Starting a business is not easy, but it is not impossible. I’ve been an entrepreneur for as long as I can remember, and there have been plenty of bumps along the way. If you’re going into business for yourself, then you’ll make mistakes too. In fact, here are some of the most common mistakes I believe most entrepreneurs make:
Mistake #1 – Mishandling Cash Flow
One of the biggest mistakes and usually the most devastating is mishandling money. It is important to find a balance here. If you invest too much money, you could go into debt before you see an income. On the other hand, if you invest too little, you deprive your business of vital parts that it needs to survive. Research what items you really need to buy, and see what you can use that you already have or can borrow. For example, instead of renting a huge office and buying new computer equipment, see if you can find a small, cheap office and use electronics you already have. You can always upgrade later when you are bringing money in.
Mistake #2 – Ignoring Customer Feeback
Your customers are what will make or break your business. You may have an excellent product, but if you do not get feedback from your customers and listen to what they want, they will spend their money elsewhere. Ask your customers what they want, what they need, and how you can improve. Businesses are not static, they are always growing and changing to meet the need of the customer.
Mistake #3 – Ignoring the Competition
No matter what your business idea is, there will likely be someone else doing the same thing or something similar. While you don’t want to obsess over the competition, do not make the mistake of thinking they are not a threat. Research other businesses like yours. What are they doing right and wrong? How can you do it better?
#4 – Not Marketing Properly
Failing to market and promote your business is a huge mistake that many entrepreneurs make without even realizing it. You cannot assume that people will just flock to your business with no effort on your part. You will need to advertise and network. Tell everyone about your business, setup social media accounts on all of the top sites, print and hang posters, and give everyone your business card. The more advertising venues you have, the better the chance that a potential customer will see it and do business with you.