Starting a new business? Here are 6 common mistakes you should avoid!
Starting a new business is one of the most exciting times in the life of an entrepreneur. I remember when I was preparing to launch Onpoint Success, there were several moments where I would just fantasize about successful my business would be. I had moments where I doubted if I was moving in the right direction but these moments were trumped just at the thought of my mission of ending small business failure among women entrepreneurs. This was my lifelong dream as I feel deeply hurt when I see women go through financial hardships. My vision is to help women become financially-independent by teaching them how to build profitable brands online. Three years down the road of being a strategist and consultant and over 2 decades of being an entrepreneur, I have definitely fallen and risen like waves of the ocean. Each time I fall, I remind myself of when and why I started and get back up to keep moving.As a budding entrepreneur, it will be to your advantage when you are willing to learn from other people’s mistakes. From the
Almost four years down the road of being a business strategist, mentor, and consultant with over 2 decades of experience being an entrepreneur, I am yet to see it all but I’ve fallen and risen like waves of the ocean in more times than I could conveniently keep track of.
My goal in this post is not to totally eliminate your falls (because you will fall severally), it is to help you minimize the number of times you’ll fall. I’m sharing because I do not believe in making others go through what I went through. If my tips will help you get to your destination faster than I did then I feel fulfilled.
Based on my personal experience and my experience working with several women daily, here are 7 common mistakes you want to avoid as a budding entrepreneur
1. Failure to have a thorough understanding of how your business will make money
Do you have a thorough understanding of how your business will make money? Just before you say “yes”, let me say this, making money in your business is not just about making sales, it’s about being in good standing in terms of cash.
You might be making sales and still not make money or have enough cash flow. If your recurring expenses are way higher than your sales, your business will never be in good standing.
So now, let me ask the question again. Do you have a thorough understanding of how your business will make money?
Earlier this year, I was reviewing the business financial statement of a client who needed help with her business. She couldn’t figure why she was making so much in sales but could barely make ends meet. At first, she thought she was mixing business funds and personal funds together so she started separating funds. After separating funds, the problem still persisted and that’s when she sought help.
Having a thorough understanding of how your business will make money is one mistake you should definitely avoid by paying attention to your pricing mechanism and expenses. When pricing your products (goods/services), you must put your fixed and recurring expenses into consideration.
2. Failure to sell what customer wants
No matter how grand your business idea might be or how passionate you are about your business, if no one is interested in your products (goods/services), your dreams of building a profitable brand will be shattered. The only way you can build a profitable brand is when you have the right mix of products and people who are willing to pay you. A brand with no customer is a time bomb waiting to explode. In order to prevent this mistake, you must do three things. First, is validate your business idea before you launch. If peradventure you launched your brand already, you should conduct a market research and survey your target audience. Lastly, if you’ve been in business for a long time, always ask your customers for a feedback on how you may better serve their needs. This will help you to know what to avoid while also helping you identifying potential opportunities for growth.
3. Failure to consider the competition
Truly, the sky is big enough for everyone to fly without touching wings but that does not mean you should be oblivious of your competition. Even if your business idea is grand and no one has ever thought about it, sooner or later, more people will start that same business and vie for the same customers you are depending on. Therefore, you cannot build a profitable brand online while completely ignoring your competition. Prior to launching your brand, you must list the top 3 competitors in your industry and analyze their strengths and weaknesses. You must understand how you will differentiate yourself from them and list compelling reasons why you believe customers should choose you over your competitor. Failure to consider competition is a leading cause of failure in business and this is one mistake you want to avoid as much as it lies in your power
4. Too much reliance on do-it-yourself
Almost every entrepreneur I have come across thinks they can do it all by themselves. While this is a good quality to have, it might not work in all situations and end up being costly. Nobody can be good in everything or in every area. You might be really good in some aspects of business but for other areas of your business where you are struggling, learn to seek professional help. For example, I am not so good with the accounting and tax part of my business, so I occasionally hire a professional for a few hundred bucks, who can help put things in order on my behalf. I free up my time by delegating some of the tasks to some other people who are willing to help. Time is so precious and you cannot afford to spend hours doing what someone else can do in a fraction of the time you would spend doing the same task.
5. Failure to possess the required experience needed
We all know that you do not have to be great to get started but you do have to get started to be great. However, for your brand to succeed, you need experience as it relates to the services or goods you are providing to your customers. Experience comes from doing and repetition is the mother of skill. As a budding entrepreneur who truly wants to build a profitable brand online, you must be committed to building your experience in your area of expertise. If it takes volunteering for other organizations or attending power-packed training, seminars, and events, be committed to giving it all it takes to gain experience. Gaining experience makes you become valuable in the marketplace and in turn, helps you to build a profitable brand online.
6. False Illusion as to the efforts required
The truth is, owning a business requires a lot of hard work. It definitely doesn’t come on a platter of gold. The beginning often involves working long and extra hours. You have to keep up with the trends, especially with technological evolution. You have to learn as much as possible within a very short time. To achieve groundbreaking success, you should have a strong passion for your business, be hard-working and learn to maintain a positive attitude always. Do not allow yourself to be distracted from your main goal. Just keep taking daily steps that will lead you closer to your goal.
This list of common mistakes is not exhaustive and there is no amount of literature you can read that will stop you from making mistakes in your new business. However, I believe if you keep these points in mind while also learning from your mistakes, you will come out on top and build a profitable brand!!
Thanks for reading! Please leave me a comment or ask a question, I personally respond to every comment.
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