So I take it you’re thinking of venturing out and establishing a business?
First things first, check out the awesome infographic below to provide some added guidance on whether or not you’re actually ready for self-employment and setting up shop.
Made it all the way to the end?
Or perhaps you’ve already taken the leap and are now searching for some tidbits of wisdom on how to proceed?
Regardless, congrats, you’ve come to the right place.
All men make mistakes, but only wise men learn from their mistakes. – Churchill
And it’s true, as your start-up grows you will no doubt make big blunders and face up against some seemingly insurmountable adversity.
But don’t worry. Learning from business mistakes of others is a tried true technique for sidestepping some of the potential pitfalls.
To guide you on your way, below are 8 common entrepreneur mistakes to avoid when starting a business.
8 Mistakes Business Owners Make When Starting Their Own Venture
#1. Taking on too Much Work
We’ve all been guilty of biting off more than we can chew.
Entrepreneurs setting out to pursue their business dreams will probably make this more of a rule than an exception. They’re usually running a one-man show, so it’s a given that they’ll have to wear multiple hats in the beginning.
However, it’s absolutely crucial that you avoid overworking yourself as mistakes are more commonly made when details are overlooked. Balancing expectations with reality is a surefire way to avoid early-stage burnout. Outsourcing and business process automation are also your allies.
#2. Choosing the Wrong Team
Speaking of allies, poor hiring choices can become one of the costliest errors you can make early on. Income, time and morale are all depleted when initial hires don’t work out. So to avoid this mistake, be sure to put a lot of thought into your recruitment process.
Here are some valuable insights related to the first hiring experience you can check out. And remember that in addition to selecting the right candidate, you need to ensure that you’re also ready to step up to that plate and effectively manage your new staff.
Another way to ensure you hire the right candidate is to deploy the right team collaboration software. That way you’ll know what resources are required in your organization and what qualities are needed in candidates.
#3. Failing to Market Effectively
Marketing is everything for a new business setting out to make a name. You need a cohesive, comprehensive and courageous marketing plan in order to attract customers.
The bottom line is: it’s ineffective to try to sell to everyone.
Carefully selecting your marketing channel should be a top priority. Once you figure out what makes your business different, you must dive headfirst into the ever-expanding realm of marketing activities.
Here is an extensive list of 101 marketing ideas for small businesses. Go forth and experiment until you find what works and then experiment some more and figure out how to top it.
#4. Ignoring the Competition
Now I’m in no way advocating that you spend all of your time monitoring your competitors because honestly, every situation is unique. It’s the job of a startup to be innovative, so never be a copycat.
On the other hand, a little competitor knowledge never hurt anyone. Also as you work on providing the best product/service possible to your customers, learning from the failures and successes of direct and indirect rival companies can go a long way towards improving your delivery.
#5. Skimping on Attorneys
I get it – pinching pennies is oftentimes a necessity due to limited startup capital, but skimping on legal fees is a no-no. Hiring an attorney who specializes in your type of business and is capable of writing up iron-clad agreements will go a far way in the long run.
Do yourself a favor and get acquainted with common legal mistakes made by small business owners and then do everything in your power to avoid repeating the ones applicable to your line of business.
#6. Not Having a Website
There really is no excuse for not having a website in this day and age. A business site is now relevant in virtually every industry. You also come off as way more professional when you’re able to correspond with customers from email address that’s ‘firstname.lastname@example.org.’
The vast majority of web-hosting providers will design, maintain and market your site for quite the bargain. Whether your main concerns are affordability, customer support or performance, they’ve got you covered. For your convenience, here’s a ranking of the current top hosting providers for small businesses.
So, among the ways to avoid business failure, a major hurdle is to create the perfect website. Make sure you have an innovative, different website that is optimized for all devices.
#7. Overspending and/or Underspending
Decreasing expenses to increase income is perhaps the most commonly perceived means of saving for small businesses. But you know as well as I do that in the startup phase, it’s much easier said than done.
You’re gonna have a tough time accurately estimating sales volumes right off the bat. This revenue forecasting challenge coupled with startup impulse spending can form a deadly combination. Remembering the bottom line and doing a cost-benefit analysis of every expense is highly advisable early on.
On the flip side though, cutting spending on key startup expenses (like legal, discussed above) can end up costing you more over time. Try not to limit your potential for success by limiting your beneficial expenses. It’s all about equipping yourself with as much reliable information as possible to be able to make the best informed financial decisions. To get you started, here are 21 money saving tips from other small business owners.
avoid early-stage burnout
#8. Avoiding New Technology
Try as you might, you can’t run from technology. Yes, all the options can be intimidating, but technological advances provide countless opportunities to streamline processes and work more effectively.
Why rely on a cumbersome filing cabinet storage system for organizing and retrieving paper-based documents when you could instead have a 24/7 project management software that offers all the features you need to manage all your projects, teams, tasks, clients, and stakeholders?
Right from project initiation to closing, you can keep track of everything – and even bill your clients instantly!
Push Your Startup to #1: Deploy a Project Management Software & Avoid These Startup Mistakes!
Finally, to sum it all up, start by knowing your business inside out and bear in mind that no man is an island and no business operates in a project. Keep the bigger picture in view and continue your efforts to constantly improve business performance, whether it be related to marketing, financial management, administration or what have you.
Falter and fall when necessary, but take a page out of the lesson books of others whenever possible. Happy stumbling and strategizing!
Now that you know what mistakes to avoid when starting up your business,
let’s answer a few Frequently Asked Questions on similar topics.
Q. How can businesses avoid mistakes?
Businesses can avoid mistakes by staying organized, doing in-depth market research, hiring the right employees, and learning how to delegate work properly.
Q. How do you prevent startup failure?
You can prevent startup failure by thinking like your customers, investing in the right teams, enhancing your leadership skills, and ensuring everything go as planned.
Q. Why do most startups fail?
There are multiple reasons why most startups fail, some of the main reasons are not keeping customers in mind when developing products/services, lack of focus, and not working as a team.
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