Starting a business is a process you don’t want to rush. In fact, the planning stage alone could take months or years to flesh out. During this time, you could get anxious to start and make some money. And, though, this is perfectly normal, doing so might throw off your solid plan or send you on a trajectory you don’t want to go. I recommend taking your time and getting things right before moving forward. You will know when the appropriate time arises to launch. In the meantime, here are 5 business startup mistakes you don’t want to make.
Skipping a Business Plan
Having a business plan up front is one of the strongest pillars you can have for a new company. First, it gives you a guideline for present and future decisions. Additionally, it is a way to become even more vested in what you’re trying to accomplish. The research and development of your plan will either substantiate your dream or it will show you that changes need to be made.
Business plans are also used to secure financing and support from others. With solid documentation of financial and market predictions, you are more likely to obtain a loan or money from private investors. Do your homework and take your business seriously from the beginning. Write a business plan.
Undervaluing Products and Services
Knowing what price or value to put on your products and services goes along with market and financial research. If you have completed a business plan, you will likely have a good idea about what’s fair in your industry and market. If you have not done this step, I recommend going back and doing it immediately.
Keep in mind, you may have discounts and coupons when you launch to generate immediate sales, however, you’ll want to limit them as you move forward. Know your worth as a business from the beginning, and you won’t be tempted to undersell your products or services. It is perfectly acceptable to raise your prices as you gain momentum and experience, as well. This, of course, depends greatly on what industry you are in, what you’re offering, and to whom.
Not Marketing or Advertising
Marketing is a process by which your business gains attention and, hopefully, sales. There are various types of marketing from which to choose and continue throughout the life of your business. Word of mouth referrals, internet marketing, and even traditional advertising are all viable and used widely by small and large companies.
There aren’t any set rules when it comes to marketing. The success of any marketing plan is largely dependent on your consistency and how well you know your ideal customer or client. A lot of new business owners, however, make the mistake of not marketing at all. They naively believe customers will show up automatically with little to no effort. Of course, your friends and family will likely be your first customers, but don’t count on this alone to move into success.
I do also recommend consulting with a marketing coach or agency to put together an appropriate plan. You can get a referral from another business owner or do some research online for a good one. You could find the help you need from a business like this one: Colling Media is a digital and traditional marketing agency that has a wide range of services. However, do your research and interview each firm before making a decision to work with them.
Not Knowing Your Customer
One vital part of any successful business startup is understanding who your ideal customers or clients are. Hopefully, you’ve been active on a blog, social media and in your industry already. If so, this should help you know who you want to work with or sell to. Doing market research before you start will also give you insight into who you want to speak to with marketing efforts.
Also, understand that you don’t need everyone to be a customer or client. In other words, not everyone will want or need what you’re selling. Therefore, it’s important to know the difference between who will and who won’t. I recommend doing some surveys or asking some interesting questions on your blog or social media platforms. This will help to generate some followers and even warm leads. Don’t underestimate the power of connection.
No matter what type of initial investment your business needs, do attempt to stick to your plan and budget. Overspending, in the beginning, could set you up for a pattern of low cash in your business. I understand you may want all the bells and whistles for your new baby, but, honestly, you don’t need most of what’s out there to get your “baby” going.
Look at various options for office space, equipment, and even services you need. There will always be lower-cost options for these things. The key is to look for them and being willing to pass on the top dollar items in the beginning. When you are bringing in ample money and are making a profit, that’s the time upgrade.