Although rewarding and exciting, the journey to starting a successful business is often littered with potholes. And while there’s no fool-proof way to achieve start-up success, you can learn from the mistakes of myself and others to help make sure things go as smoothly as possible.
Here are our top five mistakes start-ups make that you should try to avoid.
1. Expecting success straight away
To develop a successful business takes time, hard work and a lot of perseverance. All too often new entrepreneurs get disheartened when they don’t achieve immediate success. Even worse, a lot of businesses crumble before they even begin, as they’re unable to deal with the challenges that come their way. By planning for the worst, you can make sure to put the necessary safety measures in place so that if the business takes longer than expected to get off the ground, you’re able to cope.
2. Creating the perfect product before your start selling
Why waste time perfecting a product that nobody wants to buy? Rather, focus your energy on developing a MVP (minimum viable product) that you can use to test the market. This way, you’re able to gain valuable insights from actual consumers, which you can then use to further develop and perfect your offering down the line. Trying to be perfect at everything from the get-go can be detrimental for a start-up, and can really slow down your momentum. That’s why it’s important to always consider the cost versus benefit, helping you prioritise what is essential to the core product.
3. Trying to do all at once
As an entrepreneur, time will always be your nemesis. With an endless list of things to do and only limited hours in a day (not to mention limited funds in the bank), it’s essential that you learn to prioritise the most important tasks that are actually going to earn you money. Focus on the crucial few tasks that bring the most rewards or add the most value to your business, and then let the rest of it take a backseat.
4. Not knowing who your ideal customer is
When it comes to marketing and selling your product, it’s vital that you have a good understanding of who your ideal customer is. In today’s world, it's not enough to simply try a broad approach to marketing, you need to understand your customers inside out. Take the time to do the necessary research to find out who you’re trying to reach and where you can communicate with them. Understanding your customer will also drive your marketing
strategy, playing a key role in helping you decide how best to engage with your target market, so that your efforts are well-received.
5. Not understanding social media for business
Gone are the days when your business could get by without making use of social media. But to get the most out of social media, you need to do more than simply have a presence. At the very least, you need a sound understanding of how each platform works, which ones to focus on, and how your business can use them to harness the marketing potential of the Internet. For example, running ads on social media is an easy and cost-effective way to get your business seen by you target market. Tackling something new may be intimidating and take time to learn, but if you’re not willing to adapt and embrace technological advances it can really hurt your business.
So, there you go a few mistakes to avoid when starting out. If you’d like some help in regards to what actually TO DO starting a business then grab your copy of our free Start A Business Toolkit, it outlines all the first steps you need to take to get your business off the ground. Get your toolkit here.