6 Common Start-Up Mistakes and How to Avoid Them
Most Common Mistakes Made by New Business Owners
Starting a business is a tough gig; you have a lot to think about and a lot of decisions to make. The pressure to succeed can be really intense and where some people thrive on that pressure, for others it can lead to making poor decisions which can really set you back.
Unfortunately there isn’t a fool-proof plan. A lot of the success is hinged upon trial, error and persistence, however there are there are several common and dangerous mistakes many new business owners make that can negatively impact their businesses.
Here are 6 common mistakes that accountancy business owners should avoid:
Failing to Plan
As the saying goes, fail to plan and you plan to fail and nothing could be truer when starting a business. Planning may be tedious, but it’s essential. If you don’t have a solid plan that includes research and market potential, you may as well be blindfolded. A business plan, a financial plan, and a marketing plan should all feature in your wider plan.
Not Setting Goals
Goals are important. It’s a bit like running a marathon – if you don’t have milestones to reach, the whole task can be overwhelming. Goals not only give your business direction, they keep you on track and give perspective on where you are. They enable you to identify where you are headed and outline the effort level required to get there, financially and otherwise.
The most common example of this is not embracing new technology. Technology can provide new opportunities, help us do things like accounting and administrative tasks more efficiently and even help us save money. Many business owners find cutting edge technology intimidating, listing time to learn and cost as the biggest hurdles. But failing to adapt to the changing technological landscape can hurt your business in the short- and long-term.
Being Afraid of Marketing
Marketing is an area than many business owners are fearful of taking on. It’s the core activity required to grow a business and it can be the determining factor in whether your business succeeds or fails. It’s really important to have the right skills to execute a good digital marketing strategy, but you don’t have to get it right first time. A lot of marketing activity is about trial and error, measuring and tweaking.
Not Knowing Your Target Audience
The success of a marketing strategy is also in understanding who your target audience is. Testing activities is ok, but trying to find your target audience in amongst that will just feel like a scattergun approach. If you’ve started a business from an idea, you should have a vague understanding of the people in the market that want or need you services. Create personas from your target audience and figure out the best ways to reach those people.
Starting a business doesn’t necessarily need huge investment and costs can be kept low until you’re big enough to expand. Unfortunately some business owners have a tendency to splash out very early on to look and feel the part and end up running their businesses into the ground. Resist the urge to spend on costly office space, furniture and staff. Have a budget and stick to it until you have a healthy and steady revenue.