Starting a business isn’t always easy. There are so many things to think about and decisions to make; the pressure can cause you to make a poor decision that can hurt your potential for success, or at least set you back.
While there isn’t a fool-proof plan to reach small business startup success, there are several common and dangerous mistakes many new business owners make that can negatively impact their businesses.
To become a successful startup owner, you need to identify what hinders you from succeeding. In this entry, we’ll study the common mistakes startups make in running their business.
Mistakes in business are inevitable, but certain ones can lead to their complete downfall. Sometimes it only takes one wrong move to destroy something you’ve built up.
1.Skipping the Planning Phase
Planning may be tedious, but without a solid plan for your business that includes business idea research and market potential, you will be operating in the dark. The most important plans to consider include a business plan, a financial plan, and a marketing plan.
2.Failing to set SMART Goals
Whether you’re running a small startup or a large enterprise, you need to articulate your goals. One of the common mistakes entrepreneurs make is not setting clear and specific goals. You can’t just settle with a vague idea of “making a profit” as your goal for your startup. You need to zoom in and focus on what the target numbers are, the scope of the market you intend to reach, and when to expand. This is where the principle of SMART goals come in handy.
3. Hiring Poorly
“Make sure that new hires understand your rate of innovation. You are small and agile, which means you have a high rate of innovation and growth, and with that comes work! Often times, that work eventually goes beyond your job description. At a small company, employees need to wear many hats, and they need to be prepared to wear many hats. If you don’t manage this expectation upon hiring, you will be managing employee issues six months down the line.
4.Don’t Try to do Everything Yourself
“A big mistake that entrepreneurs make is thinking they are all alone, and they try to operate independently without surrounding themselves with wise counsel. Don’t try to run a new business by yourself. Find and onboard trustworthy seasoned advisors to discuss your business ideas, strategy, challenges, and progress. Wisdom and power exist in the multiplicity of counsel. Incentivize four to six people to join your company as advisors in order to receive continuous feedback so that fewer mistakes will occur.
5.Don’t Partner with The Wrong Investors
“An important piece of advice that entrepreneurs should know before starting a business is that their investors are more than just financial backers. A company’s first set of investors will make or break it. These individuals place their confidence in the business’s potential without having a proof of concept presented to them. Once businesses have undergone their seed funding, then they’ll interact with investors who look at the business’s growth and sustainability.”
6.Avoiding New Technology
As small business owners, technology can provide new opportunities, help us do our work more efficiently and even help us 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.
You need to get with the times and take advantage of the new tools in the market. Whether it’s creating a new website, building an online presence, or simply modernizing your daily operations; you need to reap the benefits of technology.
7.Don’t expand too quickly
“When you start to see success, it can be easy to assume that growth will continue, and the best way to make the most out of it is to simply copy and paste your working formula. However, if you … expand your business too rapidly, it could have dire consequences. You may find that your period of growth was only temporary, and end up stuck with a bunch of new staff but no work and no funds to cover them. That’s why it’s important to take a slow and steady approach to expansion, and never act on a spur of good results.”
A successful startup is not built by one single person alone – surround yourself with subject matter experts and mentors you can lean on and learn from. Although there are several startup mistakes you will want to avoid while building your business, occasional mistakes are inevitable, and manage your expectations accordingly.
Don’t be afraid of failure; instead, learn from your mistakes and pivot your business model as needed. Test new ideas and acquire feedback so you can tweak your product to better meet customers’ needs.