According to research, there are millions of new businesses started each year. Quite a figure, right? While it is a noteworthy stat, 70% of these businesses fail within their first year of existence. This means any new entrepreneur has to go beyond the norm to stay put. One way to go about this is to avoid certain mistakes that could send you closing shop. Let us take a peek at some of the key mistakes you ought to know and avoid.
Not having a long-term vision
When an idea is new, the excitement and optimism to succeed is investable. While there is nothing wrong with that, you need not be carried away by the immediate results you receive. Making sales six months from market entry does not guarantee future success. You need to think about the future in business. Ask yourself questions like: where do you want to see your startup in ten years? What are your strategies? Drawing a long term vision will help you stay grounded and help you tackle all challenges as they unveil.
Not researching your competition
Before you start a business, always know that there will always be competitors; someone working day and night to outsmart you. You also need to know about what your competitors are doing, their products, etc. Knowing who they are and what they do, will help you make your products and services stand out. Improve your business performance by looking at and creating marketing strategies that target your competitor’s weakness.
Not understanding Laws, regulations and Liabilities
Did you know that as a young startup, you are expected to pay government taxes, and get a workers compensation cover for your employees? Most startups neglect these responsibilities in the name of “I am growing or, I do not have much money.” Sadly, not understanding the laws and following them could cost you more than you can think.
Think about how hefty taxes and claims compensation will affect your business. It is your responsibility to protect your employees. For instance, according to a car accident lawyer, it is advisable to take a workers’ comp insurance policy to protect you from liabilities if you have employees using company vehicles for work purposes. It will protect you should they get in an accident. This will save you so much money. Generally speaking, being on the safe side of the law will do you good in business!
Not knowing where to start, what to do, and fear of failure are common procrastination problems young entrepreneurs face. Wise Graham once said, “perfectionism is often an excuse of procrastination“. Making excuses in the name of being perfect will make you fail. If you think you are not ready, you will never scout for investment, fire incompetent workers, delegate tasks, or simply write that business plan. Remember, no decision is wrong or right as long as it is made at that time. Don’t let past failures and mistakes slow your decision making. Just do it.
Failing to maintain a positive cash flow
It’s simple. Do what you can afford. Don’t pay for expensive lunches, salaries, or office space if you don’t have the financial muscle to do so. Keep your finances lean until you reach a revenue that can support such needs.
Waiting to get too much money
This is another element of procrastination crippling many startups. You will hear many young entrepreneurs say, “I need to have money to start my business, hire staff, or grow my business?” Well, you might have to wait a little bit longer or forever. The essence of starting with the little you have is growth; it is by stating that you will be able to have money to implement the plans you have. Imagine an entrepreneur who waits to have investors to start his/her business? What happens if they never get them? Be smart, start your business, build it, and source for the right people as you move. Surprisingly, if you start and do great, you will not need to find them, they will find you.
Not being flexible to changing market demands.
Did you know the chewing gum company William Wrigley founded the company with the goal of selling soap and baking powder? Eventually, he realized the customers didn’t care about the baking soda. They wanted the gum! This example is to show you the power of flexibility and adapting to market demands. The reality is that you are in business because of customers. Don’t close down because of a product that is not selling. Research, listen and create solutions.
We hope you nodded in agreement after reading this. Perhaps we have mentioned some of the mistakes that you might have been pulling you back? Now that you know, try to avoid them and watch your startup grow!