“Those who do not remember the past are doomed to repeat it.”
We’ve seen and heard this saying countless times in our history books, and rightfully so. Entrepreneurs have long been doing business. Some have succeeded in the process, while quite a few have failed.
Why do startup businesses fail?
Surprisingly, there are failures because they have been doing the same thing over and over again while expecting different results. New entrepreneurs often fail to recognize the mistakes they’re making in starting their businesses, thus condemning them to repeat those errors all over again.
You can see a lot of do’s and don’ts when it comes to establishing your brand, but here are four of the deadliest mistakes newcomers are prone to commit.
Learning from a plethora of experienced entrepreneurs for around the globe, and my expertise included, here are some of the biggest mistakes you can make when it comes to starting your own business and what you can do about it.
Spotting these errors will help you anticipate for the times to come, and hopefully, it will help you avoid going off on the wrong foot and falling headfirst into failure.
1. Cost-Driven Decisions
From the starting capital to overhead expenses, cash is key in developing your own business. Many entrepreneurs start out with meager budgets. It’s important to remember that you’re not only opening a venture, but you’re also keeping it.
Capital is what pay wages, utility bills, loans, and branch rentals while your establishment acquaints itself with the market. Plan for the long run, be it six months to a year, and the years to come.
Another point that you need to take note is that as bad as overspending sounds, buying things you don’t necessarily need, spending money you don’t have, and underspending can be as equally detrimental to your business. Don’t be too afraid to spend money on what your business needs, just for the sake of saving money.
2. Don’t Underestimate Your Buyer
You’ve spent countless hours visualizing and honing the perfect product. Sorry to break it to you buddy, but the harsh reality of the business world is that the number one product is hardly ever the best product.
The sales marketing expert owns the best product. Look at the charts, and tell me who’s on top. These products are on top because they know how to work their sales and marketing strategies.
Always prioritize your clients. Understand your target audience. Get to know the demographics: age, gender, the level of education, interests, and occupation. You can conduct interviews from your previous customers, or have them fill out surveys and questionnaires. Once you get your clients onboard, and your ship is ready to sail.
3. Haven’t You Heard of Social Media?
I’ve only seen a handful of business owners fully utilize the internet in promoting their startups. Whether you’re running a laundry shop or a logistics service, you need the internet. You might be thinking, “Who looks for laundry shops on Facebook nowadays?” It doesn’t matter! Your customers are on the web, so you should be on it as well.
Put yourself out there. A lot of traditional businesses are dismissing the idea of using Facebook, Twitter, and other social media outlets in engaging with their audience. The usual radio, television, and print routes are very expensive and limited.
Take advantage of the technological revolution, embrace social media marketing.
4. Thinking (Too) Big
“I’m going to change the world,” is what every entrepreneur wishes to do when they venture out on startup businesses. If you begin with schemes that are too grand, chances are you won’t get anything done at all.
I’m not telling you to set your goals aside, but you need to keep them in mind as you work towards reaching it. Thinking too big can paralyze you, and will consequently lead to an unproductive flop of sales.
Instead, start small and grow from there. Make use of the resources at your disposal. Take things one at a time, and establish stability in your undertakings. As they say, “The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” Take it one step at a time.
In every journey, it is essential to have a clear map of the road you’re trekking. This same principle applies to entrepreneurship. Always have a roadmap that embodies your business’ mission, vision, and goals. Most importantly, watch out for the obstacles and dodge them.
Author: Iman Bahrani is the CEO and founder of Searchical AU, an online marketing solutions company. You can visit his website articles and content to browse his portfolio. Aside from being a successful, self-made entrepreneur, he also writes for technology and digital marketing based sites. During his free time, he loves to tinker with the latest piece of tech he can get on his hands.