When you’re starting a small business, you hope it’s going to endure for years to come. Unfortunately, many small businesses close in their first year. Sometimes it’s due to circumstances outside of your control – if a big competitor moves into town with more resources than you can dream of, there’s nothing you can do about it. Sometimes, however, entrepreneurs are the architects of their own downfall.
Here are some of the biggest mistakes you can make, presented in the hope that this will help you avoid them.
It’s tempting to cut corners to save money in the early days of your business. This is only storing trouble for the future, however. If you need expert help, it’s worth paying out for it to insulate yourself from the consequences of future errors.
An example of this is when you’re getting contracts drawn up. If you pay for a contract lawyer to help you draft and review them, you’ll be left with watertight documents to make sure you have the goods and services you need. If you don’t do this and find yourself challenged, or forced into making unexpected payments down the line, you will have no one to fall back on.
Your staff are your biggest asset: they fill out the gaps in your skillset, and allow you to specialise in keeping the business running while they perform it’s everyday functions.
When you’re first hiring you may be tempted to hire reassuring people rather than the best for the job. It’s a mistake to bring in family and friends. It’s tempting because you’ll feel they will always back you up, but sometimes you need someone who will challenge you. Having a strictly professional relationship will make it easier to let someone go if you need to, as well, without causing the loss of a friendship.
Assuming Success Just Happens
Success takes a long time and hard work: customers will not simply come to you. You need to be prepared to be selling your business at every hour and minute of the day in order to find the loyal, slid customer base you need to put your business on a firm footing.
From attending local networking events, to finding cheap ways to generate publicity for your venture, this is all additional work on top of keeping the wheels of the business turning and you need to be prepared for it.