Everyone stumbles at some point and entrepreneurs are no exception. Launching a new business requires a lot from the person behind the idea. Strategies and tasks that could potentially make or break the brand easily fall through the cracks.
Here’s the good news: Countless people have traveled the path you’re walking down. Learn from their mistakes to avoid the most common missteps that cause a great idea to sputter and fail.
6. Miscalculating how much (or how little) to spend
Successfully starting a business requires at least some cash up front and strict budgeting to ensure the funds are put to good use. But many entrepreneurs go to the extreme in one way or the other: They either penny pinch to the detriment of their business, or overspend in an attempt to turn a profit quickly.
Be strategic with the money at your disposal, but don’t be too scared to invest in your idea. Focus on spending to ensure quality products and customer satisfaction, and cutting costs wherever possible to balance things out.
Check out these Biz.me articles for more financial advice:
- Just starting? 6 legal and financial ducks to line up
- Get detailed, be realistic: budgeting tips for freelancers and microbusinesses
- Keep your business secure and thriving with these four tips
- How much should branding really cost?
- Save time and minimize financial headaches with these four accounting tools
5. Being too controlling
The passion and connection entrepreneurs have toward and with their businesses make it possible to push through failures and setbacks. But that same passion and connection can cause some to micromanage every aspect of their business.
Don’t be afraid to outsource and hire employees once you’re in the financial position to do so. And don’t forget to maintain and leverage your network. Interacting with people in your industry and other entrepreneurs gives you access to a wealth of ideas and individuals who can (and want to) help you when you’re faced with issues you aren’t sure how to handle.
Read these Biz.me articles for more ideas on networking and hiring exceptional employees on a budget:
- Attract amazing talent on (almost) any budget with these 4 ideas
- Step outside the box: creative networking ideas to build connections and create new opportunities
- 18 ways to network, increase visibility and build trust with LinkedIn
4. Overlooking the importance of marketing
It’s surprisingly common for entrepreneurs to be so enamored with their new business and the products they’re offering that they fail to focus on getting exposure. Word-of-mouth and referrals are exceptional—especially when you’re tight on funds. But, they don’t replace more active marketing tactics.
Paid advertising, content marketing and social media marketing have a dramatic impact on the growth of a new brand. There are plenty of ways to tackle this aspect of business without breaking the bank, so make sure you’re prioritizing marketing almost as much as you are product development and customer service.
Jump into these Biz.me articles for more ideas on marketing your business on a budget:
- When your marketing budget and home utility budget match
- 12 cheap marketing ideas that work
- Harness the power of freebies
- Cross promotions: partner up and expand your base
And don’t forget to check out these articles on social media marketing:
- A comprehensive guide to marketing and selling on Instagram
- The ultimate guide to selling and marketing to 70 million Pinterest users
- Facebook ads 101: campaigns, sets and ads
- YouTube 101: getting started and growing your channel
- Marketing and selling on the world’s largest social media platform
- Dive into the conversation: a guide to marketing, networking and cultivating relationships on Twitter
3. Focusing more on products than customers
Yes, the success of your business hinges on the quality of the product(s) you’re offering. But don’t cut corners when it comes to customer service and satisfaction. Loyal customers are infinitely more profitable than single-purchase customers, and it’s cheaper to get your current customers to open their wallets than it is to find new ones.
Prioritize your base: Invest in customer service and satisfaction strategies, even if it means waiting a bit to launch a new product.
Peruse these Biz.me articles for ways to keep your base happy and engaged:
- 5 tried-and-true ways to improve customer satisfaction
- Elevate customer support with these tips
- Simple yet powerful customer retention strategies
- Winning back inactive customers
- Reel in lapsed customers with these tips and tricks
2. Misunderstanding their customer base
When a business launches without a strong understanding of exactly who it’s targeting, it will almost always fail. You can’t please everyone, you can’t serve everyone, and you can’t cast a wide net and expect sustainable growth.
Spend ample time researching your target audience and the demand for your idea before launching. And, continue keeping your finger on your base’s pulse as you grow. You’ll need to make constant adjustments as you move forward and receive feedback from customers, but the extra effort will help you build a thriving brand.
Look through these Biz.me articles for more ideas on learning about your target audience:
- Improve your products and grow with market research
- Understanding why people close the tab
- Beginner’s guide to creating an actionable customer database
1. Forgetting they’re human
There’s a rush that comes from seeing your idea flourish. And when that adrenaline is pumping, all it takes is a few extra cups of coffee to work the hours necessary to build a successful brand. But if you don’t prioritize yourself on occasion, the burnout could drive you and your budding business into the ground.
Schedule time to decompress. Remember that failure is just a method that didn’t work and not a reflection of your abilities. And step away from the computer and find ways to reignite the passion that drove you to start a business in the first place.
Take a breather and read these Biz.me articles for more ideas on taking care of yourself and working past roadblocks:
- 5 self-care tips to ramp up productivity
- The struggle is real, but these 5 entrepreneurs are sharing what works
- Create that elusive work-life balance with these tips, direct from other entrepreneurs
- Work the perks, avoid the pitfalls: staying productive as a freelancer
Even if you’ve committed one (or more) of these mistakes, you can still adjust course and get your business moving in the right direction again. Learn from every misstep along the way, and you’ll be even more prepared to manage a successful business.