Starting your own business is not only a brave decision, but also a terrifying one.
Coming from the public work sector, it can be especially challenging to move into the role of an entrepreneur.
However, as with any shift, there is a learning curve and the truth is that many key small business mistakes are preventable.
1) A Simple Lack of Planning
Many of us will have a fabulous idea for a business at some point, whether it’s a new invention, product, or service.
Passion can push a new business idea forward, but properly constructing a business plan can guide a business towards success.
Having the idea or concept in mind is only the first step. A small business needs to grow from understanding the marketing landscape of their niche and strategizing on ways to build appeal for the product or service.
Your plan should include financial statuses, patent information, contacts and a step by step walk through for the first 6 months of the business.
Take your time to develop a fully rounded business plan as a lack of knowledge and planning is the top reason for small business failures.
2) Starting from Scratch
Opening a small business is overwhelming. Between the extensive amount of research, high expenses, and workload for the new entrepreneur, it’s easy to become discouraged.
Too many new entrepreneurs dive into the business world with little experience in owning a business and stumble across the way due to mistakes.
If you’re looking to start a business, consider becoming a franchisee and working with an already reputable business.
Rather than creating everything from scratch, the franchisor will support and advise the entrepreneur to ensure that the business is a profitable success in the short and long term.
If you’re unfamiliar with this type of business ownership, according to PointFranchise:
The franchise agreement means that the franchisee gets given all the parts of the successful franchised business needed to succeed. This includes everything from branding, products, supplies, designs and even marketing and advertising support. The support the franchisor provides runs for the length of the franchise agreement which is often the factor that makes a franchise business attractive to entrepreneurs.
For many new entrepreneurs, this provides a more promising venture with the benefit of added support and financial wisdom based on many years of experience.
3) Money Matters. Get Serious!
With so many options for financing your new venture, it can be confusing and easy to make mistakes.
Borrowing too much is one the most common mistakes and can easily drive a business down.
Whether you are looking to start up using credit, or you are lucky enough to finance your business yourself, you need to tread carefully at this point.
Once you have detailed information on your expected costs, you will be able to make an informed decision as to how much to borrow, how much credit you can get, and if you will be able to still meet your personal bills and expenses.
Remember, that you need to take into account more than just the start-up costs, as you will need to support the business until it begins to turn a profit.
4) Marketing is More Than Printing Business Cards
In this age of technology, marketing is far removed from simply handing out business cards.
Technology is everywhere and at the heart of many successful small businesses. Having a solid marketing strategy that includes website development and social networking is of the uppermost importance.
Yet, oftentimes new business owners will put these aspects on the back-burner until it is too late. While the physical store may be open, the business has no online presence to help bring in the customers.
This doesn’t mean that you need to hire a marketing team or freelancer, but you need to become familiar with how to promote your business online as well as offline.
Whether you decide to create a Facebook page, or you are making your initial sales brochures, make sure you are writing enticing pitches – and be careful of making spelling or grammatical mistakes.
Before moving forward with any marketing plans, make sure you know the kinds of customers you want to target and have a clear sense of your brand image and business goals.
This will help streamline the process and help the designers deliver a more effective website for your business.