There is something to be said about being your own boss. However, since a small business owner has so much on his or her plate, including day-to-day operations and bigger picture ventures on any given day, it’s easy for mistakes to be made or things to slip through the cracks. Here are some of the most common sales mistakes that befall small-business owners when it comes to sales.

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Miscalculating return on investment (ROI)

Small businesses, like people, must continue to evolve if they want to succeed. One way a small business can develop is by taking on new investment opportunities. However, any investment is a big undertaking and requires proper evaluation. One potential pitfall with new investments is miscalculating the return on investment (ROI). Businesses frequently look at the cost of a project without calculating the entire investment, including the amount of time and resources that will be needed to dedicate to the new undertaking. Calculate the ROI by dividing the benefit of your investment by the cost of your investment. In order to correctly calculate your ROI, be sure to take into account all hard costs, such as travel or software, in addition to soft costs, such as the time an employee may be dedicating to a new project that may be detracting from usual responsibilities.

Failing to follow up with customers and potential customers

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Small business owners have many duties on their plates, so it’s easy for things to get overlooked. However, following up with someone who is interested in your business can go a long way toward maintaining your existing customer base and also building your growth. It doesn’t matter if you sell a particular product or if you’re an independent musician, you always have opportunities to follow up with people who are existing or potential customers. Something as simple as responding to comments on your social media pages can really help your word-of-mouth marketing.

Going with only the tried-and-true

Any investor will tell you that you need to diversify to be successful. The same principle applies to the sales and marketing of small businesses. You might find some sales and marketing tactics that work, which is a good thing. However, don’t be tempted to stick with only the tactics that have worked for you in the past. Small business owners always need to be on the lookout not only for new customers, but also for new ways to reach out to customers and potential customers.


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This article was written by Gary Schwind for CBS Small Business Pulse.