So, you’ve decided to start your own business! Running a business can be one of the most rewarding and life-impacting experiences of your life, so congratulations on pursuing your passion. On the other hand, many new companies run out of steam early and fail, and many of them for reasons that could have been avoided with wiser choices.
Here are some common business start-up issues and how to prevent them.
Inadequate planning. Starting a business can be extraordinarily time-consuming and costly. There are a zillion things to be done, from registering a business name and obtaining a license to purchasing equipment and hiring employees. The paperwork can get heavy, and the list of things to do, never-ending. Having a solid business plan can help you sort through the sea of obligations while helping you focus on the finer details and steps of running a successful business.
Inadequate financial planning. From the moment the first light bulb idea pops into your head to the point your business first becomes a profitable enterprise, you have to have a solid financial plan. You will have to find the extra funds needed to cover the variable costs of starting up while still taking care of your regular living expenses. Then once the business has reached a profitable state, you will still have to manage your finances (your income versus your expenses, your taxes, and liabilities. Whether you’ve saved up all your money for this moment, or you plan to take out a business loan, sound financial planning will ensure that all of your investments and obligations can flow harmoniously together to produce a successful and growing business.
Insufficient market research and ineffective marketing. Marketing is how you gain visibility for your business. Efficient marketing considers your target market, what need you fill to your potential customer, and the best way to reach them. Applying effective marketing strategies requires an investigation of all these things. You should employ a good strategy to attract your target market while turning them into loyal customers.
Choosing a bad location. Where you are located can either allow the smooth flow of business into your store or make you long for days when you see more than one customer. Your customers and employees must be able to get to your location with relative ease, depending on the product or service you provide.
You are not heeding advice. Listening to the opinions and thoughts of those around you may be a source of free business advice. Take the views of your family, friends, and other business people into consideration. Most certainly listen to the thoughts of your customers. They are who you need to please.
You did not discuss your endeavor with your family. Starting a small business can be immensely stressful, although you will reap the rewards later. The process takes a lot of your time and can dig deep into your physical, mental, and even financial reserves. Pressure like this can quickly and easily creep into your home and family life, creating issues at home that can only produce further detrimental effects. As you plan to start your business, consider at length the effect it may have on your home life and family. Whenever possible, include your family in the discussion, let them know your thoughts and goals, and make accommodations for their ideas and concerns.
Doing it alone. Many small business owners make a big mistake is trying to manage everything alone. Sure, it is much cheaper if you take care of every task yourself, but it may not be smarter. Wherever it is sensible, seek help managing the most difficult starting up and managing the business. Don’t underestimate the power of friends and family when it comes to seeking assistance. This is often the most viable way to get help without costing you a bag of money.
Poor prices for products and services. Although it may seem counterintuitive at first, keeping your prices particularly low may cost you more in the long run. As a small business owner, you have the unique task of being creative and adaptable enough to compete with bigger stores while evolving with the market. One way to compete with the big guys without selling too cheap is to find a gap in your market that you feel you can fill. Planting yourself squarely into this gap is a sure way to attract a steady stream of loyal customers.