These days, it’s easier than ever for an aspiring entrepreneur to turn their business ideas into a reality.
With a negligible amount of capital, you can get yourself set up on an ecommerce platform, network with other bright professionals on LinkedIn, and then start selling!
While there have certainly been worse times to be an entrepreneur, starting and running a profitable business is no walk in the park! The road to success is fraught with risks and opportunities for mistakes, which you need to avoid at all costs.
Here are some of the biggest mistakes commonly made by small business owners…
Thinking You’ll Get Rich Quick
I hate to break it to you, but overnight success is extremely rare, so rare that it’s almost certain that you won’t achieve it.
That’s nothing to do with your skills as an entrepreneur; some of the greatest businessmen and women in history have taken decades to get from where they started to where they peaked.
If you’re starting your business hoping to be rich overnight, then you may be sorely discouraged, and wind up giving up on your dream before it has the chance to really blossom.
Forgetting the Competition
You may have decided to start your business in the first place because you’ve come up with the latest, greatest, most cutting-edge approach to a problem to come along in generations.
Even if you’re sitting on the best idea since sliced bread, it’s a big mistake to assume you have no competition, or to get complacent by ignoring it.
Competition is much more than the businesses you share your specific niche with. It’s all the alternatives to your product or service as well.
Think about what your target audience could do instead of paying for whatever you’re selling. Perhaps they could do nothing at all? The customer usually has some option to simply walk away, and this alone can be a major threat!
Forgetting the Law
In today’s culture, it can be hard enough remembering all the laws an individual has to abide by. When you’re running a business, things become much more complicated and hard to digest.
While making sure your business is registered properly and that it’s paying all the tax it needs to isn’t the most exhilarating part of being an entrepreneur, neglecting the law can destroy a promising business overnight.
Make sure that all your workers are documented properly, that the business is registered as the correct structure, and that you’re keeping to any standards specific to your industry.
Perhaps the most important part of legal compliance is health and safety. Health and safety training, such as that provided by Croner, is important because it protects the well being of employers, visitors and customers.
Those who opt out of workplace health and safety training risk prosecution, may lose staff, and may increase costs and reduce profitability. Don’t lose your business to one little slip-up!
Being a Weak Leader
It may surprise you, but this is one of the most common issues that hold back a lot of potentially successful businesses. Many entrepreneurs start their business simply because they have a passion for a certain industry niche, and want to get more satisfaction from their day-to-day work.
When they start actually running the business, they get a rude awakening that their leadership skills aren’t quite up to the task. The success of any company depends, in one way or another, on the guidance of a strong and effective leader.
This doesn’t mean that you have to be a sinister Mr Burns type figure, but you don’t want to be a David Brent either. A great leader will set the course for their team, stand by their decisions, and motivate every employee towards their next big milestone.
Being a Workaholic
Every big project takes heaps of hard work, and running a successful business is certainly no exception. You’re going to have to make a lot of sacrifices to get your idea off the ground, but you shouldn’t put your personal life on hold just to guarantee the success of your business.
If you let this bad habit become the norm, both your business and your personal life will suffer. Give it your full attention and effort, but only in concentrated bursts.
Just like an Olympic athlete going for gold, you need to make room for a healthy diet, time for breaks, a decent amount of sleep, and of course a bit of fun. Make a point of balancing your business and personal life, and both will benefit from it.