Avoid these 5 Mistakes that Impede your Business
Starting a business means learning from a thousand mistakes. The good news is, you can learn lessons from other entrepreneurs’ mistakes. That way, you won’t have to go through them, and you can have a great head start as you try to grow your venture.
Mistake #1: Not enough research.
You are so excited to start right away. You don’t want analysis paralysis to cause delays. You just to launch the business and feel the rush of getting your first sale.
Though there’s nothing wrong with figuring things out and re-adjusting the business along the way, too much excitement can trigger you to jump the gun only to find out that you didn’t know your audience well enough to make an impact.
Don’t be too idealistic and bank on the thought that as long as you have a good product, customers will come.
Study your audience more. Toole like Google Trends are helpful. What are their pain points, and what problems are they trying to find solutions for? Knowing these from the get-go can help realign your messaging better.
Mistake #2: Pricing products too low.
Speaking of jumping the gun and trying to make a sale right away, Think carefully about product pricing. Don’t just take the initial cost and add a profit margin that feels right to you.
Thorough competitor research is part of product pricing but there’s more to it than that.
Though there’s no specific formula that works for all industries, one thing’s for sure: your pricing should meet your business goals. Don’t think that price alone will determine whether you’ll sell or not. If you try to price your products lower than the competitor, you’ll only be in a race to the bottom.
Mistake #3: Study the financial aspect.
Many of you are not exactly a fan of numbers and spreadsheets and try to avoid accounting stuff as much as possible. As a result, I often see new business owners not keeping track of business expenses during the first months of operations.
It really helps if you pay more attention to learning basic accounting and bookkeeping. Starting entrepreneurs don’t have any choice but to learn basic accounting. Otherwise, you won’t know how the business is doing financially. Are you making enough money to sustain operations, or is there a specific aspect that’s making the business bleed cash? Numbers don’t lie. And by recording everything, you get a clear picture of your venture’s financial health.
Mistake #4: Try to not rely too much on family and friends.
During the first few months of starting your business, you often introduce your products to family and friends, post about the products on all your social media accounts and as a result, several family and friends place orders. Some of them might have been genuinely interested. Others, on the other hand, might have just wanted to show their support to my latest endeavor. Needless to say, the initial influx of orders can give a false sense of security that the business is doing well.
Be sure to focus on marketing to actual customers and not just to those within your close circle. After all, your family and friends can only buy so many of your products.
Mistake #5: Don’t try to do everything by yourself.
Many sole proprietors think they need to do everything themselves – I see you creating a WordPress site, managing social media accounts, and even doing product photography all on your own! Of course, there’s nothing wrong with doing everything you can to grow your business. But if it’s eating up your time and energy, you’re not making the most out of your potential as a business owner.
Outsource some of the tasks to service providers. By leaving the legwork to qualified people, you’ll have more time and energy left for the more crucial aspects of launching and growing a business.
I hope you picked up a lesson or two from the regrets I have seen other business owners share with me. But don’t be afraid to make your own mistakes! As I learned from my journey, experience is still the best teacher. Others’ experiences can only teach you so much, and you need to walk your path to make your own mark.