Starting a business is a dream for many people. However, it can also create a world of problems. Those problems can make it seem like your business idea isn’t viable and it could even lead you to believe that you don’t have what it takes to be a business owner. While it’s true that starting. Owning, and running a business isn’t for everyone, there are some blunders you can avoid that could make your first steps easier.
Not Taking the Time to Know What You Really Want to Do
From the very beginning stages of planning, you should take the time to figure out what you really want to do in business. There’s the old saying that if you do what you love, you’ll never have to work a day in your life. The saying isn’t entirely true, of course, but it’s important that you think about what you’re willing to exchange your time to build.
Also, keep in mind what comes along with what it is that you want to do. We’re not necessarily talking about the administrative side of running a business. We mean considering every step that you must take to provide for your clients. This actually leads us to our next blunder to avoid when starting a business.
You Don’t Assess the Capital You’ll Need to Start Your Business
Not every business requires a huge amount of capital to start. Most don’t. Many people start and continue to run a lean business. The term “lean,” at its simplest, means to wisely invest money into your business when it needs it. It means you don’t pay more than you should and you cut the bells and whistles.
There’s a good chance that you already have at least some of what you need to start a service-based business.
- Do you have a laptop or a desktop? It doesn’t have to be brand new. It just needs to get the job done.
- Do you need a printer? If you really need one, do you have one that you can use or can you use a printing service that’s near your location?
- Do you have the software that you need to serve your clients? This is the main area where people should place their focus. Know the cost of the software that you’ll need to provide for your clients. Are you buying a yearly license or is the license for life? Do you need a license for any person who works for you? Is the license per computer? There are a lot of considerations.
- What will you spend in marketing for the first quarter or first year? It can be overwhelming to think about the first year of a small business and the money that you may need to invest. It’s okay to think smaller, such as in quarters or months. And, yes, it is okay to only have an estimate.
- Do you need a special license or permit? You need to account for the cost of that as well as what it will cost you in the future to renew it.
Some things you don’t see on that list include dedicated office space, office staff, or a phone line exclusively for your business. You may want to have these things, but they aren’t necessary for starting a business. If you have the funds for them and want them, that’s great! Just don’t let the lack of those things stop you from getting started.
You Don’t Research Your Target Audience
Starting a business is not like the field of dreams. If you build it, they still may not come. The Internet is both a blessing and a curse. It gives people just like you the opportunity to reach more of your target market. It also gives your target audience more choices.
Researching your target audience is crucial. You need to know their main pain points, how what you do solves those pain points, and what you offer to them that others in your industry do not. You also need to know where to find your target audience and what type of material will be most effective in capturing their attention.
You Don’t Research Your Competition
Check out what others in your industry are doing online. How are they addressing the market? What sort of content do they provide? What is their website like? What social media platforms are they on? Are people engaging with them? If so, why? Are they sponsoring posts?
As you do this research, think about the services that you both offer and how what you offer differs. Are they missing something key that the market really needs? If they are, could you provide it?
You Don’t Have a Business Plan
Even if you’re starting with what is now known as a “side hustle,” a business plan is an important tool. It’s not only used by businesses that want to get an investor or a loan. A business plan is a roadmap to help you become successful. A business plan generally includes an executive summary, a description of your business, marketing strategies, an analysis of your competition, an analysis of your target audience and what you offer them, a development plan, an operations and management plan, and how you plan to finance the business.
You Think You Need Investors
When you bring in investors, you’re usually trading out some of the ownership of your business in exchange for their investment. If you have one or more investors interested, be very careful. You do not want to exchange too much of your ownership. You could end up losing control of your company.
There are numerous television shows that glamorize the idea of getting investors. It’s not as easy as television makes it look. If you don’t have a proven business model that’s already working and if you don’t have a plan to continue to grow, it is unlikely that investors will be interested because it creates too big of a financial risk.
When starting a small business, it’s best to keep your overhead low and finance it yourself until the business begins turning a profit and you can invest that money back into the business and eventually pay yourself.
Get Help with Your Business
If you started a business and need help with the administrative side of things so you have enough time to focus on bringing in new clients, schedule your free consultation with Clients ARM. Let us show you how we can provide you with the support you need in a way that is cost-effective. With more than 30 years of experience, you can rest easy knowing that your business is in the best possible hands!