15 small business mistakes to avoid

Starting a small business is an exciting time and it is easy to get carried away in the process. Here are some simple mistakes you can avoid by doing your homework and planning correctly.

Mistake number 1

Not having enough money – There are endless articles about starting your business on a shoestring. Or you may have read success stories about businesses that were started with just $100. Regardless of the business that you are starting, not having enough money will be the cause of your failure.

Mistake number 2

Success only mentality – Of course, you don’t start a business thinking that you are going to fail. You need to dream big and potentially get great results too. The smart entrepreneurs also plan for the times that everything does not go to plan.

Mistake number 3

Partnerships – Many friends go into business together. They get excited about the project of the business and forget about setting up the legal requirements. Having a partnership agreement is not just for the good times but it can also help you in the bad. It can outline what happens when one partner wants to sell or if you have a disagreement. It can protect you in many ways to make sure you chat to a lawyer and set things up correctly from the beginning.

Mistake number 4

Industry knowledge only – While you may understand your industry inside and out, you also need to understand who will buy what you have. Who will pay for your product/service and how much will they pay?

Mistake number 5

Not getting the right advice – It is vital that you gain both accounting and legal knowledge relative to your business. You need to get these two in your corner from day one and ensure that your business covers all the bases it needs to both legally and compliance wise.

Mistake number 6

Flexibility – Your businesses needs to grow and change over the years. Very few businesses are the same in year one as they are in year 3. If you are not prepared to grow and be flexible your business may be destined to fail.

Mistake number 7

Know your worth – You need to charge what you are worth. Do not give your services or products away for free. You are far better off doing no work that doing work for free. Many creatives fall into this trap of working for free to build a portfolio – don’t do it. You can create a portfolio without giving the work away.

Mistake number 8

Not listening to your instincts – Often we know in ourselves when something is not right. If we learn to listen to these instincts we are generally correct. Don’t let anyone manipulate your policies or procedures and just stick to your guns.

Mistake number 9

Overcommitting – Many people literally put their home on the line for their business. While this can have potential success it can also have a catastrophic failure. Do not commit more than you can happily say goodbye to.

Mistake number 10

Sales – Without sales, you do not have a business. Big or small all business needs to sell their product or service. Think about mistake number 4 and 7 and make sure you are working to gain business in the right way.

Mistake number 11

Competition – Make sure that you know what is going to set you apart from your competition. Are you going to be better, faster, cheaper, bigger etc.? Is the market already saturated that you are planning to enter?

Mistake number 12

Strengths and weakness – Do you have all the strengths you need to operate your business? Are you weak in areas that could cost you business? Identify your strengths and weaknesses and work on them or change your business plans. For example: If you don’t like talking to people, don’t open a retail store.

Mistake number 13

Sales – Remember that you are providing a solution to peoples needs. Not knowing what your solution/benefits are will most certainly put you out of business.

Mistake number 14

Marketing – How will you expose your business to potential clients? How much will you spend on marketing? Will you do it yourself?

Mistake number 15

Not having a business plan – No matter how big or small you need to create a plan for your business that covers all the above areas and more. Millions of people start their business without one and it is often a recipe for disaster. Not that have a business plan guarantees success but it does help you to answer a few questions before you commit to the process.

If you need help avoiding some of these mistakes, contact Kelly @ My Sassy Business.

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