It’s easy enough to start a business — come up with a product idea, file some paperwork, build your product, and launch it to customers. However, seeing success and growing a large company that makes enough money isn’t easy.
It’s even harder when you know that 20% of small businesses fail in the first year. You have to do everything right to avoid falling into that statistic.
If you want to maximize the chances of success for your business, knowing common mistakes for business owners is critical. Below are seven common mistakes that many business owners make.
Having no Goals
It’s great to have a product people want — you know there are customers out there and can put together a plan to reach them. However, having a long-term vision is hard when you have no goals. This leads to people not taking the right actions and staying unproductive.
Setting business goals will help drive your business forward. These goals should be more than revenue numbers. Your goals should be something that gets you and your team excited.
Take a company that solves a big problem, for instance. You can create a goal for helping a certain number of people by a specific date. This goal is more exciting than revenue because it shows your company is making a real impact.
Bad Product Validation
Countless people come up with product ideas that appear to solve a problem people have. Although some of those products may be good for your individual needs, they may not work well as consumer products people buy.
You need to validate your product with the market before you invest too much money. If you need help with this process, look for a business innovation partnership to get help coming up with and validating ideas.
This is possible by documenting everything about your product and letting your target customers know what you have. You can get feedback on your idea and learn if it’s something people want to buy. There are three common outcomes to this situation:
- You have a product people want and can proceed
- You need to make a few tweaks to make your product more appealing
- You have a product people don’t like and should move on to something else
Failure to Delegate
It’s hard to let go of control as a business owner. Whether you’re starting a business or have been running for a while, you want everything done a certain way, so you keep doing things yourself instead of trusting others.
The problem is that you only have so many hours in the day. You don’t have the resources to handle everything that needs to be done — especially when you grow and have more to do.
Don’t hesitate to hire talented people to take on some of that work. Give those individuals the freedom to do their work. When you do, you can focus your energy on the tasks you’re best at doing.
Not Saving Money
It’s tempting to reinvest all your profit back into your company when you start. You want to grow as much as possible, so you take a lot of risks that may not work out well.
The problem is that you’re not building a safety net for your business. You may have a reliable income source today, but that doesn’t mean it will stick around in the future.
Your business will be in trouble if you don’t have any cash reserves. Focus on building your bank account to prepare for future problems.
Not Tracking Invoices
Even in consumer businesses, you’ll probably have companies that you invoice. This is common when you sell wholesale. Big buyers want to pay on net terms, so they won’t pay for your products until weeks or months after you ship.
Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for a few of those companies to miss payments. If you rely on these invoice payments to run your business, these missed payments can strain your company’s resources.
Stay on top of late invoices and follow up on people who are late.
No Marketing Plan
Great products aren’t worth much if they never make it into the hands of consumers. You can have a great product out there that’s better than your competition, but without a way to gain visibility in the market, you won’t make many sales.
You need a great marketing plan to do this — and with the internet, you have plenty of options available.
Look at where your customers hang out online and create a marketing plan to reach those people. Marketing businesses online like this offers a fantastic ROI since you can use data to target your ideal customers. You can also collect insights from your marketing results to optimize your campaigns for better returns.
Not Planning for Risk
There’s a lot that can go wrong in business. While you may not experience this happening often, when it does, it can create havoc in your entire organization.
That’s why it’s important to understand your company’s risks and create a plan to deal with problems when they occur. Sit down and brainstorm with your team to imagine scenarios that negatively impact your business.
You can use this information to create a plan of action for those situations. It may not stop problems from occurring, but it will help you respond quickly and minimize the damage.
Avoid Common Mistakes for Business Owners
It’s hard enough to run a successful business when you do everything right. You have to find the right customers for your products and prove you’re better than the competition. It’s even harder when you make common mistakes for business owners.
You can’t afford to waste time fixing things when trying to build a business. Now that you know some of the most common mistakes, you can avoid making them and focus on your business owner responsibilities that will help you drive your company forward.
Are you interested in more advice that will help you push your company toward success? Check out more posts on the blog to find more excellent business advice.