It isn’t easy to get a business up and running. Often, business owners will struggle to get their venture past the startup stage, however there are many steps you can put in place to avoid this.
Today, we’ll be looking at the 5 most common startup business mistakes entrepreneurs often make, helping to steer you in the right direction.
Planning isn’t the most fun part of starting a business, but it’s certainly the most vital. Without a solid business plan in place, as well as a financial and marketing plan, it can be difficult for startups to get ahead. A clear and well-thought-out plan prevents you from navigating your business in the dark, plus it gives you a distinct direction in which to follow.
Remember, one of the most important parts of business planning is business idea research, as you need to first determine whether there is a market for your product or service.
Not Setting Clear Goals or Targets
Just like a business plan, goals can give you direction and help to keep you on track. While many of us will think about our goals, it is important to go one step further and actually write them down, along with the steps required to achieve each one.
It’s also vital that you review your goals regularly, or at least have them in the back of your mind to steer you along in your day-to-day activities. Then, when the going gets tough (which it so often does with a startup), you can review your goals to remind you why you’re doing what you do.
Having a Poor Understanding of Your Target Audience
Remember how we mentioned earlier that you need a marketing plan? A vital component of this plan is to know exactly who your target customer or audience is, along with their wants, needs, and more. Successful market research will also allow you to identify who you are trying to reach, where you can find them and how they will react to your marketing activities. After all, there’s no point having an amazing product or service if it isn’t reaching the people who will actually want it.
Not Embracing Marketing
Speaking of marketing and market research, you’ll need to embrace both in order to succeed with your startup. Many entrepreneurs fail to do so at the beginning of their journey, seeing marketing as a costly, yet unnecessary expense. Marketing is vital for spreading the word about your new venture, along with that you have to offer and why you’re unique. Even if you’re lucky enough to have customers finding you, just imagine how much your business can grow when you put yourself out there, whether it’s through social media, paid advertisements, sponsored posts, or more.
Undervaluing Your Products or Services
While we all love good value, sometimes offering unrealistically cheap products or services isn’t a good thing. Not only does undervaluing what you have to offer result in less profit for your startup, but it also gives potential customers a dilemma. You see, many people believe that cost is a true sign of quality, and therefore may avoid your product to opt for something that instills a bit more confidence in them.
To avoid this, explore your market thoroughly, before identifying the best price entry point for what you’re selling. You’ll also need to be realistic about how much production costs, factoring in the value of your own time.
By avoiding these 5 common startup mistakes, you can give yourself a greater chance of growing your startup into a truly successful venture.
Do you currently run a startup or are you thinking about starting your own business? What mistakes have you made in the past? Do you have any other tips for aspiring entrepreneurs?
We’d love to hear from you in the comments below.