Avoid These Common Small Business Start-Up Mistakes
June 25, 2021
Every day, hundreds of new businesses open their doors to new customers. Unfortunately, many of these businesses will fail within their first two years because of avoidable problems like an ill-conceived concept or not researching the competition. The decisions that you, as a business owner, make can sink or soar a brand. Here are some common pitfalls that you should try to avoid.
Not Anticipating Start-Up Issues
Starting a business is difficult, time-consuming, and expensive. You must make hundreds of decisions, then take quick, decisive action, and everything costs money. Choosing a name, completing paperwork, finding a location, gathering supplies, buying equipment, and hiring staffing will take far more time than you may think. Be prepared to work hard, make efficient decisions, and spend money.
Inadequate Consideration of Financial Issues
It will take time between the decision to start a business and actually seeing revenue. You must have the funds to pay all the start-up costs while also covering your regular living expenses. It can be tempting to lean on credit cards, but those balances must be paid eventually, and the interest costs can add up in the meantime.
Most people start a business based on a passion for their product or service. Do not let that passion blind you to the reality that others may not share the same opinion of your idea. You must have a marketing plan that identifies potential customers, makes the benefits of your product known, and motivates people to make a quick purchasing decision. Create a formal marketing plan early and then adapt as you learn the marketplace.
If you have a retail business, customers must be able to find your location and visit it easily. It may be tempting to commit to a long-term lease, but traffic patterns can change, competitors may move close by, and your needs may change. If your business is more service in nature (and not dependent on customers coming to the physical site), the location may not be so important, but parking and access to conveniences will be for your employees. Consider these factors before you sign that initial lease, and every time it comes up for renewal.
Not Taking Good Advice
The self-confidence it takes to start a business can also hinder your plans if you’re not careful. One of the most enlightening aspects of business ownership is realizing that you do not have all the answers. Professionals like attorneys and accountants can help you deal with some of the technical aspects of your business. Still, others, like customers, employees, and colleagues, can also provide insight into your operations.
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