Last updated on : November 24th, 2022 by R Yadav
When you’re in the first stages of starting a new business, it can feel like everything is happening at once. There are plenty of reasons to start up your own business; it gives you the chance to be your own boss, you can chase your dreams, and you can do something over which you have complete control, to name but a few.
Even so, when you are starting a business, there are several pitfalls that you might find yourself trapped by. Being underprepared or overconfident can get your business killed before it’s even had the chance to get off the ground, so naturally, you want to avoid this outcome. Here are some of the common mistakes new business owners make.
Let’s start with the first and most obvious business mistake. Being overconfident can land you in serious hot water. Let’s say you’ve got a brilliant new idea for a business. Thinking you don’t need to do things like market research or searching for investors, you launch with minimal funding and swiftly find the scope of the business overwhelming you. Now, it doesn’t matter how good your initial idea was; it’s buried like so many other businesses end up being. Make sure you’re approaching your business with enthusiasm, but guard it cautiously rather than letting it run rampant.
You might think that starting a business can’t possibly need that much funding, especially if you’re just running it out of your bedroom, but you couldn’t be more wrong, unfortunately. Businesses need a lot of money if they’re going to get started and continue operating; you’ve got to pay for operational costs, as well as staff hires and other
expenses. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to pay for a business, and searching for a business loan is just one of them. Personal financing is also a viable option; a £2500 loan could stand you in good stead to get started, then you can pay it back once you’re profitable.
Market research is one of the most vital things you can undertake as a business owner, because it will tell you about the state of the market you’re entering. It’s not worth being arrogant and assuming that your audience is ready-made and that you’ll find it without needing to put in any effort. By examining the market, you can see where the niches are and attempt to place yourself in one of those niches, thereby earning yourself an audience and building a place for yourself. You’ll also gain a greater understanding of how you can pursue growth opportunities in the future.
Many entrepreneurs will tell you that it’s not worth being a risk-taker if you want to succeed in business. This attitude is fine assuming that your business is already phenomenally successful, but for a new and unproven business idea, risks are essential. They’re how you’ll find new and untapped markets; you may be able to keep your current audience if you don’t take risks, but you’ll also never grow, so your business will stagnate and you won’t be able to attract more investors. Consider branching out into areas you might not otherwise have thought to inhabit!
There will definitely come a point in your business career when you need to hire extra staff. It’s an inevitability; assuming your business is growing, sooner or later it’s going to become too much for you to handle alone and you’re going to need to seek help. When that happens, don’t delay. Burnout is a very real risk for entrepreneurs and business owners, and the more you’re having to do yourself without
having other staff to rely on, the more you’re risking burnout. As soon as you’re capable of paying an extra staff salary, think carefully about where it might be best used and hire someone.
There’s no reason to be the kind of bellicose, overly competitive entrepreneur that walks straight into conflicts without first understanding whether or not they’re beneficial. If you look at the way companies interact with one another on social media, it’s often in a friendly, rival-like way; while they’ll extol the virtues of their service over their rivals’ offerings, you’ll often see rival companies interacting and swapping jokes on social media. That’s how you should be with your competitors. Customers like to see that you’re not bitter and that you’re above the kind of cheap competition that makes you look insecure.
Let’s say you’re running an e-commerce site. The backbone of any great store is repeat custom; after all, someone coming back to spend money with you time and time again shows that they’re a loyal customer, and those are the customers that will prop up your business even when times are hard. When a customer has finished shopping with you or using your service, be sure to send a followup email asking for feedback. Don’t make the process of providing that feedback too arduous, though; it might make them not want to engage.
We get it: you really, really want your first business to succeed. That’s completely normal. Entrepreneurs are always paranoid about their business failing, and that’s what leads many business owners to work through the week without taking breaks. If you do so, though, you’re setting yourself up for failure. Working constantly might seem like a good idea when there’s a lot to be done, but you’ll quickly tire yourself out, and being exhausted can lead to bad decision-making. Pencil in
regular breaks for yourself and be sure to spend that time relaxing and not planning for the business’ future.