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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