Launching your own business is an exciting endeavor. There are two common emotions that most entrepreneurs feel when they take the bold step of starting a new business: excitement and fear. The former is a good feeling that will sustain you through the early ups and downs of business. The latter will derail your success and lead you off the path to success. As you navigate the entrepreneurial road toward creating a new startup, you need to maintain your focus and avoid these seven costly mistakes that can hamper the future of your new company.
Don’t be Afraid to Fail
This might seem like a routine life lesson, but it is applicable to the world of business as well. As you think back on your childhood, did you let the fear of failure prevent you from learning to ride a bike? What about getting your driver’s permit and license? Fear of failure is a natural human emotion. Accept that it will occur, and push through the fear. Your business might fail; it might not. You won’t know for sure until you throw caution to the wind and follow your dream.
Don’t Delay Your Launch
You have undoubtedly been scheming, dreaming, and planning of launching your own startup for months, if not years. During this time, you’ve honed in on the niche for your product or service and perfected your business plan. You’ve got all your ducks in a row, so don’t delay launching your business any longer. The more time you waste worrying about the validity of your product or service, the greater the risk that the market becomes saturated or another company establishes itself as a leader in the niche.
Don’t Forget About Branding
No matter how confident you are in the quality of your product or service, consumers aren’t going to immediately trust your new business. You need to take time in the early weeks and months to work on branding. Building a brand image helps establish your company as a leader in the industry, creates buzz about your business, and leads more consumers to your company. A strong brand image generates credibility and establishes a clear voice for your company’s message.
Don`t Overpay Yourself
Your new business isn’t going to start making millions in profit right out of the gate. Success is a game of patience, not a smash-and-grab activity. Managing your finances during the startup process is critical, and that starts with the salary you take home. Keep a close eye on the income and expenses of your business, and make sure that the salary you take home is reasonable in comparison to the income, expenses, and taxes your company faces.
Don’t Forget to Market
Alongside building a brand image, you’ll need to market your new company. The best product in the world is useless if no one knows about it. Analyze your budget to determine how much you can afford to spend on marketing, and select the marketing channels that allow you to maximize your budget while reaching a broad consumer base.
Don’t Rush to Hire More Employees
The life of an entrepreneur can be a lonely one, and is often filled with long days and weekend hours. Hard work built this country, and its hard work that will build your startup into a successful, sustainable business. You should avoid hiring new employees at all costs until you are certain your business can financially support those employees. Remember, each employee you hire is more than an hourly wage. You’ll face other expenses such as liability insurance, office supplies, healthcare costs, and benefits for each employee you hire.
Don’t Forget Due Diligence
The final thing you need to do before officially launching that startup is conducting your due diligence. Check and double check paperwork you’ve completed to incorporate your business, deals you have signed with suppliers, shipping expenses, and even contracts you’ve signed for tech services. It is easy to feel overwhelmed, so take the extra time to go back and double check everything. Make sure you dotted all the I’ s and crossed all the T’s.
Entrepreneurs play a vital role in the American and global economy. Small businesses employ millions of Americans and meet consumer needs that some international corporations simply cannot. By following these helpful hints, you can avoid the mistakes that often doom startups.