Starting a business is not easy. There are so many decisions to make and things to get done, the pressure can cause you to make a bad decision that can damage your potential for success or at least set you back.
While there isn’t a fool-proof plan to follow for small business success, there are several common and high risk mistakes many new business owners make that can negatively impact their business.
Here are 6 of the most common mistakes to avoid as you start your small business.
Skipping the Planning Phase
Planning may be tedious, but you need a solid plan for your business that includes business idea research and market potential; without it you will be operating in the dark. The most important plans to consider include a business plan, a financial plan, and a marketing plan.
Not Setting Goals
Goals are important because they can give you direction when you first start your business, then keep you on track during the day-to-day operations. Just make sure your goals are SMART goals, so you can identify where you want to go and outline specific steps that you will take you there.
Undervaluing Your Products or Services
Lack of confidence in our ability and fear of failure can cause us to underprice our products or services. This is a dangerous path to take because it undermines the distinct value you bring to the table and opens the door for resentment and frustration. Recovering from undervaluing your goods is a long road, so you should explore the market thoroughly as you start your business to identify the best price entry point for what you're selling.
Avoiding New Technology
Technology can provide incredible new opportunities for small business owners, such as helping you do your work more efficiently and helping you save money. New technology may be intimidating, and require time to learn and understand, but an unwillingness to adapt to technological advances can hurt your business in the short- and long-term.
Being Afraid of Marketing
Marketing can go from word of mouth referrals, to traditional advertising, to Internet marketing. There aren't any set rules when it comes to it; the best type of marketing for you depends on your business and your target audience. The mistake is assuming you don't need to market and that business will come to you.
Not Knowing Who Your Ideal Customer Is
One of the most vital parts of any successful marketing campaign is knowing and understanding who your ideal customer is. It's not enough nor advice to create a marketing budget and try a little bit of everything. You need to do market research to identify who you are trying to reach, where you can find them and how they will react to your marketing activities.
Starting a business requires a number of success-oriented character traits such as drive, dedication and a serious sense of commitment. Small business owners need to be willing to make sacrifices, put in the time necessary, and face challenges head-on if they want their businesses to be successful.
We all make mistakes. The key is being aware of them and consistently working to make smart, well-informed decisions in your business. If you can do that, and remain resilient when you do make a mistake, success will be within your reach.