There are common business mistakes that even new entrepreneurs can avoid by taking a little advice from those that came before them. Whilst it’s true that we learn from our mistakes, it’s better when you avoid them in the first place.
Mistake #1 – Hiring the Wrong Person
For a young company, growth is exciting and good. However, bringing on the wrong employees can stunt growth rather than ramp up the pace. There does come a point when a sole trader needs to bring on help. Whether that first person should be full time, part time, a general assistant, a specialist, or someone with broad businesses experience are questions you should first be asking.
Once you make the decision about the skill sets you want to hire, take your time finding the right person. At the very least, interview multiple applicants, multiple times, and in various settings to get a real feel for if they have the right skills, attitude, and are a good fit with where you want to take the business. Better yet, when you think you’ve found the right person, ask him or her to come on as a contract worker instead of as an employee to test the fit fully.
Mistake #2 – Making the “new and Improved” Version First
Business is tricky business. You have to keep an eye on the big picture whilst staying laser focused on the task at hand. Many new entrepreneurs overly focus on product or service development but either neglect the marketing side of the business or wait too long to launch the product.
No product or service is ever perfect. When you’re to close to your product, you see flaws that paying customers would never notice. Business is about making sales. Start marketing and keep marketing whatever you have to sell. Yes, quality is important but you can be working on the new and improved version and still be selling the current version.
Mistake #3 – Not Having the Courage to Change
A time will come when making change needs to be done. After many business owners find success, they become afraid of making needed changes as the market evolves. A clear sign that change is in order is if sales flatten or go into decline.
Before randomly making a change based on a hunch, check with experts and market specialists. Still, you’re the leader and know your business better than anyone else. If what the specialists are telling you doesn’t feel right, it can be time to go with your educated hunch.
Mistake #4 – Not Keeping a Laser Focus
Whilst you need to keep and eye on the big picture you also need to stay focused on the task at hand. Look around the market place (big picture). If everything is fine, then knuckle down to increasing sales.
Many entrepreneurs love the excitement of innovation. They are constantly wanting to tweak this or that or try something new. There are long periods in the business cycle when nothing needs to be done other than marketing to improve sales or look for cost cutting opportunities.