Starting a New Business? 10 Mistakes to Avoid

  •  30 October 2020

An individual considering starting a venture of their own can, every so often, feel like it is one of the hardest things they will ever have to experience.

They worry about risks, losses, and not being able to break even.

Challenges like these shall always prevail, but it is the highest risk takers who see an exponential growth.

One must be willing to view things with a fresh perspective amalgamated with a positive outlook; being an entrepreneur is about being able to identify and see opportunities in situations where others see obstacles.

While challenges are a part and parcel of life, it’s how one approaches them that can chart their course towards overall success.

Presenting 10 mistakes to avoid when starting a new business:

Some of the best inventions in the world started as mistakes, things that just happened to somehow contribute significantly in our lives despite being an accident.

However, this is not the case for all mistakes, especially in a field that is as competitive as business.

Although most mistakes can cause many to develop a fear of never trying something new again, there are always valuable tips and suggestions available for situations such as starting a new business.

1. Not Preparing a Business Plan

One of the biggest mistakes you can make before starting a new business is not having a business plan or a concrete strategy.

It is important to know and establish exactly what you want to accomplish and what the purpose of your business is before starting a new venture.

Instead of scattered thoughts and ideas, focus on specific goals and strategy.

Prepare a plan that describes what you want to achieve with your venture, the methods on how these goals can be attained and the time frame within which these goals can be achieved.

2. Not Conducting Market Research

Businesses cannot exist in limbo. Its purpose and motive should be clear.

What is the product or service?

In which industry does it belong? Who does it cater to? What is its purpose?

Is it something that is demanded by the larger market?

How will it fulfil its purpose?

Conduct a thorough market research to understand and analyse consumer behaviour by identifying gaps and patterns, target audience and potential competitors, among other factors and then proceed towards preparing a plan.

3. Ignoring Small Red Flags

It can often seem easier to ignore small challenges or issues while focussing on the big picture when building a new business.

However, such issues can often build over time and eventually create serious challenges that could negatively impact your business.

Therefore, try to start small with caution, address and eliminate problems at every stage, starting early, so it dispels any chance to culminate as a greater issue in later stages.

4. Not Delegating

Entrepreneurs and new businesspersons can often feel like they are supposed to take care of every aspect of their business single-handedly as it’s their brainchild.

Doing so however can cause severe burnout in the long run.

Even if you are working alone, try to outsource some tasks in order to focus on major and more critical aspects of your business.

5. Micromanagement

This is perhaps one of the most unfavourable traits to develop while building a new business.

Micromanagers tend to interfere and excessively obsess over miniscule things that can be rectified easily.

The feeling to always be in control can hinder progress and cause serious trust issues among other stakeholders. Instead, invest in good talent and trust their abilities to help your business grow.

6. Being Unorganised

There is nothing more disappointing than a businessperson who doesn’t know what they want or know how to conduct themselves among both internal and external stakeholders.

A business is not only a reflection of ambition, but also the attitude and culture of its spokesperson and consequently, the team.

A disorganised business person is likely to not be taken seriously anywhere.

Learn to tread the waters carefully.

7. Avoiding Opportunities

While building a business, an individual may feel like they have to either go big or go home, and in the process, avoid or overlook small opportunities that could actually help them and their business flourish.

It’s important to remember that any opportunity for business exposure is good opportunity as long as it aligns with the latter’s requirements and core principles.

8. Lack of Networking Skills

A good network or connection can go a long way in ensuring that your business not only gains strong foundation, but greater recognition as well.

Networking is a part and parcel of the corporate world, and lack of it may lead to lack of growth opportunities for you and your business.

9. Financial Mismanagement

Businesses involve funding, plethora of it.

Financial management is tricky; therefore, it is imperative to make sure that whatever capital is allocated for business and its operations are used and managed efficiently.

10. Under/over-valuing Product or Service

Know your product and its purpose. While undervaluing can lead to lost opportunities, overvaluing can lead to lack of trust.

Know your stand in the market and position your offerings accordingly.

Harvard Business School and Singularity University alumnus Nitesh Jain is the founder and CEO, BeSingular, an edtech company.

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