Starting a business is never easy.
There are so many things that one has to think about and plenty of decisions to make. The tension that comes with this can lead to poor decision making which could lead to low success rate or setbacks.
There is no guarantee of a successful startup, however, here are some of the common mistakes done when starting a business and how to avoid them.
What to Avoid When Creating Successful Startup
Twenty percent of businesses fail in their first year. Even more fail in the years following.
This is because the road to successful business ownership is paved with potholes and unforeseen obstacles. To help you get out of your own way, here are some things you should avoid.
1. Not Know the Needs of Your Customers
Planning can be cumbersome but without knowing what your customers want you might not be doing enough work. Let’s say you have successfully enticed the customer to come to your business and purchase something.
This is a positive outcome, however, how do you ensure that every need that this customer or the next one will be fully fulfilled? Here are some of the thing you can do:
• Ensure you look for the problem to solve not a commodity to sell out. This will automatically lead to an increase in financial performance since the customer will get everything under one roof.
• Be keen and learn the future demands from other needs of other customers that come to your premises.
• Always allow your customers to try out before buying. For a successful startup, allow your customers to try out before purchasing. You will find like in technology application companies, they have a free version that is similar to the paid version hence customers end up paying for it since they have already tried it out.
• Allow customers to air their views. Create channels that will allow them to give feedback freely. You can create forums or phone conversations and with this, you will be learning every day about what they expect or anticipate from your business.
In the end, the customer is the one who holds the higher say in your business. Strive to ensure that you provide everything they need and this, in turn, will give you wins.
2. Not Setting SMART Goals
SMART goals mean specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-based. In everybody’s life, one has to have goals to have a purposeful life otherwise without them, we may drift aimlessly in any direction.
A specific goal indicates what you want to achieve, where and when to be achieved. A measurable goal is used to measure and see if you are on the right track. This helps in answering the question of how many, how much or how often? By measuring you will ensure that the work gets done and with this, you are able to achieve your goals.
When setting any goal make sure that it is achievable. Do not make a mistake of creating goals that are unreachable or unattainable because you might fail at the beginning. Relevant goals fall in long and short term goals.
Do not set a goal because you have been influenced by someone else only to realize that it has no long term value. And lastly, put a time frame in your goals. Ensure that you achieve the time you had set. This helps you stay focused always and avoiding procrastination.
SMART goals should be among the first thing you set when starting a business because they will help you shape up the direction that you want to go.
They also help you in saving time because you know what’s to be done at what time and this, therefore, makes you avoid disappointments in the long run hence achieving a successful startup.
3. Mixing Your Bank Accounts
Many individuals ignore this step since they normally think that it is easier to manage funds from business in your personal accounts that you use for your personal needs. This is very wrong because at times you may end up using money that was meant for restocking or to be used in the business. Below are some of the steps that will help you in opening a business account:
• Choose the best type of business bank account. There are different checking accounts that you can choose depending on the nature of your business.
• Absolutely free business bank accounts- these are either online and they charge no cost or they have certain criteria that they use to ensure that you get services from them.
• Business checking accounts- these allow the business to receive or transfer funds electronically, write checks, withdraw or deposit funds via debit card and also separate your personal and business finances.
• Business saving accounts- this will allow you to save up money while continuously earning interest every month. The best business saving accounts include; High-yield savings account, Business CD accounts and Money Market Account (MMA). Therefore, every business should have an active business checking account and a savings account. This will help in separating working capital and savings.
• Choose the right bank to open your business account. It is important to consider the bank that you will choose for a successful startup. Choosing the right bank, you need to consider factors like their costs and fees, location and availability of other outlets, online services, customer service among others.
• Gather the right documents needed for account opening.
•Deposit your funds into your business account. This is the last step once everything is done. You can write a check from your personal account or transfer electronically hence making your business account ready to use.
4. Being a Control Freak
In the startup years of a business, you want to dictate how everything should be done.
It is not unusual for you to want everything done to perfection or rather to how you want. However, if not looked at, you can end up burnt out or always in anxiety. It can even damage the morale of other employees in the business and inhibit growth. Here are some of the things you can do to manage being a control freak and ensure a successful startup:
• Allow your employees to call you out whenever they see you acting as a control freak. Remember for a business to thrive, you have to be close to your employees since they are the backbone of the business. Let them know that they can let you know they notice any change in your behavior. This will allow you to cool off and maybe take a break and delegate the task to someone else.
• Allow yourself to chill off. I know it is hard to take a break even if it is just a few hours of the day but force yourself to take a break — let’s say maybe go home at 3 pm and leave one of the employees in charge.
• Be open-minded and know that things can go wrong anytime. It is so hard for a control freak to accept that anything can go wrong.
However, be open to situations and know that this is business and tomorrow may not be like today. Being a control freak will only hinder growth in your business.
For a successful startup, remember to incorporate these tips and you will be guaranteed of a positive outcome.
5. Being Afraid of Marketing
These days many people do not know what to answer when asked what they do.
This is one fear that you should put aside if you want to have a successful startup. One way to gain experience is to do some business and in that, you have to properly market what you do. Below are a few tricks to do to help you with marketing.
• Write down a marketing plan. This will help you achieve your marketing plans since you will ensure that you have followed them to the end.
• Mark your calendar. If you schedule each task, you have high chances of getting the work done.
• Break it down. Each task should be clearly indicated so that it will become easy to implement each step until it is completed.
• Ask yourself questions like what are your fears. This will help you in analyzing your weakness or shortcomings and you will find out that your fears make you procrastinate and they are illogical.
• Get to reward yourself after achieving the marketing plans. You can do simple things like having an afternoon off or have dinner with your partner. This will motivate you to strive forward.
Bottom line is, if you want a successful startup, you have to go out there and make your business known. Do not let fear, intimidation or rejection stop you. With this, you can be sure of growth and constant income.
6. Chasing Investors Rather Than Customers
You might have one of the superb ideas out there but that does not guarantee you funding. One of the tactics to ensure you have a successful startup is to ensure that the product you are creating can pay for itself.
Do not be too focused on where the funders will come from. Shift your focus on the customer that will buy the product and in turn, this will bring other customers.
7. Starting Too Early or Too Late
You can be so creative, motivated and have that drive to start a business.
However, is it the right time? You must ask yourself several questions to see if your business ideas will work in that current market condition. You will find that probably the business idea that you have is already in the market. Although you might possess a unique element in your industry, just consider if it is the right time to put it out there. Ask yourself these questions:
• How does the current competition look like in your industry?
• How is the current market and economy?
• Do statistical market trends favor your startup and long term growth?
• Is this the perfect time for you?
8. Bad Location
A bad location normally keeps your business out of sight for the targeted audience. Even if you are working on a tight budget, do not allow your real estate decisions to be dependent on the price. Below are some of the factors to consider before settling for a given location:
• Study your business. Before you start, get familiar with other similar businesses in the area and study their location and trends. This will help you choose an ideal location.
• Get to know your neighbors. Make yourself familiar with the neighborhood. Visit the businesses around and this will give you an overview of what is expected.
• Take a trip to other locations and study the people who are doing similar business as yours. All the above will help you make a conclusive decision of where you want to base your business.
9. Bad Hiring
Starting a business is an exciting experience and you want to be settled by the time everything starts. Before that, you need to surround yourself with the right team. Here are some of the mistakes to avoid when hiring your employees or partners:
• Do not be in a hurry. Take your time and assess them. Get to know their strength and weaknesses.
• Make sure you know your business plan well so that when looking for an employee you know what character in them that you are looking for.
• Try to avoid families or friends in the business. You might not want to hear this but most family members or friends do not share the same ambitions as yours.
10. Avoiding New Technology
The new technology has proven to be the most common thing being used by business people nowadays. However, it can be intimidating because it may look a bit technical to some people. For a successful startup in business, ensure that you are aware of different types of technology to use because it will help you in marketing and it also smooths daily operations.
Want More Help?
These are some of the common mistakes that business startups make and if ignored or not fully adhered to, may lead to failure or can make you feel discouraged. Try to conduct enough research from the internet, books or from experienced individuals and with that, there are higher chances that you will create a successful startup.
And if you need more advice for your young, exciting business, be sure to check out the Startup section of our website!