Small business mistakes are common and some times unavoidable, but your business is not the first to make some of them. There are many blogs posted by business owners that have made business mistakes and want to share what they have learned to help others avoid some of them.
Starting a new business can be fun and exciting and it can also be confusing and scary. Setting up a business requires so much planning and the paperwork can be overwhelming, you become worried about making business mistakes or wrong business choices. These concerns cause many people with good ideas to procrastinate over starting their business.
The truth is you will make business mistakes and wrong business choices but that shouldn’t keep you from starting your business and getting your ideas out there.
The best way to get started is to get started, break down the process in to small steps and take them one at a time. Waiting until you know everything you need doesn’t work, your business will take time set up and grow during that time you will have new ideas that will change what your next steps will be.
Some common mistakes new small business owners make are:
Things to consider in the beginning are:
- Do I need to rent a location
- What products and services will my business offer
- Who are my target customers
- what do my competitors offer and can I capitalize on their weaknesses
- What prices can I set for my products and services
- Will I need insurance
Choosing a business name
New small business owners think they need to have to come up with the perfect name for their business at the start because they will be unable to change it.
Don’t stress to much about the business name in the beginning, pick a simple one to get started you can always change it later or you can quickly and cheaply file the “doing business as” paperwork when you are ready to open. For example “Betty’s LLC” and be files as doing business as “Betty’s Web Design”.
No business plan
Not having a business plan in place at the beginning can be a mistake. You don’t need an all inclusive, solve every issue before it comes up plan but a basic plan addressing what want to accomplish in the first few months is very helpful. Think of your business plan as a road map detailing what you want your business to become, but you don’t want to look to far ahead.
Your business will change and evolve constantly and your business plan should evolve as well incorporating new ideas and addressing new requirements. Use your simple plan as a base and as your business grows add to it for each new step in your businesses growth.
Finding a location
You will need to set up a location for your business where you can serve your customers, receive mail and process orders. If your business is small such as an e-commerce site you may be able to set aside a room in your home in the beginning, but for good business practice and for tax purposes it must be used for the business only. As your business grows or if you prefer to keep it separate from your personal areas renting a small office or store front will be required. Again avoid the temptation to get a larger space then you need in the beginning, ou can always find a new location when your business out grows it’s current space.
Equipping your business
The temptation is to get the best equipment you can right away. Getting more equipment then you need in the beginning is not cost effective, get only the items you need and add more as your business requires it. There are many reasons why this may be a bad idea for your business:
- It will cost a lot of money – you may need to borrow more then you can afford to pay for it
- your just starting out – your customer base will be small in the beginning, it may be awhile before you need it
- New and improved equipment is always just around the corner – buying the best available today does not mean it will serve your needs as well as the next version