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Hiring wrong people is biggest error for SMEs
The Volkswagen Caddy ‘However Big Your Ambition Report’ interviewed 1000 SME owners

BAD decisions cost UK businesses an average of £2340 every year, according to The Volkswagen Caddy ‘However Big Your Ambition’ report.

VW commissioned the report as part of its push to sell the Caddy to small businesses. It explores the common mistakes business owners regularly make, and offers advice on how to prevent costly blunders.

Top 10 business mistakes

  • Hiring the wrong person for the job
  •  Making a pricing error
  • Failing to take advantage of an opportunity
  • Giving too great a discount
  • Taking on a friend to work for you
  • Taking on a relative on to work for you
  • Making a mistake by firing someone
  • Trusting a business partner that didn’t work out
  • Investing in equipment that didn’t work
  • Ignoring sound advice

And the most common mistake made by owner of small and medium enterprises is taking on the wrong person for the job.

With a third of SME owners describing themselves as ‘ambitious risk-takers’ it’s perhaps not surprising that 35% admitted letting their hearts rule their heads, with 61% of those saying the resulting decision was wrong for the business.

Another one in 10 admitted a wrong decision affected their company’s reputation.

Failing to take advantage of an opportunity was cited as number three business mistake, followed by offering too great a discount and hiring a friend. Other common business errors included incorrect pricing, or offering too many discounts.

Taking on a relative to carry out a role in the company was sixth place in the list of errors. Firing someone and later realising they shouldn’t have been given the sack was at seven.

Placing trust in the wrong person or business partner was eighth on the list, followed by investing in equipment that didn’t do the right job at number nine.

Ignoring good advice completed the top 10.

“Running a business isn’t easy and having the best staff working for you is critical, so training and investing in people will always pay dividends in the future,” Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles director Alex Smith told Business Vans. “Even successful business owners will have made a mistake at some point. The key thing is to avoid repeating them.”

To help SMEs develop their business skills, and no doubt sell them more business vans, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles has launched an online mentoring service on its Facebook page sharing advice from successful SME owners. It can be viewed here.

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