- What if no one cares like I do?
- What if I can’t make a profit?
- What am I even doing?
These are normal fears, and I'd like to say they stem from a far-fetched state of paranoia. But the truth is not every venture succeeds. The good news, however, is that there are some steps you can take to increase your chances of success.
Here are my picks for the top five mistakes new businesses owners make as well as some advice on how to avoid them:
1. Not doing your homework: You need more than just a great idea. You should be doing plenty of research into the market, competing companies and products, and the exact amount of money you need to raise.
The solution here is simple: Do your homework. Make sure other people agree that your idea is a good one. Get feedback. Learn about your industry.
2. Being a technophobe: Small businesses and technology go hand in hand. Let your inner geek out. Embrace technology and all that it can do for your small business. And, while you're at it, be sure to take threats to your technology seriously. Back up and protect your data, and use firewall and antivirus software, for starters.
3. Bad money management: Starting a business without having basic money skills, and understanding basic business accounting and budgeting is just the same as driving with a bag over your head. The only way to take the bag off and see clearly is to take the time and learn a bit about business basics and accounting. You'll be glad you did.
4. Not enough marketing and advertising: How do customers find you? From your marketing and advertising. Yes, money might be tight, but there are tons of shoestring marketing options available. Come up with a marketing plan and stick to it.
5. Not getting the help you need: Too many new entrepreneurs think they can do it all. The problem is that we all have skills and abilities, but very few of us have all of the ones necessary to run a successful business, especially a startup business. Great entrepreneurs are great team builders. Take time to find the right people to help you.