And what you can do to avoid them…
If you are thinking about creating a startup business then there are certainly some things you need to take into account to make sure that you are successful. Take it from me, it is hard going for a while before it gets better! But one positive step you can take is learning from others mistakes. I have taken the liberty of rounding up the top 5 mistakes that every startup business idea seems to make in the beginning and how you can avoid it. Give yourself the best start and avoid the following mistakes! It may just give you that boost to reach the success that little bit sooner.
#1- Not putting enough (or putting too much) into the business plan
Knowing where you are going from here is important. The first step that I took when I started my own business was sitting down and marking out my plan. It is not only important for you but if you are going to walk into a bank and ask for a loan then they will want to see a well thought out business plan before they lend you anything.
It will need to cover everything. I started with management and worked my way down to how marketing will flow and my plans for success. But how long should you be spending on your business plan? How detailed does it have to be? This is where the grey area occurs for most.
Your business plan simply needs to outline your strategy, not a novel. Include things like your vision, your goals, your products, your competition. These are the things that will matter and make or break your business. It is no good spending too little time on such an important part of your startup, but also wasting too much time is also detrimental. The key is to find that happy medium and move on!
#2- Building your business alone, or having too many founding members
Another Goldilocks situation, it is hard to start a business alone, but you do not want to have to please too many people. If you are in search of additional founding members then make sure that they are likeminded individuals.
If you want to create your vision alone, as I did, then finding some good, trustworthy employees to start is the best option. Begin small, with only essential staff, and you can work up from there. Split the work so that you have more time for the essential running of the business. Having help is the only way to make this work effectively.
#3- Being too rigid about your idea
I completely understand, your idea is your baby. It is hard to take criticism about something that you are so passionate about, However, it is also important to cater to your audience. If there are small changes that you need to make to be successful, then do it! It could be the difference between a good idea and a great idea. Take into account the marketing research, ask for the opinions of others that you trust. Compiling all this information is important to make effective changes that could put you on the right path. Sticking to your idea and being stubborn will only hurt you in the long run. Be flexible and able to admit when something could be improved.
#4- Understand the finances
One of the biggest issues with startup companies is that they do not understand how much an idea will cost. You need to know your finances back to front, especially if you are asking for a loan to get up and running. Imagine how you would feel if 3 months, 6 months, a year from now everything you worked so hard for all disappeared. It happens so often, especially in the online market where competition is fierce. You need to perfectly understand how much you need to get your idea off the ground, including your marketing campaigns and additional staff when your business grows. Make allowances for things to change or when things do not work out and you have to try again. I have had many road bumps along the way, many business startup mistakes and these issues, no matter how essential, also cost money. Make sure that you have a significant buffer of money in case things do not work out and you have to try something new. Things seldom work well the first time around. It is about being flexible and also having the money to back yourself up.
#5- Not asking for help
I could not have done this alone. Everyone needs help sometimes and especially if you are starting a company alone, you need to recognise when you need to put your pride aside and ask for someone to help you. It does not make you a failure. It does not make you any less successful. Everyone needs a shoulder to lean on and this can be in the form of a marketing expert, a friend or family member, a financial advisor, depending on what you need help with someone is willing to give you the advice you need. It is all about recognising when help is necessary and taking the steps to find it.
Where can I found help?
Finding help can be very difficult, especially during these times. I found some amazing support online through Facebook Groups and small business community pages. Try to engage and attend networking events for small business startups, and don’t be afraid to put yourself out there. You just never know what opportunities can come your way!
Love & blessings