Starting a business is like raising a child, it can be incredibly stressful, incredibly rewarding and nobody does it perfectly. Every entrepreneur makes mistakes along the way, regardless of how prepared they might be, but there are a handful of common mistakes that historically have had detrimental results on the success of businesses.
With the Labor Bureau reporting in 2018 about 20% of businesses failing in their first year, and still about 50% of small businesses failing by their fifth year, it’s important for new business owners to learn from the experience of others.
Here are some of the big ones:
Not Delegating Enough
Most people ambitious enough to start a business, do so because they are competent and have a strong work ethic. Unfortunately, as much as this can be a strength it can also be a weakness. Because they are extremely capable they tend to take on too much, without delegating enough. This can cause burnout, overlooked details, and overall the business suffers. Doing an inventory of available resources, business owners can most likely remove a large number of things off their to do lists by delegating help to partners and employees.
Not Investing Enough
The old adage “You Get What You Pay For,” rings true when it comes to investing in a business as well. Because starting a new business can be such an overwhelming expense, many new business owners try to cut corners to save. Unfortunately sometimes these shortcuts can be obvious to the consumer. Whether its hiring the right help, investing in infrastructure or branding, setting a solid foundation for your business is vital in ensuring its longevity.
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The digital world we live in has created a whole new set of challenges for growing businesses. Online reviews, social media interactions, website performance and a million other variables can play in to the amount of credibility your business has with your target market. This also provides an incredible amount of opportunity for businesses to gain publicity, have conversations and interact with its community.
Marketing as An Afterthought
Along these same lines of building credibility, businesses should understand that marketing is almost the most important part of their business, when it comes to building credibility – and opportunities are everywhere. Most companies only think of marketing in terms of collateral materials and ads. But, alternatively, every element of a business holds an opportunity to market. Every employee, every business card, every email – provides businesses an opportunity to leave a lasting brand impression.