Starting a small business is a very exciting and incredibly stressful undertaking. It’s easy to get caught up in the big picture and rush into starting the business of your dreams, but when you go full force with tunnel vision, you might make some pretty big mistakes that could have your business crashing and burning rather quickly. Take a look at these 5 small business mistakes that you should be avoiding.
1. Not having a plan
You can’t start a business without a business plan. Many people think of the business plan like unwanted homework, but this seemingly tedious task can really lay out the path for your business’s journey to success. An idea for a great business is not the same thing as a plan for a great business. If you want to be successful, you need to have a solid plan for how your idea is going to grow into a profitable business.
2. Being too stuck on your idea
You know that incredible idea you are so psyched about? Don’t make the all-too-common mistake of being completely stuck on your specific vision. It’s incredibly important to do market research and see if there is a demand for your idea, and make sure you are catering to the people who will become your customers. Maybe your idea was to allow customers to customize their shoes, choosing everything from the color scheme to the fit. In your mind, the best part might be picking out colors and creating a work of art on a shoe, but your customer feedback might show that people are more interested in customizing the fit of the shoe. If that’s the case, you need to switch gears.
The wants and needs of your customers can change, so make sure you keep a pulse on what they are looking for at all times. Your business should evolve in order to keep your customers interested, and you won’t be able to evolve if you are too fixated on your original idea.
Be flexible with your idea, do your research, and listen to criticism and comments so that you can make adjustments early on, before you end up tanking your business due to stubbornness.
3. Trying too many things at once
Once you start brainstorming, it can be hard to step back and take a look at what really matters. Diversifying your market, implementing new ideas, and trying new things are all great business tactics – but don’t do too much at once. You need to prioritize and work on what matters most. If what you really want is to get your online store up and running, do that before you worry about getting ads in magazines. If you want to be on social media, pick a couple platforms to focus on and save the rest for when you are more established.
This is when your business plan will help you out. Whenever you feel yourself going down a rabbit hole of ideas and new plans, take a look at the path you originally laid out. Analyze what ideas and tactics are best suited to keep you on track, on focus on those things first. The goal is to get your business established and profitable, then start worrying about new ideas.
4. Starting with too little capital
Startups cost money. That’s the hard reality that you need to face right away. Too many small businesses start with minimal capital, convinced that their knowledge of the market and their incredible idea will carry them to profitability within 6 months. However, the reality is you will have to spend a lot of money before you make any at all.
When you start running out of money, you tend to spiral outside of your original plan. All of a sudden you have no time to focus on the vision you laid out in your business plan and you are off trying 5 different products in 10 different markets, all while trying to hunt down more investors way too late in the game. It’s a true recipe for disaster. Take to investors and build your capital long before you run out of money.
5. Hiring the wrong people
Many small businesses make the huge mistake of simply filling positions with people who can take lower pay. This is a terrible strategy, and one that could easily sink your business, or at the very least, cost you quite of a bit of time and money.
You are already passionate about your business, but that passion isn’t simply going to rub off on whomever you hire. You need to find people who are as excited about what you are trying to accomplish as you are. You want your first hires to be with you for the long run and be truly invested in the success of your company.
If you hire people simply to fill positions, you are likely to end up with a high turnover rate, which is both expensive and distracting to your overall goal. Think of your first hires as your core team – who do you want by your side as you build your dream company?
Small businesses have to fight to survive and grow, so don’t stunt your own growth by making these common but avoidable small business mistakes. Have you considered where you are going to house your new business? Centerco Office Suites has virtual offices, satellite offices, conference rooms for rent, and shared office spaces to help your business grow.