My answer to What are the major problems small businesses face?
Answer by Ken Larson:
Over the last 11 years as a small business counselor I have noticed the following difficulties occur the most frequently among my clients:
1.. Promising what they cannot deliver
2. Overextending resources and getting a reputation for poor performance.
3. Telling the customer what he or she wants to hear instead of what they need to know.
4. Not knowing the value of networking constantly on professional sites such as Quora and accumulating an "Expert" rating from peers
5. Not understanding the value of blogging. A blog is quite different than a web site. Provide good, solid information free of charge and use blog searches for synergistic businesses to team with. Teaming is an absolute necessity these days.
6. Lack of preparation to provide information, samples and valuable service gratis as a marketing tool; introducing oneself and then immediately engaging the client with presentation tools available to bring expertise to whatever topic they are interested in.
7. Quoting and billing what the client cannot afford and not growing with him (in content and resources).
8. No dedication to working oneself out of a job with a specific customer and having the client take over by training him, thereby having him remember you and recommend you to 10 others.
9. Not remembering that growth is a function of persistence and foresight. Know where your market is headed and get their first – then write and speak about your success indirectly by helping others. Demonstrate humility and a satisfaction in helping others succeed. They will find ways to give you credit. There are ways of tooting your horn without making peoples' lights go out.
10. Not keeping in mind that word of mouth advertising from pleased clients is a sure ticket to success.