Despite the reports of a high level of volatility in the global market and a national government that seems to be inoperable when it comes to effectively engaging the economy to any true degree, small business owners are finding that there are green pastures in the world of small business. It seems that the most recent financial crisis and the volatility that it created for the economy has actually served to increase opportunities for small business owners to grow their businesses as corporations continue to downsize. As a small business owner, there are a number of pitfalls that you should be aware of. These pitfalls can present a significant challenge to your efforts to grow your business.

It is vital that you gain a lucid understanding of these challenges so that you can properly address them when the time comes.

Poor Hiring Practices

Your business and the level of services or products that it produces will be a direct reflection of your hiring practices. You should develop a hiring philosophy that gives great gravity to the ability of an individual to relate to the vision that you have for your company. It is so much easier to lead an individual that has taken ownership in the company’s goals for success and growth. In most instances, your employees will be the point of contact between your business and your customers. You want these employees to be a reflection of you, your vision and your philosophy concerning customer service and customer satisfaction.

According to business expert, Simon Horton, there are five types of employees that will bring a business down:

· The eternal whiner: that person that seems to find something wrong with everything that is going on. The eternal whiner is never happy. Not only will they be counterproductive, but they will also bring down the moral of your other employees.

· The person that is in need of praise: This person has an innate need to be praised for everything they do and when they are not it will be reflected in the quality of their work.

· The chronically late employee: Often times this person will have a good work ethic once at work, the problem is getting them there while not allowing their perpetual tardiness to become contagious.

· Uncooperative: This employee has no compromise and will be extremely difficult to lead and work with. They have their own way of doing things and they simply will not change.

· The Clueless Employee: This person lives in their own world, often times daydreaming instead of working. There will be very little in the way of productivity.

The chances are that you have at least one of these types of employees at your company. This does not mean that you have to go out and fire them. The first three can normally be worked with when ground rules are established. Just make sure that you understand the massive impact each employee will have on the overall direction that your company will head in.

A Poor Time and Attendance System

The next pitfall ties into the first. Having good employees is vital, but having an effective system through which you can track each employee and their productivity is equally important. One of the most important reasons that you should have an effective and functional time and attendance tracking system is that it is the law. Seriously, one of the requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is that the employers have the capacity to accurately log all employees time worked.

Now, today’s systems are capable of doing quite a bit more than simply tracking time worked. Deputy, one of the industry leaders in time and attendance solutions, offers a number of different solutions for small business owners that includes time and attendance, the ability to track tasks, the capacity to log performance journals for your employees and more. You and your management team will be able to access the complete battery of features directly from your favorite device and use the revolutionary time tracking feature called Kiosk. Now that is effective and efficient.

Failure to Maximize Social Media Leverage

Okay, you have heard that you need to engage the opportunities that social media has to offer, but how much do you really understand about the massive potential that is associated with creating an engaging social media campaign? Social media is not only about marketing, it is about gaining customer intelligence and developing customer engagement strategies. You can gain a great deal from social media exposure.

With the rapid advancement in technology, the web has become a powerful force in creating the ability for businesses to develop their brands while they increase their exposure. According to social media expert, Rieva Lesonsky, social media can be used for recruiting employees, staying on top of the latest trends, conducting valuable research and more.

Today, information travels at the speed of light, and this information has an uncanny way of finding itself on the trending threads of social media platforms.

Social media is also a good way to leverage users to build your exposure. By providing quality content that is relevant to your customer base, you create the potential for your posts and comments to go viral. One click of the “Like” or “Share” button and the possibilities are endless.

Give serious consideration to these pitfalls. It will save you numerous headaches and setbacks, while preparing you to meet the challenges that will help propel your company to the next level.