Many Americans dream of owning a small business, but being successful takes a lot of perseverance and discipline. Making the small business mistakes outlined below will delay your progress.
1. Trying to get rich fast.
Whether you want to add new product lines or acquire another company, trying to get rich fast probably won’t work out.
Becoming successful with a small business usually takes years. If you expect to make hundreds of thousands of dollars right away, you will get discouraged. You might even give up.
Instead, you should give the company a few years to grow. The only time you should consider moving on is if the company is stagnant for years.
2. Mistakes happen by not being organized.
Running a small company means wearing many hats and having many things going on at once.
So staying organized is critical. Many successful business owners set up a daily task list where they prioritize their daily assignments.
If you check items off as you do them, it will keep you organized and more productive all day.
3. Focusing solely on business.
You want the company to be successful, so it’s understandable to put everything you have into your business.
But if you neglect your family and health, you won’t be in the best position for your business to succeed in the long term.
It’s essential to take care of your loved ones, eat healthy, exercise, and get enough sleep. If you balance your work and personal lives, you will be better off in both worlds.
4. Not setting up the correct legal structure.
Many people want to get their business going but don’t take the time to register the company or select the correct business entity for tax purposes.
For example, you should speak with a CPA to decide if the business should be a sole proprietorship, LLC, or other entity.
If you don’t set up the business correctly from the beginning, you will cost yourself more money in the long run.
5. Trying to do everything yourself.
As a business owner, you’re hard-working, driven, and willing to put in the hours. These are fantastic traits to have.
The issue is when you try to take on the world alone and do it all yourself. You can only do so much by yourself before you become fatigued, overworked, and productivity declines.
Many entrepreneurs like to finish a day or week’s work alone because they feel such a sense of empowerment and accomplishment.
But you can quickly wear yourself out, especially if the business expands. Address this problem by figuring out what you do well.
For example, perhaps you’re a terrific accountant and writer, so your day-to-day work may focus on those tasks. Bring in other people to be the face of the company and to handle product research.
6. Not doing marketing right.
Marketing is vital to business success, but many new business owners don’t use it right.
As the owner or CEO of your business, how much time do you devote to marketing? Many people neglect marketing or take a haphazard approach that isn’t effective.
The biggest mistake companies make is delivering the wrong marketing message to the wrong prospects. Your marketing may be inconsistent, or the company brand is muddy.
The key to successful marketing is having a clear message and knowing who your audience is.
For example, if your company sells baby clothes, you will probably want to tailor your marketing to young mothers.
But it’s important to craft the marketing messages carefully to appeal to them and put those advertisements in the right media channels to be effective.
7. Overspending is one of the more common mistakes.
The idea behind running your own company is to give you more personal and financial freedom.
But you need to use care in how you spend your money, especially in the beginning. Many small companies fail in the first year or two because they spend far too much on unnecessary items.
Whether you run an online or brick-and-mortar company, you need to devise a budget to understand what you are making, saving, and spending.
If company profits are less than what you spend, it’s important to reconsider how you operate the company.
Companies that don’t manage their money well may need to cut their prices or rates and take less than they deserve. They need to do this just to keep their heads above water, and that’s not why you decided to start your own company.
8. Mistakes can be multiplied by not listening.
Even the smartest and savviest business owner needs to listen to others because no one knows everything.
Some business owners just keep talking, but this will hurt more than help.
Many new business people just talk about themselves all the time because they think it makes them look strong and confident. But big talk doesn’t matter at all if they aren’t backed by action.
The wisest among us don’t talk all the time, but when they talk, it makes sense, and actions soon follow when they talk.
9. Focusing too much on product development.
It’s particularly common for new, online companies to spend too much time and resources on development and not enough on marketing.
You can have the most amazing app in the world, but if you don’t market it effectively, all that work is for naught.
Make sure you hire the best product developers as well as top-notch marketers, so the world knows about your amazing product.
By avoiding these common small business mistakes, you’re sure to be successful in your new endeavor.