Starting your own business is no easy task. There’s a mountain of things to do and paperwork to sort out, as well as trying to find new customers and clients. Thankfully, there are many who have gone before you. Learn from the mistakes of others to ensure your business gets off to a great start. Here are five common mistakes of new business owners to avoid.
1 Starting too big
We all like to dream big and starting a new business is a very big deal. However, sometimes jumping too quickly out of the gate, with too much gusto can be a mistake. A new business is fragile, so it’s often best to take it slow. Expand cautiously and monitor your financials closely in those first few months. Offering big deals or slashing your prices can be detrimental in the long run, so be careful with your selling techniques. Understand that your business may be slow to start, but that slow start could contribute to a sustainable and successful business long term.
2 Having no clear direction
It can be easy to get swept away with big ideas and shiny new trends as a new business owner. You want to see growth and positive results, but you need to stick to your original goals. If you don’t have clear direction or a strong business strategy, you can find yourself getting tossed back and forth with the latest trends, fads or ideas. While it can pay to have a finger on the pulse, don’t let it deter you from your written business plan. Stay true to your strategy.
3 Not seeking advice from experts
As a new business owner, you have a lot on your plate. While you may have to juggle multiple tasks and wear many different hats, you need to make sure you are engaging with experts to help you on your way. Failing to learn from the expertise of others means you could make mistakes that were easily avoidable. Whether it’s branding, social media, finances or legal tasks, you need to seek help from others. While you may not have any employees, you can still engage with others on a contractual basis to help set your business up for success.
4 Mixing personal with business
Before you even sign your business papers, press publish on your website or open the doors of your store, make sure all your personal finances are completely separate. Mixing personal with business is not a good idea. Your business needs to be set up with it’s own bank accounts and line of credit. Also make sure you have chosen the right business structure for your needs. And when it comes to making big business decisions, remember to set aside personal emotions or feelings and simply look at the cold hard facts.
5 Neglecting your finances
Cash flow issues, unpaid invoices and problems with debt are all common complaints of new business owners. Keeping a close eye on your finances is a must, and one of the easiest ways to get on top of your finances from the start, is by investing in cloud accounting software, like QuickBooks. Also get hold of a great accountant, not only will they be able to help you with your tax requirements, but they can assist with strategic business decisions and help you plan for the future.