If the entrepreneurship bug has just bitten you, your mind is probably buzzing as you imagine your idea transforming into your very own money-making empire. While this is undoubtedly an exciting time, it’s important to remember that entrepreneurship is a long, winding road with plenty of stumbling blocks threatening to knock you off track.
Whether you’re new to the game or a seasoned business operator, all entrepreneurs need to remember that running your own business is not all sunshine and roses. There are a lot of factors that must be considered when starting a business if you’re determined to see your firecracker of an idea through!
That’s why we’ve put together this list of 5 common mistakes to avoid when starting a business. You might be wondering, why the focus on mistakes? Think of this as an opportunity to learn from those who have been through the wringer so you can avoid repeating their mistakes.
The Big 5 Business Mistakes to Avoid
1. Not having a business plan
A business plan is a document that outlines what your business offers, the goals it seeks to achieve, what you need to achieve them and how you plan on steering it to success. Business plans are also handy when you try to win over investors because they show that you’ve got your ducks in a row and that this business you’re pitching is worth the investment.
Business plans are pretty easy to draw up, and you can even find free templates to use online. There isn’t a one-size-fits-all kind of approach to business plans, and it all depends on the nature of your business and what meets your needs. So, you can simply use any suggested formats and templates as guides to help you create an effective blueprint for your business.
Still thinking about a life-changing business idea? Here are 15 of them to get your creative juices flowing
2. Not being financially prepared
Have you heard the saying, “You’ve got to have money to make money”?
Well, yes and no. Most successful enterprises need some start-up capital to get the ball rolling, while others don’t need any money to get started. But if your business needs a boost and you don’t have enough, you’re at risk of having to cut corners and even compromise the products and services you wish to offer. That’s definitely not the ideal way to run a business because a key aspect of success in entrepreneurship is delivering outstanding quality to your consumers.
By having your financial projections outlined in your business plan for at least the first year, you can avoid any shortfalls and make sure you’re on track to making a profit. This will also help you pitch to potential investors if you need to secure finance.
3. Neglecting to monitor progress
There’s no use putting together an elaborate plan and financial projections detailing how you’re going to build your business if you don’t monitor your progress regularly. The point of these documents is to serve as a reminder of what you’ve set out to achieve and how you’re going to achieve those goals.
Create a schedule where you allocate time to go through these documents and compare your goals to where your business is in the present.
4. Trying to do everything yourself
Many new business owners feel like they need to do everything themselves and don’t really like the idea of outsourcing tasks or getting outside advice.
This is rather unfortunate because entrepreneurship is no easy feat and doing it all on your own can make matters a whole lot worse. The best thing a business owner can do for themselves and their business is to consult mentors with whom they can share ideas, concerns and anything else business-related.
5. Failing to leverage technology
Entrepreneurs often don’t realise just how beneficial technology can be. From online payment solutions to accounting and business management software, nowadays there’s an app or platform to support and simplify just about any business task.
If reducing the risk of human error and having robust automated processes for repetitive tasks sounds like your thing, it could be time to download an app or two!
Did you know that you could manage your business from your smartphone? Read all about it here!
Ready to make your move?
Let’s face it: everyone makes mistakes, and they’re pretty much inevitable. But at least now you know about 5 of them that you need to steer away from as you build your business!
Keen to learn more about how to take your new business to the next level? Check this out to learn more about how to beat some common small business growing pains!