10 Small Business Startup Mistakes
Ask any small business owner and they will tell you that when starting their business, they faced some unexpected situations. It could be they didn’t know how to build a website, or that they didn’t know the correct way to set up a legal contract, or perhaps that they didn’t know how to market their business online. They all could have used a little business advice in the beginning and likely, so can you. Avoid these pitfalls on the way to success for your business.
1 | Skipping the Planning
It’s tedious but necessary. Research your business idea and the potential market before jumping in head first. The most important parts of this process are putting together your business plan, your financial plan, and your marketing plan.
2 | Starting without an Online Presence
Do you have a Facebook page? A Twitter account? A website, domain name, or email? If not, then people will have difficulty finding your business. After all, what good is a business to clients if they don’t know you exist?
3 | Not Standing Apart
So few people will pay attention to this point and its really so important - know what your business does! Many business owners have a vague idea but not the refined focus. Think of the top three problems that your product or service solves and be very specific about these goals when presenting your business to a potential client.
4 | Being a Control Freak
Learn to let go. Learn the art of delegation. If you are new to business, there are so many places you could expend energy to better your business, but are you really the right person to be handling your website’s coding, your accounting paperwork, or your legal contracts? Maybe you are, or maybe you should step back and hire a professional to take care of some of those items for you so you can focus your skill where it is better applied.
5 | Ignoring Your Customers
It seems straight forward but, ask your clients what they need. The goal of a business is generally to provide a service or product to answer a customer’s need. Ask your customers for feedback about the product or service you offer to find out where you can refine the process. Are you spending too much energy in one area where it’s not needed and totally missing an area that needs attention? Only your customers can provide this insight.
6 | Not Setting Goals
Goals provide drive, direction, and clarity of intent. If you have a clear goal, you know what you are working toward and how to take clear steps on that path. Make smart goals so you can outline specific steps toward achievement.
7 | Avoiding New Technology
Technology can provide new opportunities to small business owners, helping you to work more efficiently and even to save you money. While new technology can be intimidating, even time-consuming or difficult to learn, an unwillingness to adapt over time can put you and your business out of the game.
8 | Overspending
It’s tempting when starting a new business to go all out and get the best and newest of everything, but that doesn’t mean you have to buy the most expensive products on the market. Take the time to bargain shop the things you need to get your business started so you aren’t overspending your hard-earned startup capital.
9 | Counting on Just One Client
In your dream business, every client would be loyal, but that is not reality. The reasons you can lose a client are impossible to count, from “I found a better product” to “I think I can get a better price.” Are you ready for your cash cow to walk away? Keep your eyes and ears open for potential new clients at all times.
10 | Not Committing
Starting a business requires drive, dedication, and serious commitment. Small business owners must be willing to make sacrifices, work hard hours, and face challenges that do not come from working for an employer.
Mistakes happen, especially when learning a new skill or starting a new adventure as starting your own business is. The important thing to remember is you can always course correct and get back on track toward reaching those goals.