None of us set out to make a mistake. But, we all make them and we learn from them. Unfortunately, that learning process isn’t always fun and can even inhibit your business from being as successful as it could be. That’s why I want to share a few common business building mistakes and how to change what you are doing.
Failing to do your Homework Before Launching
Businesses start with a good idea or a solution to a problem, and then many business owners dive right in and skip this essential step: doing your due diligence. You may be an expert in your industry and you may even have a great idea for a business. But, without doing your homework you make yourself vulnerable to making rookie mistakes.
Do your due diligence by finding out all you can about an opportunity, market, the competition and what it will take to be successful with your idea. My book, “Creating Freedom: What you Need to Know to be Successful in Network Marketing” is a guide to doing this and will help you lay a foundation for success.
Starting without a Strategic Plan
Part of doing your homework involves putting together a strategic plan. Without a plan, your business will drift aimlessly without bringing any real results, or even revenue, and will be more frustrating than rewarding.
Your plan should outline what your business will accomplish, what markets it will target, what goals it will meet within a specific time period and how it will operate. It should also include financial information, details about building a team and a clear mission.
Thinking you Know what your Customer Wants
A very common mistake even seasoned business professionals make is thinking they know what the customer wants. It’s so easy to get caught up in our product benefits, prices, business vision and goals that we start to assume we know what people want.
The problem with this is that until we talk to customers, we don’t really know what they are looking for. We may think we know, and we may even have a pretty good idea of what a market is looking for, but the information you will get from market research and even surveys and focus groups about what your customers want from your business is extremely valuable and will help you fill specific needs, making you more successful.
Underestimating your Capacity
Don’t underestimate what you can accomplish as a business leader and what your business can do. Underestimating your potential can lead to apathy, complacency and missed opportunities. When you are unsure of your capacity, you may forgo things that could lead to big results, hindering your business in the long run.
While it will require work, planning and savvy decision making, your business has the potential to reach lofty goals and bring you a lifestyle that offers ultimate freedom of time and money.
Trying to do it Alone
You don’t have to build your business alone. It is impossible for one person to take on all the administration, marketing, sales, bookkeeping and leadership responsibilities that building a business requires. While your business does start with your idea and you may be leading it, build a team of people who can help you make your vision a reality.
There are also people who have walked this path before and can mentor and guide you as you get things set up and grow your business. Experts and even local connections that have experience starting a business are valuable resources because they understand what it takes and can offer suggestions for conquering challenges and making your business more successful.
Neglecting the Books
Don’t fall into the trap of neglecting the books. Failing to take care of accounting paperwork, taxes, administrative filing, licenses, registrations, building inspections and other behind-the-scenes tasks from day one will lead to major headaches. Not only will you have to deal with these things all at once, when everything has piled up, but you could also be facing fines for neglecting legal requirements.
Work with an accountant, business coach and other experts to make sure you are on top of the bookkeeping that comes with owning a business. This will make the entire process of starting and building a business much, much easier.
Impatiently Giving Up
Anyone that has started a business knows that it takes time, dedication and above all, patience to see results. Chances are that you won’t see the results you want right away, but will slowly start to reach your goals. Running a successful business, earning a passive income and growing your organization to the point that you can work less and earn more takes time and hard work.
But, all the work you are putting into your business now will pay off, and as you avoid making these common mistakes, your business will become a reality that supports you and lets you do what you love.
If you are interested in learning more about doing your due diligence, creating a strategic business plan or starting a home-based business, contact me. I work with all kinds of leaders and entrepreneurs to help them build successful businesses.