Mistakes happen, let's try to avoid them.
- Author Robert Micallef
- Published October 3, 2023
- Word count 1,060
No one starts a business wanting it to or expecting it to fail, however 90% of start-ups are likely to fail.
Here's my guide to the most common top 10 mistakes small businesses make and hopefully these will help your business idea into the 10% that succeed.
First mistake – Doing nothing
Doing nothing will result in nothing.
Actually it’s worse than nothing. The consequences could be catastrophic for any entrepreneur. The period of nothingness could leave an open gap for another entrepreneur to swoop in and launch a similar idea, leaving yours potentially oversubscribed before it has even begun.
It may seem daunting at first but look at your priority’s and take each step at a time. Scary I know but you have to make the leap at some stage.
Second mistake – Listening to the wrong people
A great way to boost your ego is to ask a loved one, a friend or colleague.
Hop over to YouTube and view TV shows such as the X Factor and watch as poor souls are reduced to humiliation by the judges and replying with “but my Mum told me I could sing”. Unless your friend or family member is likely to buy your product then best not to ask.
Instead ask a focus group of individuals who are your target market. Keep asking and keep testing until your have a concept everyone is on board with.
Third Mistake – Expecting too much
Remember the line from the hit show Only Fools and Horses. “This time next year we’ll be millionaires”. Well it took Del Boy and Rodney 22 years to make this statement come true.
So, unless you have the next Facebook up you’re sleeve it may take longer than you expect.
Be realistic about what to expect and when. Put together a smart business plan (which is a must for any business start up or otherwise) and include realistic timeframes/costs.
Fourth Mistake – Ignoring your gut
If it sounds like a crazy idea, or something doesn’t feel right then it probably isn’t.
You will be amazed how many people ignore their feelings yet carry on pursuing something that should never have been started in the first place.
Keep true to what you set out to achieve and remember your goals, trust your gut.
Fifth Mistake – Lack of research
No matter how great your idea is, your business will only make money if people want to buy it. It is highly recommended to test out your idea before committing too much money to the venture.
Use the power of the internet, walk the malls and high street, look at TV shopping to check out your competition and test your idea beforehand and take-head of the results.
If three other companies are already doing what you want to do really well and have the market cornered are you really going to market share from them?
Work out your USP ‘unique selling point’ and what makes you stand out.
Sixth Mistake – Starting something you don’t know
You wouldn’t start taking your car apart or building a house without knowing how to do it, so don’t do the same with your business.
When starting build the idea around something you know and love such as a hobby, a pastime or a skill after all your going to be doing this day in and day out, if you don't love it, what's going to be your driver everyday?
If you have the inner passion for the product yourself you will find it easier to sell it and explain to your customers.
Seventh Mistake – Don’t ignore social media
Like it or not we are part of the social media generation.
With over 2.8 billion people taking to social media to share posts on what they had for breakfast or a funny clip of what their dog did the internet is way too powerful to be ignored by small businesses.
Overlooking the power of the internet is the same as ignoring good advice, it’s crazy. Instead ensure your business has a presence on social media so that you can grow your business and your brand.
Even if your product is not something you would physically sell a website is still a must to inform people that you are in the market, what you do, how you're different and how to find you.
Eighth Mistake – Attempting to do everything yourself
Planning to do everything yourself will guarantee you are burnt out before you even get your first customer.
Be realistic about what you can and cannot do yourself and what should be outsourced to external companies.
Think about your skills and stick to what you do best and find help with everything else. Include this into your business plan, set a budget and stick to it, it easy to get swept away by a glitzy presentation but the cost is 50% more than you have budgeted for.
Once you have sales made you can look at extending your budgets.
Ninth Mistake – Not having a plan
Flying by the seat of your pants will only get you so far, probably to the end of your drive.
You really do need to have a plan of action for every aspect of your business.
Remember that business plan we mentioned earlier, well if its included in two of the biggest mistakes it must be very important, which it is.
Tenth Mistake – Not understanding the necessities versus the luxuries
Don’t be over enthusiastic or eager.
Unfortunately, in the case of starting a new business people tend to get a little gun ho about their spending especially in the early days.
Knowing what is essential and what is a nice to have is a skill so keep a close watch on what you need and what would be a nice to have.
Paperwork while boring is a necessity and it is amazing how quickly it builds up.
Use online tools such as Quickbooks or Xero to manage your accounts and easily keep track on your spending.
Spend where you really need to, be spend thrift now and you can easily upgrade later.
To me the above is key to being successful, tick them off as you do them and revisit them often. Put ego to the side, let sensibility take over and you will reach your goals.
I have 35 years experience across multiple industries both big and small, including bricks and mortar businesses, internet retailers both start up/established, wholesalers/distributors, entertainment, charity and public sector.
E-mail me on Bob@inperspectiveconsultants.com or visit my website https://inperspectiveconsultants.com/Article source: https://articlebiz.com
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