Starting a new business tends to begin with innovation. This could look like a new idea or concept or a creative twist on a something already existing. Moving that concept out of the infancy stage and launching that product into a full-fledged business relies on carefully avoiding the common mishaps small business owners tend to make.
#1 Now that you have the idea, it’s time for the planning stage. The business plan can make or break a startup company. Like making a cake, one must follow the recipe not forgetting any of the ingredients, so the cake doesn’t fall flat. Having a well thought out business plan or recipe is crucial in the success of any new business.
#2 Another common mishap involves partnerships. Who’s in charge of mixing the ingredients, purchasing the ingredients, and selling that finished product. “Starting a business with a partner particularly a friend or family member can create turmoil down the road for the business,” said Lisa Becher, Small Business Development Center consultant. When running a successful business, tough decisions need to be made and this can be challenging on relationships.
#3 The third mishap on our list is having no clear marketing strategy. Many times, the marketing strategy is part of the business plan, but it tends to be its own animal. Questions a potential business owner should ask before starting is how am I going to spread the word about my product or service? And, who does my business impact the most? Don’t be afraid to market your business and get familiar with your audience.
#4 One of the most common reasons small businesses fail is due to a lack of funding or capital. Lisa stated that “new entrepreneurs tend to under ask for funding in the initial visit which puts them under on some of their future expenses. Lenders also like to see that you have some skin in the game when it comes to capital.” Having enough capital and the right type of funding will surely impact the longevity of a business.
#5 Partnerships with family and friends might not be the way to go, but that doesn’t mean you should do it all alone. Having a great team behind you would be in your favor. This team could include an investor, a small business consultant, or someone that has a set of skills that are exclusive. For example, maybe the idea or product is taking off, and you need to spread the word about it. Hiring a marketing or tech savvy individual might be the right fit for your business.
#6 Number six on the list is thinking the business does not have competition. The idea or product could be so unique and creative that the blinders are up for some entrepreneurs. Recognizing early on who the competitors are, direct or indirect, could help set your business apart.
#7 Last but not least, setting realistic goals. With a detailed business plan and help from a qualified team, goals can be determined early on making them more attainable. Setting attainable goals for your business will help determine the process of achieving them.
“Small businesses play a huge role in the economic development of our community. We wouldn’t be where we are today as a county without them,” said Kortney Williams, Defiance County Economic Development Marketing & Workforce Manager. To learn more about starting a new business and avoiding these mishaps, we encourage any potential business owner to get in touch with the Small Business Development Center. Lisa Becher is a small business owner herself and a wealth of knowledge. Anyone interested in small business development can reach Lisa at 419-267-1264 or firstname.lastname@example.org.