As well as needing a degree of business acumen you also need to believe in your own judgement and think logically about everything decision. There will be mistakes along the way but here are ten common mistakes you can cross off your list before you even start.
Perhaps no planning is an over exaggeration but lacking of planning or a business plan that is only semi-planned can spell trouble. You should never underestimate the power of detail business plan including all your projected earnings and outgoings. Your idea might be great but investors won’t be interested unless you have evidence to back up your claims.
Too Wide a Market
You need to be very specific when advertising. Identify your target market and have a clear handle on your USP. You can’t be all things to everyone and although you may think your product or service is great for everyone you’ll never succeed if you try and target everybody at once. Find your niche and play on it.
Wasted Cash on Printables
It’s very easy to get carried away and have thousands of business cards, flyers and catalogues printed. This can come at a huge expense and go out of date very quickly. Only produce a small number when needed and use your website as your key marketing tool.
Employing an expensive web designer and having the perfect website designed isn’t necessary when you’re starting out. You could have a basic website and provide clear and concise information for your clients, nothing more or less. Once success comes your way you can rebrand and have the website you’ve always dreamed of.
Recruiting staff is a tricky business which you need to be cautious about. Friends and family might seem like the perfect go-to option but in the long run things may become difficult and are you sure they really have the particular skills you need? Identify the specific skills you need to grow and develop your business and seek out individuals who fit this mould, providing long term value to your business.
Poor Stock Control
You need to have the right practices in place to ensure you don’t end up tying up all your disposable capital in stock. You need to ensure levels are just right and avoid panic buying. It takes time and a good stock management system but it is manageable.
Lack of Research
We’ve already mentioned planning but alongside this don’t forget research. You need to ensure your business idea is 100% viable and therefore you must spend time amongst your target customers, asking for their opinions and ensuring your product/service and pricing are attractive to them.
Getting ahead of yourself
Setting your goals and aims very high is a common mistake new businesses experience. Don’t set your sights too high or you’ll be disappointed. Inaccurate, inflated forecasting of market size is a common error in new businesses and it can result in further errors including excessive ordering, employing too many staff or renting premises you won’t earn enough cash to afford.
Making too Many Promises
It’s very easy to get drawn into the success of the early days and promise more than you can actually fulfill. Over-trading can be a huge problem especially if you can’t source enough stock or find the hours in the day to carry out the work agreed. Pace yourself and set upper limitations.
You have to pay attention to what others in your industry are doing. Taking your eyes off the competition can be fatal for your business as every time they make a move, you need to respond accordingly. To stay ahead of the game you need to adapt and change as they do and prove you are the stand-out option in your field.
Trying to do Everything Yourself
You need to concentrate on what you do best! Wasting hours of your day on tasks you should outsource will cost your business dearly. You may think you’re saving yourself money but it’s often not the case! Virtual Assistants can help you with your admin for example and leave you to concentrate on bringing new business on board instead of dealing with your paperwork.
It’s not all doom and gloom. These examples are simply here to ensure you carry on your path in the right direction and don’t end up falling at the first hurdle.
Take the time to read through our guides for start-up businesses. There is plenty of advice and help available so don’t be frightened to take the plunge.
Our Free Download section is also full of templates which will help you get started.
You can also join our Google+ Community “Startup in Britain” which is packed with help, resources and articles to get you started. Use it to get tips, advice and start building your network!
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