Starting a business is hard. Trying to survive your first year in business is even harder. By all means start a business, but get the basics. The biggest factor holding back startups is everything they are doing wrong. Don’t stand in the way of your business growth.
1. Location, location, location
Before choosing where to base your enterprise, you need to have a clear picture of what you absolutely must have, what you’d like to have, what you won’t tolerate and how much you’re able to afford. Ticking all this off can be time-consuming, but it’s essential you give it the attention it deserves. While you can rectify many startup mistakes at a later date, a poor choice of location is sometimes impossible to repair.
2. Not getting the right people on board
One of the most difficult and most important decisions startups have to make is deciding who to hire. Hiring the wrong people can cost time and money to rectify – and those are two things startups can ill afford.
In some instances, bad choices of staff can kill a startup before it’s even gotten going. Spend time getting this right and consider employing the services of a professional recruiting agency. There’s an agency out there for all business needs, whether restaurant management, IT, creative, science, or tech.
3. Taking too long to launch
Startups are full of excuses for why they need to delay their start. Some of these are fair and reasonable, but most are the ones people use for procrastinating in everyday life. One reason to launch quickly, and work to a deadline, is it forces you to complete some quantum of work. Another is that only after you launch can you get feedback, and only then can you iron out mistakes.
4. Premature liftoff
The most common killer of startups is taking too long to launch. But many also fall at the first hurdle because they started too quickly. The biggest danger here is that you destroy your reputation before you’ve had a chance to build it up.
You launch your business, your customer base shows up and tries out your hot new product, doesn’t like it and never trusts you enough to come back. Make a list of what’s the minimum you need to launch and make sure you’ve ticked everything off before sending out the invites to the launch party.
Starting a new business can be so demanding and stressful that even the most frugal people can sometimes fall victim to the overspending trap. Then there’s the law of unforeseen circumstances, which can stretch even the best thought out budgets beyond their limits.
From getting an office space which is unnecessarily large and costly to hiring more employees than you need, it is very easy to blow your budget. Comb through your budget regularly to see if there’s’ anything you’ve missed or if there are ways you can save money (without cutting corners).
6. Not doing enough market research
Starting a new business is one of the most exciting things you can do, but it’s important not to jump in and invest your savings or start up loan till you’ve checked where your idea will fit into the market.
To be a success and make a profit you need to find a gap to exploit – and you need to know who your competitors are. There’s probably no sense in opening a surfboard shop, for example, in a small coastal town where there’s already two, established businesses selling surfboards!