If you are starting a small business, there are many things on your mind. As you are starting out, you may have an idea of what you will want your company to look like once it is up and running, but it is important not to let these imaginings take full control. Many small companies have their initial failings but will come to learn from them, but there are some things that you can knowingly avoid in order to make your new business endeavor a more successful one. Some trip-ups and rough beginnings are inevitable, but after all, why make mistakes if you know that you can avoid them?
Trying to Be Too Fancy
You may feel tempted to make your business as flashy as possible. You may want to think that top of the line equipment, expensive displays and artful designs will bring in more revenue, but these sorts of practices may only make your operations incredibly cost inhibitive. It really helps to look at what your small business is or what it hopes to be before looking into top of the line materials and other goods. If you have an office space, you will surely want to make it comfortable and inviting for workers and business partners but it also helps to accomplish this with a realistic budget in mind. You will want to be spending money where it really needs to be spent, especially when you are first starting out. Doling out dough before you even make money is never a good idea. The old adage tells us that “You need to spend money to make money” but you need to be spending where it counts, first. You can think about upgrades once your business is off the ground and begins to yield considerable profits.
Not Setting Realistic Goals
Newsflash: Saying that you want a company that is successful or that you wish to make a million dollars by the end of your first year are not real business goals. When it comes to motivating yourself and your business, you will need to be realistic and push yourself to meet reasonable goals. Before you can make your first million dollars, you will need to make sure that you have a substantial but manageable inventory, that you build and foster an interested client base, that you establish a unique brand and web presence and that you have a thorough business plan written up and ready to put in action
Focusing Too Much on Money
Many small businesses want to start out with a significant amount of capital right from the get-go and spend a lot of their time and energy applying for loans, grants and entering small business contests and sweepstakes. While having some funding behind your business endeavors is smart, it is important to remember to focus on your actual business as well. If you are too concerned with making money and having money, then your business will not be getting the input it needs in order to generate revenue. Businesses rarely boom right out of the gate and instead need to be nurtured and encouraged over time, much like a plant or a flower. Things may start out slow, but it is important that you do not get too hung up on the bounty before even putting in the effort required to reap it in the end!
Ignoring Your Finances
Ideally, you should be managing your books from the moment you start your business, and by that it generally means from the moment your company is conceived and not when it first opens for business. Money will be going into starting your business, planning your business and bolstering its efforts, so it helps to begin documenting your spending the moment you spend your first dollar. Many small businesses ignore their financials until they get on their feet or when they feel as if they are losing money, but preparing and maintaining accurate records can prevent incidents from happening and it can also help you make better business decisions early on.
Being Too Persistent in the Wrong Ways
Everyone wants to be driven and reach their goals, and in order to do that you will need to be motivated and not give up. But not every single aspect of your early business model should be fought tooth and nail for. You may have thousands ideas for products you could sell or avenues your business can explore, but as you begin to make preparations and actually begin to do business, you will find that some things just don’t work. You may feel discouraged from giving up on an idea or letting something go, but sometimes it is for the better. If something just isn’t working, not selling or is costing your company too much money without yielding enough of a return, it may be wise to cool your engines and pull back a little.
Starting and running your own business involves a lot of trial and error, and the most valuable thing that you can glean from this process is experience. It helps to begin a project with a set goal and a plan of action, but it also helps to understand that things change and that there is immense value in adapting and evolving as a business, as a business owner, and as a driven and successful individual.