you want your customers to instantly recognize it and get excited when they check their mail.

Branded packaging can be a little more complicated for your small business. For one, a lot of artisans and sellers don’t have the budget to splurge on stuff that’s just going to get thrown away. Beyond that, a lot of small businesses are shifting their focus towards being more environmentally friendly. I love that, but plastic packaging is not exactly environmentally friendly.

The good news is that poly-mailers actually are recyclable, the bad news is that they can’t go in a traditional recycling bin and require a little bit of extra work on the part of your customer.

The Solution

There actually are a lot of companies that offer bulk poly-mailers at an affordable price, and some of them are really cute. Some of my favorites are:

If you don’t want to buy customer mailers for financial or environmental reasons, then my suggestion to you is STICKERS!

Have a sticker made of your logo, or your face, or just a really cute sticker that says “thank you.” Anything that is representative of your brand. People will start to recognize your sticker, even if you’re using recycled boxes or mailers.

Small Business Mistakes: You’re Not Promoting Yourself Inside Your Packages

You can have the best packaging the world has ever seen, but you have to give people a reason to buy from your store again. At our core, people are really simple, and we like to feel thought of and cared for.

This means adding a little personal touch (and some self-promotion) inside your packages.

The Solution

Throw in a thank you card, a business card, a free sticker, or even a 10% off code for their next purchase. This greatly increases the chances that they will purchase from you again and give you a good rating.

Note: try to avoid including candy in your packages. A lot of people find it unhygienic, and it doesn’t always travel well. The last thing you want is to ruin your own products with a melted Jolly Rancher.

Small Business Mistakes: You’re Only Using Instagram to Promote Your Business

I went into this really in-depth in my last blog post, but if you are only using Instagram to market your small business, you are doing yourself a disservice. To keep a long story short, Instagram posts have an unbelievably short lifespan, and they get buried underneath other posts easily and quickly.

Instagram is not an evergreen platform, as illustrated by the recent algorithmic changes that have thrown a lot of small business owners (myself included) for a loop.

The Solution

Simply put, extend your reach. Small businesses blow up every day from platforms like TikTok and Pinterest. If you sell to an older demographic, then it might be in your best interest to run targeted Facebook ads.

Your ideal customer is looking for you. When you market yourself solely on Instagram, you make it really difficult for them to find you.

Small Business Mistakes: You Don’t Have an Abandoned Cart Recovery Strategy

Did you know that between 60-80% of online shopping carts are abandoned? The average abandoned cart rate across all industries is 69.57%, with mobile users coming in at a staggering 85.65% abandonment rate.

One more insane statistic, just for impact- the e-commerce industry loses about $18 billion in sales each year to cart abandonment.

You get my point, right? You need an abandoned cart recovery strategy.

This mistake applies primarily to people who sell using their own website. If you are using Etsy, they handle abandoned cart recovery notifications for you.

The Solution

First and foremost, you want to make sure your checkout process is streamlined. Don’t hide any of the taxes and shipping fees, and don’t require customers to make an account. The easier it is to check out, the better.

The second thing you need is email automation that reminds people of their abandoned cart. You can send this manually through Shopify, but why do that when you can automate it?

Shopify doesn’t offer this feature directly, so you will need to use a plugin. There are a lot of different options in the Shopify App store, so it all depends on finding something that works for you. I like MoonMail and Abandonment Guard for their customization.

Small Business Mistakes: You Aren’t Repurposing Your Content

You should not be struggling to come up with fresh, unique content 7 days a week. The reasons why are twofold- first, nobody has that kind of time on their hands. Second, people need to hear the same information a couple of times before they retain it.

You’re actually hurting yourself by not repurposing your content.

The Solution

I’m going to use this blog post as an example of how to repurpose content. This post has 5 listed elements. That means I can use it to make:

  • 5 Instagram posts about each listed small business mistake.
  • 5 TikToks about each listed small business mistake.
  • Post each TikTok to Instagram to have 5 reels.
  • Post each TikTok to Pinterest to have 5 pins.
  • 7 Pinterest Pins to promote the blog.

That’s 27 pieces of content just from one blog post (AKA weeks’ worth of content from ~3 hours of hard work)! If I wanted to, I could take it even further and make a separate blog post from each listed small business mistake, and then start the process over.

Save yourself time and help your audience remember you by repurposing your content.

At the end of the day, mistakes are inevitable. I just want to do my best to help you identify and avoid some of the most common small business owner mistakes. You got this! If you need a killer copywriter & content creator on your team, I’m your gal.

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