Mistakes to avoid when starting your own business

Startup business

Starting your own business is a risk, but what worthwhile reward in life doesn’t come with some form of risk? It’s hard work, and essentially you have to learn as you go along. You may have a special skill which you will leverage on to get your business going, but at the end of the day you’ll learn that you need to become a master of a number of different skills. We take a look at 7 lessons you may want to think about when starting up your own business.

  1. The small business syndrome

Your new business is going to require a serious balancing act on your part. You’ll be required to work harder than you ever thought you would. Gone are those 9 to 5 days, and you better start getting used to eating lunch on the run. It’s a good position to be in if you have too much work to handle, but it could also be a detrimental position as you’ll also probably find that you still can’t afford the assistance of permanent staff.

This is the problem, and a situation where you’ll need to ensure you get the balance right. You’ll need to put in a lot of work yourself, and let the business grow slowly. Make use of temporary staff and freelancers as and when you need them, rather than hiring permanent employees. This will also prevent your sleepless nights during those quieter months when you worry about how you are going to pay salaries.

  1. Jack of all trades

Initially you’re going to want to put money back into the business in order to ensure the growth of your new baby. This means you may have to do certain functions yourself in order to cut back on costs. In no time at all you’ll be the master of cold calls, the public speaker that would make Trevor Noah proud, and the book keeper you never thought you could become. All of this while still making sure your products and services are the best they can be.

  1. Make sure your customers love your idea as much as you do

It is a very good idea to make sure your idea is as awesome to your prospective clients as it is to you. Swallow your pride and get constructive criticism about what you are offering. You’ll be better off in the end. What would the point be of putting your life into something that people aren’t actually going to buy any way. Do a little market research and find out before you begin.

  1. Partners and members can be invaluable

There is no reason to take on all the responsibility yourself. Partners and members can offer invaluable insights, and contributions to your new business and of course assist with the work load required to get started. As financial backing is sometimes a necessity, a partner or member can be invaluable in this regard as well. Make sure you pitch your idea to the right, likeminded prospective investors to avoid future disappointments.

  1. Be aggressive

We’re not talking about storming your clients office and forcing a sale at gun point here, but you need to remember that your time, as well as your prospective clien’s time, is money, and clients will always try and get the best deal they can out of you. Stand firm and make sure that both parties are happy when the negotiations are over. There is nothing more demotivating than feeling like you’re being taken advantage of.

Also remember to be aggressive in your lead generating and sales tactics, get out there and get the job done. Be ferocious with your cold calling and marketing efforts and make sure you spread the word as widely as possible.

  1. Watch the financials like a hawk

Remember you may have to do this yourself, so set up a system where you monitor your monthly spend and income. And ensure you can balance it off with your bank statements. If you need to get someone to help you initially set it up, it may be worthwhile even if it costs a little in the beginning. Just because your bank balance says you have R20 000 doesn’t mean that it’s freely available and that you can necessarily spend it. Keep up to date with all income and expenditure.

  1. Find YOUR way

Lastly find the unique offering and personality of your company. Why would people like working with you or buying from you? What do you offer that is unique from your competitors? Once you understand why your company is special, you will be filled with confidence about promoting your offerings and acquiring new business.

Opening a startup company has loads of benefits, and yet at the same time demands complete focus and dedication. It will be whatever you make it, and will test your limits every step of the way. The key is to nurture your business and let it grow by looking after it. Speak to people, take constructive criticism, and don’t be afraid to ask for help from those more experienced than you. If you put in the proper leg-work from the first step, your start up can be a success.