Common Mistakes When Starting a New Business
The decision to start a new business is a scary and exciting time. It is filled with plenty of unknowns and important decisions. There is no one right way to start a business, because if there were, everyone would be doing it. It’s vital to spend ample time researching before taking the next step. By closely reviewing thorough checklists on how to start a business
, you’ll learn important lessons, including common mistakes to avoid.
Not Asking for Help
You can’t get help unless you ask for it, and in the startup world, faking it until you make it could lead to the downfall of your company. A new business will often require that you wear many hats such as human resources, marketing, finance, and public relations just to name a few. It can be easy to say that you’ll just hire someone, but in reality, you may not have the funds necessary at the moment to do so. If you find yourself in this situation, The Guardian
suggests attending networking events with other startups or small business owners, as well as finding a mentor. A mentor can serve as a sounding board for any ideas you might have and provide true and honest feedback.
According to a Gallup survey
of 1,000 current or potential entrepreneurs in 83 countries, adults who have access to a mentor are three times more likely to start their own business, and “without a mentor, an entrepreneur may find it difficult to access resources, build networks, and create partnerships that help the enterprise grow.” A mentor can be the person you turn to when you aren’t sure what step to take next. One of the perks of starting your own business is that you are your own boss, but this means you have no one to look to when questions or problems arise but yourself. Consider a mentor for those times when you need advice, or simply someone to listen.
Skipping Market Research
According to BB&T
, it is important that you are passionate about the product or service that your company will be offering, but don’t let your passion cloud the reality. It is important that you have some sort of marketing plan to identify customers and make the benefit of your product visible to motivate your target market to make a purchasing decision. There are two types of marketing research you will conduct. The first is primary research, which is information that comes directly from the source, which in this case, are your potential customers. This type of research can be gathered via surveys, focus groups, or interviews. The second type of research is secondary research. Entrepreneur
says this involves gathering stats, studies, reports, and other data from organizations such as government agencies or your local chamber of commerce.
Don’t be discouraged by what you find or the feedback you receive. Your ultimate goal is the success of your business, and this may require a little bit of flexibility to meet the needs and demands of customers. Take for example the mobile photo-sharing application called Instagram. According to CNN
, Instagram co-founder Kevin Systrom credits the success of Instagram to his attention to user feedback. Before Instagram, Systrom was working on a check-in service called Burbn. Systrom says he and his team made the important decision to focus on the part of the app that users loved the most – posting pictures. Thus, Instagram came to fruition. Think of market research as an investment into your future. Make the necessary changes now to avoid hiccups in the future, and don’t be afraid of changing your business model altogether. The beauty of starting your own business is that you can take it in whatever direction you desire. Enjoy the ride, ask for help when you need it, and make smart market decisions.