Starting a business is a dream for many who seek to be their own boss and have the freedom to make their own schedule. Even though owning your own business will be an amazing experience, there are a few slip-ups that are common among new business owners:
- Being a leader
Many new owners find it difficult to be a leader. Speaking up, taking charge, making unpopular decisions, reprimanding and rewarding are all part of the job. Leadership and responsibility can be difficult to get used to, however done right will make your staff and your customers respect you. Without it, you are trying to sail a boat with no rudder.
- Ignoring the competition
A comprehensive competitor analysis is an important part of opening and runningyour business. You should know exactly what your competition is offering and where you are positioned in the market in relation to this. This knowledge helps you differentiate your business and ensures you are one step ahead of the competition. However, be conscious of not becoming a copycat of your competition.
Cash flow is one of the reasons many businesses fail. If you spend more money than earn, you will deplete your savings until there is no more cash left in the kitty. Spend money according to your income and project cash inflow frugally. Create detailed budgets that you stick to. Leeks, broken equipment and other unforeseen costs can happen at any time, so plan for this too.
- Not having contracts and a paper trail
Contracts and written agreements are your safety net if staff, partners, members or suppliers do not deliver on their promise. If you do not have a paper trail then there is no guarantee anyone will stick to their word. Rather be safe than sorry!
- Not planing or setting goals
If you fail to plan you plan to fail. Make sure you have a business plan that includes your strategy, vision, mission, marketing plan and budgets. Set SMART goals for your business (see our blog post about setting goals) that will help you lay out a step-by-step process to reach your vision.
Be mindful of these common mistakes and most importantly enjoy your growing business!