Although rewarding and exciting, the journey to starting a successful business is often littered with potholes. And while there’s no fool-proof way to achieve start-up success, you can learn from the mistakes of myself and others to help make sure things go as smoothly as possible.
Here are our top five mistakes start-ups make that you should try to avoid.
1. Expecting success straight away
To develop a successful business takes time, hard work and a lot of perseverance. All too often new entrepreneurs get disheartened when they don’t achieve immediate success. Even worse, a lot of businesses crumble before they even begin, as they’re unable to deal with the challenges that come their way. By planning for the worst, you can make sure to put the necessary safety measures in place so that if the business takes longer than expected to get off the ground, you’re able to cope.
2. Creating the perfect product before your start selling
Why waste time perfecting a product that nobody wants to buy? Rather, focus your energy on developing a MVP (minimum viable product) that you can use to test the market. This way, you’re able to gain valuable insights from actual consumers, which you can then use to further develop and perfect your offering down the line. Trying to be perfect at everything from the get-go can be detrimental for a start-up, and can really slow down your momentum. That’s why it’s important to always consider the cost versus benefit, helping you prioritise what is essential to the core product.
3. Trying to do all at once
As an entrepreneur, time will always be your nemesis. With an endless list of things to do and only limited hours in a day (not to mention limited funds in the bank), it’s essential that you learn to prioritise the most important tasks that are actually going to earn you money. Focus on the crucial few tasks that bring the most rewards or add the most value to your business, and then let the rest of it take a backseat.
4. Not knowing who your ideal customer is
When it comes to marketing and selling your product, it’s vital that you have a good understanding of who your ideal customer is. In today’s world, it's not enough to simply try a broad approach to marketing, you need to understand your customers inside out. Take the time to do the necessary research to find out who you’re trying to reach and where you can communicate with them. Understanding your customer will also drive your marketing
strategy, playing a key role in helping you decide how best to engage with your target market, so that your efforts are well-received.
5. Not understanding social media for business
Gone are the days when your business could get by without making use of social media. But to get the most out of social media, you need to do more than simply have a presence. At the very least, you need a sound understanding of how each platform works, which ones to focus on, and how your business can use them to harness the marketing potential of the Internet. For example, running ads on social media is an easy and cost-effective way to get your business seen by you target market. Tackling something new may be intimidating and take time to learn, but if you’re not willing to adapt and embrace technological advances it can really hurt your business.
So, there you go a few mistakes to avoid when starting out. If you’d like some help in regards to what actually TO DO starting a business then grab your copy of our free Start A Business Toolkit, it outlines all the first steps you need to take to get your business off the ground. Get your toolkit here.
Have an amazing day and remember it is never too late to create a life you love!
The advent of the internet has created a world of opportunities for those who prefer not to be tied down to an office. People around the globe have found creative ways to craft careers to match their lives, instead of trying to make their lives. So, whether you dream of working from the comfort of your own home, having more flexibility in your life or simply to have a career you can take with you wherever you go or move, here are 4 creative ways to make these dreams come to life.
Go with your experience.
Perhaps the easiest and safest way to start a new business is to focus on what you’re already good at and what you know best. Look at your CV and evaluate where your strengths lie and what skills set you apart. Make sure you focus on the value that you’re able to offer, as this will be your competitive edge within your market. You can do this by simply asking yourself how your expertise will allow you to help people or improve their lives? The next step is to challenge yourself to look beyond the core activities of your most recent role and see how your skills can be applied in different ways. Is there the opportunity to use these skills to start your own consultancy? Or if you enjoy training people, perhaps you can focus on coaching people in your field as opposed to offering these services yourself.
Follow your passion.
To have a truly meaningful life, you need to be passionate about what you do, especially when it comes to starting your own business. Do you have a hobby or passion that could be turned into a business? Maybe you have a knack for writing funny slogans? Or spend all your free time making the most beautiful greeting cards for your friends and family? Whatever your passion, perhaps it’s time to consider making it into your paycheck. As the saying goes, if you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life.
Meet a need.
Another good way to start a business is to identify a gap in the market, and find a way to fill it. This way you’re sure to build up a strong customer base quickly, taking some of the risk out of starting your own venture. Plus, it’s great to feel as though you are making people’s lives better with your product or service. Is it difficult to find a good tailor in your area? Are there no good coffee spots on peak morning traffic routes? Is there a global trend that is yet to find its way to your city? Whatever the need may be, if you’re able to offer a good solution, you’re in business!
Follow your dream.
Do you daydream of a life you wish you had? Start a business that is line with achieving that dream and you’ll be sure to stay dedicated, as every step you take will be a step towards achieving your ultimate goal. If you didn’t have to deal with the limitations of money, work permits or education, what would you do? If you could choose anything in the world to be remembered for, what would it be? By connecting with this long-term vision for the future and making a solid plan for today, you’ll be able to start moulding your life into exactly what you want it to be.
Those were four different ways to start a new career, then there are also a number of things to avoid. Download our free guide '5 mistakes to avoid when starting a new career' to learn what they are and what to do instead. You can get it here
Have an amazingly good day!
HANNA GIRLING, wife, mother, business owner, mindset coach, sport enthusiast and forever an optimist.