5 Mistakes I Made Starting a Business

It is no news again that over  70% new small-scale businesses die in less than 5 years of formation. Statistics has shown that this percentage increases as time goes on.

And the cause of  this failure is not far fetched. This blog post is about me though 🙂

Starting a business that would stand and be successful is not always an easy task. The aim of setting up businesses is always to make a profit, although a business could be to fulfill a charitable mission, thereby making it non-profitable. But in any case, weather to make a profit or not, it is aimed that the business will stand the
taste of time and not collapse after a while.

Now that you are about to start your own business, you must be feeling very excited because it is a vision coming to reality and a dream that is just about to come through.

Anytime in life, you fail to plan about anything you have coming up, you are simply planning to fail. Therefore, take your time to do a proper business plan for the business you have in mind so that business can stand. Being motivated and eager for the business you are about to start is very good, but do not forget that it is not a small task, so you have to be ready for whatever it would take.

As we already know, not every business stands as proposed by the owners. Some fail during some years of operation while still trying to stand their ground, and others still fail when they have stood their ground. So the big question here is how do you set up the business you have in mind and keep it running as it stands the
taste of time.

Other than the major startup business mistakes listed in business books, As a newbie, there are things we ignore that aren’t meant to be ignored. But with research and experience, I have put together these five that you must
avoid as it is always there for every newbie – I am not a PRO now though.

5 mistakes I should have avoided when I started my first business:

1. NOT MAKING A BUSINESS PLAN – PLANNING FAILURE

when starting or setting up a new business, the first thing that you must do is to make a proper plan – Business plan. Starting a business without a vital plan on ground is a business killer and one of the major reasons
many businesses fail at an early stage. Remember the saying, “when you fail to plan; you plan to fail.” Every successful business you see today was well planned in the beginning, so as a newbie, write down your business plan even if it is not well detailed.

There are some essential questions that your business plan should be able to answer; these question include:

  • Who are the target audience?
  • What would be the cost of setting up and buying commodities?
  • At what rate would the commodities be sold?

Your business plan should also contain a layout of your short time goals, long term goals, and the societal need that the business aims to solve. The business plan would help you to always be organized and not leave the track you are running on.

When running a business, it is very vital to be organized because you will probably have many things happening at the same time. You should have a daily to do list, containing your daily activities listed in its order of priority. It helps make your daily activity running smoothly. It may sound funny but believe you me, it works and helps in your daily productivity level.

It may be time-consuming and even demanding to draw out your plan, but it will surely save you time and money in the long run.

2. MANAGEMENT AND DELEGATING FAILURE

When running a business, do not do everything yourself. Even if it is a small business, it must involve many different tasks that you have to involve others because of time factor and also to get ideas from them because two heads are better than one.

Do not make the mistake of trying to do it all and increase the chance of your new business succeeding by getting the help you need from outside hire staff and outsource to make the most of your skills and benefit from outside too. For example, hiring a marketer to run the business marketing will safe you a lot of energy and time

When you start a new business, it is very important to draw distinctive lines between every worker and their offices. When running your own business, it is necessary to note that you are not a coworker and also should keep friendship aside. You have to make everyone’s job description clear to them.

One of the most important steps to take in other to ensure a successful business if to understand and master how to assign duties to your workers and supervise and guide them as the team leader.

Be a boss to all as you keep a friendly and open relationship with them so that they can perform their duties and tasks without fear and deliver good results. Inspire your workers by being a good leader worth following so that they can work hard for the growth and success of the business.

3. WORKING WITH FRIENDS RATHER THAN PARTNERS

You should be a leader here, not a friend this doesn’t mean you should be enemies
no but in you friendliness, the leader should be recognized and accorded the proper
respect.

When you start your own business, it is very important to always have this in mind.
You have to note that business is business, so you have to keep things professional
and keep friendship aside.

As a new business, you have to avoid working with friends thinking that you have like minds and so will make your vision come to be in an easier or faster way.
Many newbies have made this choice, and it turned out to be a big mistake they would have simply avoided by working with them as business partners or simply hiring business partners from outside.

Working with friends can be a very catastrophic decision to make in business because of the questions that are not always attended to.

These questions include:

  • How do you shear the business duties
  • Who takes an added task to handle for the business
  • How do you shear the income of the business
  • Who will be the final decision maker

These kinds of questions not only does it always end up wreaking havoc upon the
vision of the business; it also breaks the initial friendship. It is more advisable to
take your friends as business clients.

4. BAD SPENDING HABITS

As a new business, one thing that you should avoid doing is spending more than
you earn when you can actually spend less and have the same result. Know how to
regulate your expenses by being responsible with the rate at which the business
takes in money through seels and payout for its needs in other to carry on
operation.

For the business to be productive, up and running, you have to make sure that you
are hiring the right people and not just hire anybody. Spend money wisely and
focus on achieving your goal this will help save your time and money, which is
very essential for the business to stand.

Most businesses does not make profits when they start initially so it is very
important to have money for sustenance as the business grows. Spending what
should have been reinvested into the business on self or elsewhere is a very bad
habit that should be avoided.

When hiring people to work for you have to know when to hire full-time workers
and when to hire on contract basis. Know when to higher experts and when not to
hire experts.

As the business starts making profits as the owner you need to pay yourself and
this should not be too high or low. This is always a very difficult decision to make
when compared to deciding on an employee’s salary.

5. NOT BEING READY FOR DIFFICULT TIMES

Today many businesses have failed because from the beginning, the owners didn’t
make plans for hard times. They only plan for success but alas things don’t always
go as planned.

In other to overcome probable difficult times and to save the business from failing,
always make accommodations for had times that are yet to come because owning a
business is not always easy so had times will surely come.

When you see signs of a problem(s) before they come to be and recognize what it
means then the problem is already half solved. At this stage if you have planned
beforehand you will be able to prevent it from happening or at least prevent the bad
situation already happening from becoming worse.

This is a very important note to take so that your business will not fail especially
when it has to do with your capital.

One of the great ways of preparing yourself or business beforehand for difficult
times is to affect a correct bookkeeping process measure. Overtime keeping a
correct bookkeeping process has been shown to be very effective in helping
business owners see things early and to make smarter resolutions.

Of course, you know that understanding your business cash flow helps you in
managing and growing the business.

In conclusion,

One good thing to have in mind is that starting and growing a business is a gradual process so inculcate the virtue of patience and perseverance.
Do not be afraid of mistakes or failure instead learn from your mistakes whenever it occurs and prevent its future occurrence. Bring out time to think, study and understand the business you are getting into.
Never neglect your customers. Always meet the needs of your customers while ensuring a strong customer base relationship and you will not regret doing so.

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