Every day more and more people start their own businesses. Maybe you have done that too, or possibly you’re thinking of it. Great!
Self-employment is an exciting way of life; one that offers endless possibilities when it comes to your lifestyle, income, and freedom to do what you want. There are some hurdles at the start as you can imagine, and certainly, there are many aspects of self-employment that a newcomer like you needs to learn and discover.
There are some mistakes you will also have to make to learn how to run your own business too. Some of those will not cause much damage apart from hurt pride but others will have the potential to really injure your company.
Sometimes though, it is better to learn from someone else’s experience and that’s why today I decided to tell you about top mistakes most start-up business makes at the beginning.
The good news is that none of them are unavoidable. However, some, if made can cause a permanent damage to your company.
Not having a business plan
A business plan is the first thing every business should create before commencing operations. Unfortunately, many newcomers in business write one only when their bank requests it to process their loan application.
In reality, neglecting to carefully map out your business, checking whether your idea is even feasible and planning how you want to run and finance your company is practically a recipe for a disaster.
Cutting costs on branding
Branding is simply your business identity. From the name it will be trading as to the way you will be present it to prospects and all marketing collateral in between.
All your business materials should be polished and professional. This is not the area to go cheap and work out stuff yourself, unless you deliberately want to make bad first impression of course.
Getting people to know and trust your business to buy from it should be the single most important task for you to focus on. Unfortunately, many newly self-employed people avoid doing this focusing all their efforts on their great idea instead while running a few ads in local papers.
A lack of marketing strategy means that your business will not grow as quickly as it should, or at all.
If you’re committing this mistake already and are looking for some great advice on where to begin fixing it, read Duct Tape Marketing by John Jantsch, the best guide to marketing for small business.
Overcomplicating the message
Many young businesses also do not realize that their message may be obvious to them but it’s not to their prospects, therefore they write to themselves not to a potential buyer.
Instead you should research how to communicate your message clearly to the people you want to buy from you.
Setting prices too low
Another common mistake is pricing your services or products too low to attract buyers.
It is great to have jobs in and make money, sure but only if they cover the cost of delivering whatever you offer. If you accept work below the cost you are practically killing your business before it even had a chance to take off.
Focusing on too many things at the same time
Self employment is about wearing many hats, true. But you should master them one at a time. Many young entrepreneurs though try to be the best at everything at once. As a result, they are unable to do even a single aspect of their company well.
Not keeping track of finances
Sometimes it’s better not to know how much (or little) money is on your business account, especially at the start. However not tracking how your business performs, how are your sales going can cause you to do not be able to react quickly to any potential financial problems that may arise.
As a business person, at any time you should know at least how much money you are being owed, how much or realistic income you have in the sales pipeline and how does that set your finance for the immediate future. There are some easy ways to do that and I will share with you how I do this in one of the next week’s posts.