Everyone is always talking about what you should be doing, but sometimes it is what you shouldn’t be doing that makes the most impact on your business. The truth is, everyone makes mistakes when getting their business off the ground, but if you can avoid even one of them, you’ve done well.
Failing to plan. This is one of the biggest mistakes you can make. In a world where you can start a business in 5 minutes online, more and more people are skipping this phase but why? Writing your business plan, and getting feedback will ensure that your plan could be presented to funders should you need too. Having a financial forecast will help you see what is going on a few months down the line – better or worse and why? A marketing plan = – how are you going to get people talking about you and your company? Where are those sales going to come from?
Not having your people in order. If you know you are going to need social media support or scheduling, then you should’ve priced up either someone to manage that or platforms like Social Oomph, Sprot Social or Hootsuite. Equally, if you need IT services you should have www.edwardtechnology.com on board. Having your team prepped and ready will stop you having to hire people quickly and without due care.
Undercharging. This is a huge one. So many new businesses come out of the gate charging far too low for their products? Why? Well, it is assumed that by charging less you will get more business and win out from your competition… However, in the long run, you are doing yourself a disservice. The price that people start paying, will be the one they will always expect to pay, meaning that it is going to be very difficult for you to up your prices when you realize that the lower priced model isn’t working. As well as undervaluing your own work, you will cause people to question the cost of other peoples services too – never a good thing.
Avoiding new technology. While usually there are a few kinks in new technology, that doesn’t mean you should be avoiding it. As a small business owner, you might find that the new tech is perfectly suited to your business size. Being an early adopter of tech means that when it becomes mainstream it is already fully integrated into your business model. Don’t shy away – test it out.
Not understanding who you are talking too. Have you ever seen a piece of marketing, like a poster or flyer, get torn apart online? That is a sure sign that they missed their target market, and sometimes, in fact, missed any market at all. Be sure you know who you are talking to, and how is best to reach them. Your market research from the planning stage will be your guiding light here.
Learn from the mistakes of others in order to have a smoother start-up journey.