We know how exciting starting a small business is—seeing your passion project become a reality is an indescribable experience. However, the journey to launching a business is one that often has pitfalls that are easy to fall into, even if you’re not new to the field. We’re here to walk through some common mistakes that first-time business owners make so that they’re on your radar if and when you choose to go down that path, too!
Mistake #1: Inadequate Planning
Our January blog talked all about the need for a solid business plan to serve as a foundation for your small business. Failing to create this plan is one of the top mistakes that business experts reported to Forbes and Business News Daily. Not only is your business plan your roadmap to success, it serves as a tool to help find areas where you need more support and resources. It is extremely common for first-time business owners to not fully understand the resources they will realistically need for their startup, which leads to them lowballing how much they’ll need beyond a month or two. Experts recommend using your business plan to project the funding and other resources needed for the first 12 months of operation before you get up and running.
Mistake #2: Doing Too Much Too Soon
After working on a strong business plan for what feels like forever, it’s not surprising that new business owners often try to jump the gun when launching their startup. Having a business plan in place does not necessarily mean your business is ready to start operating. You have to ensure that your processes and procedures are in place to support the design of that plan. These include—at a minimum—communication plans, contracts, payment systems, and a time management plan. Along these same lines, some businesses try to expand before they’re ready. This can be even more detrimental than launching before the business is ready because damage done during an ill-timed expansion can undo progress and growth that you’ve been experiencing.
Mistake #3: Trying to Do It All Yourself
For many people, their small business is an extension of themselves. So, it’s normal to want to take full ownership and responsibility for its creation, launch, operation, and—ideally—success. Sometimes—most times—that mentality actually limits the potential that owners have to grow and expand their small businesses. It is common practice for big businesses to have advisory boards, consultants, and entire departments dedicated to ensuring the business is receiving the support it needs. Small business owners need to do the same, just on a smaller scale. Seeking out mentors with experience as small business owners and/or who are experts in your industry can do nothing but help set you up for success! It’s also important to take a support-minded approach—even as an independent small business owner—in order to help prevent burnout and prevent your business from taking over the entirety of your professional AND personal life.
Chat with Growth Capital
Need help from folks who specialize in helping small businesses? We’re here to help! We know that navigating small business ownership can be tricky, and you want to avoid making as many mistakes as possible. With over 40 years of experience helping Ohio’s small businesses, we’ve seen and heard it all—let us help you steer clear of these mistakes and more!