Starting a new business is as exciting as it is daunting. It’s exciting because you are going out on a limb, doing something that will hopefully build you a better future, and it’s daunting because you’re stepping into the unknown where many hidden dangers lurk.
To help you out with the daunting part of the equation, we’ve put together a list of some of the most common pitfalls you may encounter as a new business owner so that you can hopefully avoid them and hit the ground running…
Sweating the small stuff
This is a really easy trap to fall into, but when you’re starting a new business venture, the last thing you should do is dedicated so much of your time to the minutiae of day to day business life, like bookkeeping or perfecting your website design (although both are important) while completely ignoring the bigger picture – your company, it’s products and services and your mission to get out there and make money. Yes, you will need to work hard and complete lots of small but essential tasks during the working week, but if you spend your days agonizing over them when you could be plotting a great new product or connecting with potential customers, chances are you won’t be where you would like to be a year from now.
Getting yourself sued
Litigation lawyers are worth their weight in gold. They can help you to cover your legal tracks in every possible way so that there is very little chance of your company getting sued. So, why is it that so many new businesses do end up falling foul of laws and regulations both local and national? The short answer, because they cut corners; they don’t think that anything bad will happen to them if they think about the potential for litigation at all, and it so often backfires. Don’t let that happen to you and ensure your business is 100 percent compliant with all legal regulations.
Not being able to sell yourself
If you want to be successful in business, you need to be able to toot your own horn. After all, few clients are going to be interested in working with a company who doesn’t seem all that interested in what they do; who can’t articulate why they’re the best; who struggles to put their case across and draw people in. No, if you want to get anywhere at all, you need to identify your company’s unique selling point and get comfortable telling people about it. It’ll get easier the more you do it, and if you’re truly passionate about your business anyway, it should be pretty easy!
It can’t be overstated just how important it is to network as a new business owner. Other entrepreneurs may be your competition, but they can also be your best friends. They often have a wealth of knowledge and experience that you can learn from, not to mention extensive contact lists that they may just let you be privy to if you form lasting bonds. In business, as well as having a good idea, you need to know the right people and the more you network, the more likely it is you will find people who can help you progress and grow.
Trying to do it all yourself
A lot of business owners, especially in the early days when money is tight, try to do it all alone. They try to keep the business going single-handedly by handling everything from webs design to sales calls without any assistance. These business owners tend to burnout. They also end up doing lots of things a little bit badly instead of a few things well. That’s why you should ideally hire staff as soon as possible. If you can’t afford to do that at least look into getting some freelance help so you can fo us your attentions on the work that you’re good at and which adds the most value to your business instead of the admin that you could hand off to anyone to do.
Don’t want to run out of cash like so many new business owners before you? You need to set up a tight budget and actually follow it. Don’t make any unplanned purchases or set up an expense account that you can ill afford until your business is truly up and running, established and making a profit. Yes, it may be tough for a while, but it will pay off when you have a growing business on your hands.
Avoid these common pitfalls and set yourself up for success.