5 Mistakes to Avoid When Starting a Small Business

So, you’re thinking about starting your own small business. Maybe you have a grand idea that you would love to share with everyone, or you’d just prefer to be your own boss. Whatever the reason for starting a small business, you’ll need a bit of guidance if you want to avoid some of the common pitfalls of starting a small business.

Here are 5 common mistakes that entrepreneurs make when starting a small business – and how to avoid them.

Failure to find your niche – Don’t waste time trying to get everyone excited about your business. Instead, find the group of people who would be interested and figure out how to get them to invest in your product. Become an expert on your target audience. How do they like to communicate? What are their concerns? What kind of messages do they need to hear? Spend time in the beginning to find information, rather than lose time in the middle when no one is buying your product.

Thinking small – Don’t let the term “small business” impact your big ideas. Rather than competing with large organizations, think of the benefits you can offer as a small business. Are you more focused on developing customer relationships? Can you provide better customer service? Are your employees experts in the industry? Determine what you can provide to customers, and then start discussing big ideas about how to accomplish your goals.

Not adapting to new technology – With the abundance of affordable (and free!) technology available, it allows entrepreneurs to do more – better, faster and cheaper. Staying up to date on the latest technologies can be time consuming and expensive, but the upside to using the latest technologies far outweighs the negatives.

Forgetting ROI – Of course, the main reason you’re starting a small business is to sell a product or service, so don’t lose focus on your end goal. Emphasizing sales growth and revenue will help drive profit and minimize first-year expenses, which often times cause small business failures. Hire a team member who is committed to cruising past the break-even point and onto revenue generation. Attend a conference, workshop or university class to increase your understanding of profit and ROI. Set your small business up for sales success from the beginning.

Don’t try to be Superman (or Superwoman) – Most successful small business aren’t run by a single person. Don’t be the entrepreneur who is afraid to ask for help. Build a team of dedicated people, hire an assistant and work with interns to help your company and your community.

Too often entrepreneurs are so eager to begin their business venture that they over-look the smaller items. Don’t set yourself up for failure. With a bit of careful pre-planning, you can turn your concept into a reality.

Do you have tips on how to avoid common pitfalls when starting a small business? Share your thoughts in the comments.

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  • http://www.gracebiz.com Grace

    You are right, you have to know where you are going to before you embark on the journey of starting a business, reflect on what skills and hobbies, choose your niche and let it be the one that knowledge and passion for.

    Then do a research to see if there is a market for your niche product.

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    • Julie Killian

      Me and my husband have a small auto repair and towing service and I have to say it is harder now than in the beginning 2003. We have not been able to upgrade or do anything to more our business. He refuses to let anyone help him even me. I have left and now am a stay at home mom.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/BrandwithMeaning Ruth Gray

    “Don’t let the term ‘small business’ impact your big ideas” Probably the best sage advice I’ve ever heard and it is really so true. There’s always that possibility of making it big, but it will never happen if you constrict yourself in any way, especially with your aspirations. Dream big! Don’t make these mistakes either, by the way: http://www.sbtelegram.com/2012/11/29/big-mistakes-that-could-sink-your-business/

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