5 Common Business Start Up Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

POSTED: April 14, 2016 BY: CATEGORY:

It’s a well known fact that a large percentage of start up businesses don’t make it over the long term and this can be due to a number of different reasons. Over years of working with new brands, we have seen the challenges new businesses go through when they are getting themselves set up.

While each business is unique, there are a few common mistakes that we see over and over again, especially when it comes to marketing. While these mistakes are not necessarily fatal to your business, they can increase the likelihood that you will experience difficulties along the way.

Here are five of the most common business start up mistakes that you want to avoid in the early years.

1. Not specifying your target market

This is probably one of the most common mistakes that new businesses and even well established businesses make. Trying to create a product or service for everyone often means appealing to nobody. Rather than spend all your time and energy running around trying to appeal to everyone, you will probably have more luck focusing on one particular niche and going all out to exceed their expectations.

2. Confusing cash flow and profit

Cash flow issues can be a serious problem for businesses, especially in the early stages before there is a steady income established. Remember that cash is not the same as profit and even when you have money coming in you need to make sure it will be enough to meet your outgoings at any given time.

3. Not having a legal agreement in place with your partner

Not everyone is born to be an entrepreneur and while you can start off with the best of intentions, unexpected events or a change of heart can make things go very sour very quickly. A legal agreement can help you avoid disputes and grey areas should things go downhill and if one partner wants to continue, could enable them to do that with the minimum of disruption to the business.

4. Refusing to tell anyone about your idea

While it’s understandable that you don’t want to risk anyone stealing your big idea, being too secretive can also have a negative impact on your business growth. If you want to create a buzz around your new business and build some anticipation for your launch you will need to get the word out about your business and make your ideas public.

5. Lack of focus

Much like if you try to please everyone you end up pleasing nobody, if you try to do everything you could end up achieving very little. It’s a good idea to set goals for your business early on and decide where you want to focus your time and attention. While it’s normal for ideas to change and businesses to evolve as you go along, getting distracted and going off on tangents can lead to a lot of wasted time and money.

Starting your own business is exciting and probably a bit scary. If you can avoid some of the common pitfalls encountered by new business owners, you have the best chance of being able to keep your business growing, and succeeding over the long term.

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#Jo Macdermott - turning good businesses into great businesses is all in a day’s work for marketing consultant, Jo Macdermott. Jo leads Next Marketing, a multiple award winning business, which she has grown from scratch. Jo is commercial, empathetic and always has her eye on the end game.