Grow your Business as a Starter by Avoiding these 9 Mistakes

Everyday people get business ideas they want to develop. They spend years thinking about how to go about it.

Some go for the actualization of these ideas while others are too afraid to start or do not have the means to. Out of the many that work towards actualizing their ideas, only few succeed; those who are willing to learn from other startup mistakes.

SMEs, depending on their niche experience certain obstacles, identifying the obstacles before hand can help you avoid the mistakes others made. In this article, I will be sharing some mistakes every SME owner must avoid to scale their startup.

Grow your Business as a Starter by Avoiding these 9 Mistakes

Here are some common startup mistakes every SME owner must avoid.

1. Going for a business that has no market potential:

People often have these ideas that to them seem so amazing. They are just ready to jump on them because it seems nice to visualize. As a smart entrepreneur, you should be able to know if your idea can sell. If it is something people are willing to pay for.

A good question to ask yourself would be: “does my business idea have an audience to sell to” if it does, how specific are those audience, how accessible and what’s the market size? These questions should determine if the business idea is worth going after.

2. Not defining target audience:

Every business has a unique audience. Do not be naive to think your product/service is for everybody.

Defining your target customer will help you save resources. The resources wasted in reaching out to everybody would give 2X return on investment if directed to your target audience.

How can you define your target audience then?

You need to know who you are making the product for, what do they like? What interests them, what social media they spend more time on? Are they accessible? What exact location can you find them in. What language do they speak and a lot more?

3. Taking loans to start:

So, your idea is good enough to go after and you think you can sell massively. You have it all figured out in your mind but you do not have the financial resources.

Your first thought is to go take a loan. But wait, can you afford it?  Putting up your assets as a collateral does not mean you can afford the loan.

When you start a business and start making profit from it, the best sensible thing is to re-invest in that business. But if you take a loan, instead of growing your business, you try to pay off the loan.

All your hard work and efforts would be to get out of debt and thus slowing down your progress. However, what you need do is to have a fund raiser from family and friends. These people would be patient with you, they would be willing to give you enough time to pay off. Plus, there would be no set time or collateral, some would be happy to donate freely even. But if that is not enough, you can look for business partners who are willing to work with you to actualize your idea.

4. Delaying business registration:

The importance of registering a business cannot be over-emphasized. If your startup becomes extremely successful, people are likely to copy you. When you register your business, you own your ideas to some extent. If anyone plagiarizes your work, you have the right to sue such person or organization.

Another benefit is you avoid being shut down by the government because your business is legally recognized. You would have no fear of expanding your reach. Being approved by your government also gives you some sort of credibility to customers.

Answering these questions can help you get a good return on investment.

5. Not documenting your process:

Do not wait till you expand your business before you get organized. You need to be organized and able to deliver on time. Do not ever under-deliver.

One of the many ways of organizing is to keep record of everything. Keep track of your decisions for future reference. Organization can also give your business a sense of quality. People always want the best. They want to buy from people or companies that are trustworthy and reliable.

Having these principles from the onset for your business will give you an edge in your industry. You might be starting out but you will be on the same level with already established business.

6. Not doing proper risk management:

Risk and failures are part of business and growth, but only take calculated risks. Not every risk is worth going after.

If you cannot afford a risk, do not go for it no matter how enticing the result is.

A practical example of this in real life is the cryptocurrency market hype. Because of the high percentage return on investment in little amount of time, a lot of people take the risk of investing all their savings. And what happens when the coins crash? Their life-time earnings are all lost and they are left with nothing. But investing with an amount that you can manage its lost is far better and won’t affect your finances greatly or push you into debt.

7. Hiring a large team:

When you are starting out, you do not need to hire many people. The cost of maintaining a large team could affect your running cost. The money put in hiring more people can be used to grow your business.

The best thing to do is to get a small team who share the same goals with you. Train them and work productively with them. it is easier to keep and maintain a small team than a large one. As the bulk of work increases, you can add more people to your group.

8. Hire someone with good PR skills:

Every business needs a public relations officer. This person will take care of your branding and online visibility which is important.

Having a good online image can boost your growth and help you reach more customers. This person will be in charge of running ads, making ad campaigns, handling your social media accounts and ensuring you are up to date with trends.

9. Giving up too soon:

Before you give up on that startup, analyze yourself. Chances are that you are doing something wrong.

You need to get all your documentations together and analyze each step you have taken. When you give up too early, you are likely to repeat the same mistake in another startup. If you can hire a business coach to help you analyze, better.

Just don’t close out that business before knowing what’s wrong. Do not be afraid to ask for help.

There are many ideas that do not last long because of mistakes that could have been avoided. Going through this list can give you a view of what you are getting wrong and how to fix it.

Francis Nwokike

Francis Nwokike is a Social Entrepreneur and an experienced Disaster Manager. I love discussing new business trends and marketing tips. I share ideas and tips that will help you grow your small and medium business.

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