Have you just started your small business? Here are some common pitfalls to avoid
Starting a business is no easy feat. It requires a lot of planning and a lot of courage, but doing it right can result in long-term success and a rewarding, enjoyable career in a field you’re passionate about.
However, going about the task in the wrong way can lead to lost money and damaged relationships – things every budding entrepreneur wants to avoid. One of the best ways to follow the right path is to learn from the mistakes of those who have gone before.
With that in mind, we’re going to take a look at some of the most common mistakes made by new entrepreneurs. By being aware of them, you can make sure you avoid them on your path to success.
Forgetting to plan your marketing
Many entrepreneurs don’t recognise the importance of marketing from the offset when it comes to running a business. They might think they can essentially wing it until things are more up and running, but a strong marketing strategy is how you get your business up and running in the first place. Spread the word of your business now while it’s all fresh and exciting, making use of social media channels, ads and email opportunities.
Overspending (and underspending)
It goes without saying that managing your finances is a huge part of starting a business. It’s easy to slip up when it comes to spending your money, and the consequences can be severe. The key is to find the optimum balance between overspending and underspending.
Many businesses end up overspending because they feel it is necessary in order to drive future success. However, others end up underspending because they’re so worried about spending money they aren’t confident they can make back.
The key is to spend what you need to spend to grow and attract customers, while seeking out more cost-effective options where feasible. Opt for remote working rather than renting an office; go for Cloud-based storage rather than expensive hardware; encourage staff to use their own devices at first — these are all simple ways to cut costs where possible.
Not securing written agreements
Casual agreements work between friends, but not necessarily between business partners and clients. Keep in mind that professionalism matters even in the early days of your operation.
Written agreements are extremely important, even if it feels a bit silly or unnecessary. Send out professional invoices and provide receipts for any purchases. You should also sign contracts with partners in order to make sure everything runs smoothly, officially and on time.
Not giving your product the price it deserves
Of course you want to give your products a competitive price to entice customers, but many new business owners make the mistake of charging too little for what they’re providing.
You need to have a good estimate in place of what your product or service is worth. Look at competitors, and take into account how much time and effort you put into providing it. You don’t want to lose money on an item by making it too cheap, but you also don’t want to put potential customers off with a price that’s too high. The key here, again, is balance.
Thinking in the short term
Every business decision – no matter how small – should involve looking to the future. Right from the beginning, every action you take as an entrepreneur should be carried out with a long-term plan in mind. Set your goals for the next year, five years and even ten years, and put steps in place to help you get there. With an end goal in mind, you’ll end up taking more care at each step of your business journey.