Eight mistakes to avoid when starting a business

When you’re starting a business, it’s tempting to focus on the ‘fun’ aspects of your venture and ignore everything else.

But don’t be fooled: these pitfalls exist for a reason and ignoring them will only create more frustration and missed opportunities down the line.

This article is designed to help entrepreneurs avoid some of the most common mistakes when starting a business. 

1) Starting a business that doesn’t solve a problem

Businesses solve problems.  Without a problem, there is no need for a solution; without a need, there is no business.  If you don’t believe your business solves an actual problem or makes life easier for your customers, or if you’re just doing it for fun, maybe it’s time to reconsider your idea.

2) Don’t forget insurance

There is a wide range of insurance options out there to protect your business.  Be made sure you check in with an independent agent or broker before you start working so you can determine the needs of your business. To help you find a broker, you can try local searches; for example, if your business is in Canada, you can try searching for business insurance Montreal.

2) Making your own product

Making your own product can be expensive and time-consuming, and if your product isn’t popular enough to make money from the get-go, it can take years of hard work before you see any profit from manufacturing that product yourself.

3) Focusing on the wrong people

Depending on who you ask, there’s a good chance that at least a few of your customers are the wrong people.  If this is the case, and you’re relying solely on them to keep you in business, then it’s time to change your marketing strategy.  Most likely, you’ll find that focusing on one group of people will result in very little business while targeting another group of people will yield much more sales.

4) Taking on too much work

Before considering hiring anyone to help with your startup, make sure you’ve exhausted every option within your company and personal life.  As tempting as it may be to hire help when you’re cash-strapped, this is rarely a good decision.  Hiring too much help too soon can add unnecessary work, costs, and sometimes even problems.

5) Not having a plan

Starting a business is exciting, and it’s easy to get caught up in the moment.  However, without a plan in writing, you won’t be able to keep your business organized or stay focused on your goals.

6) Not getting a mentor

While the importance of having a mentor in your life is broad, it’s especially crucial for business owners.  Without a mentor who can guide you through the necessary negotiations, partnerships, and other business relationships, you may find yourself struggling to succeed.

7) Using your network

While it’s a good idea to start searching for potential mentors and connections in your industry, focusing too much on what people can do for you (instead of what you can do for them) is a sure way to alienate people who may have been able to provide valuable assistance.

Maintain a mutually beneficial relationship with your network instead of expecting something from them all the time; this is the best way to get ahead in business.

8) Ignoring your personal life

The most successful business owners know that their personal life affects their professional life just as much as the other way around. When you’re stressed or overworked, your production suffers.

Regardless of what you’re doing, whether it’s starting a business or running a more traditional business, it’s important to pay attention to how you treat your employees and other stakeholders. Every decision you make can have an impact on your company in some way, and it’s best to learn from them as soon as possible.