When you decide to start a business, you probably already know that you’ll make some mistakes. There are some mistakes that are easy to correct while others can shut you down even before you open. Even though making mistakes is one of the best ways to learn, it’s still important to try to avoid them. In this article, we’ll go over which mistakes can make or break your business and how to avoid self-sabotage.
Not Writing a Business Plan
A business plan is the foundation of any successful endeavor and you first need to know what to include and how to write one. Regardless of niche, you need to include an executive summary, mission statement, competitive and marketing analyses and your financial projections. Keep in mind that nothing is set in stone, so you can change as things progress or stall. You simply need this stepping stone so we can revert back it, or use it to pitch to investors.
Not Being Ready Financially
Another often fatal mistake new entrepreneurs make is not being financially stable. Even though it might seem like a good idea at the time, not having enough money to cover operating costs or any unexpected emergency must-haves can be disastrous. Whether you choose to bootstrap your business or start a kickstart campaign, always make sure you have enough money put aside to cover anything that comes up.
Not Learning Everything You Need to Know
Not investing in continued education can be another costly mistake. Even if you already are well-versed in your niche, you might want to return to school to further your education. If money is tight, a small loan could help you cover the cost. Loans can be tailored to fit your financial situation, so you only need to borrow the exact amount you need. If you have good credit, you’re also more likely to be offered a better interest rate as well.
Not Researching Your Target Market
Loyal customers are your company’s lifeline. Without them, you probably won’t stay open for long. That said, it’s important to market to the right people. Before you invest money into advertising, you need to research your target market. You can identify whether there is a demand for your product offerings. Validating your idea or product is one of the first things you need to do, even before you actively start promoting yourself. Even if your idea is good, there might not be enough interest or there could too much competition to get noticed.
Not Doing What You Love
Ask any successful entrepreneur and guaranteed they’ll tell you that they love what they do. When you’re passionate about work, it’s evident in everything you do. Whatever the business models, make sure that you feel strongly about it and will feel happy devoting a majority of your time to making it successful.
Not Standing Behind What You Sell
You also need to stand behind your product or service. Even though it’s hard to believe, some people don’t really know a thing about what they’re trying to sell. Or, they aren’t really that vested into it and it’s obvious in how they try to market it. Regardless of what it is, you represent your brand. If you’re not all in, you probably won’t be able gain traction. And even if you do, it might not be sustainable.
Not Learning How to Use Social Media
With the costs of Google PPC ads through the roof, you need a way to let people know about your brand. Social media, even though there are paid ad options, offers a viable, not to mention free, way for you to boost awareness and build a loyal following. Depending on the type of product or service you offer, you can use Instagram, Facebook, TikTok and even LinkedIn to build awareness. Not only are these platforms free to use, but you can also create content that resonates with your target audience. You should also invest in cybersecurity training for employees if you are going to head out on a major web based social media campaign.
Say you want to sell customized dog collars but don’t have a lot of money for marketing. You could create posts on Instagram that showcase what you have to offer. You can then use that same content on TikTok and Facebook to drive traffic to your online store. From there, can also include links to blog posts that offer entertaining and educational content. All of this can be done for free, and can help convert leads into customers.
Not Getting Outside Help
Even if you’re going all in alone, you still need ask for outside support. Launching a startup isn’t easy. In fact, you need to wear about 20 different hats throughout a typical day. From customer support rep to marketing guru and production manager, you might get so absorbed in daily tasks that you start making grave errors. There are plenty of online platforms to hire outside help, even if it’s on a temporary basis. Research freelancer platforms and look for freelancers who fit your need.