We have been looking over the past couple of weeks at the common mistakes that people make when starting a new business. In the last article we looked at mistakes made in the planning stage. This week we look at mistakes that are made once the business is launched.
Here are seven mistakes to avoid in the early days of a new business:
- Not Listening To Customers
Just because you think you have a good idea, product, or service, doesn’t mean you do. Your objective, after all, is to give your customers something that they need or want. That means you have to listen to them. You might not always like what they say, but your business will benefit in the long run.
- Being Inflexible With The Idea
Following on from the previous point, it is not enough to simply listen to your customers; you also have to be willing to take action on what they say. Of course that action and its resulting effects have to fit within a viable business model, but the decision making process starts with being flexible with your business idea. You can still be passionate about it after it has been tweaked and adjusted.
- Getting The Pricing Wrong
Getting the pricing wrong for your products or services can seriously impact profitability. This can take many forms: pricing too low and not leaving enough margin for making a profit; pricing too high; making your pricing too complicated; not being flexible enough with your pricing to give your customers a palatable entry point that you can then upsell from; and more. Pricing strategies should therefore be planned very carefully.
- Trying To Be Perfect
This doesn’t apply to all businesses, but when it does happen it can hamper progress significantly. It usually involves the development of a product or service, and waiting until it is absolutely perfect to launch it. Very often all this does is cost time and cause a new business to lose momentum. So long as your core offering is sound, you should launch your new product as “good”, even if it is not “perfect”. After all you can always develop and improve it once it is in the market.
- Not Investing Enough In Marketing
Remember that often misquoted line from the movie Field Of Dreams: “If you build it, they will come” (it was actually “he will come”, not they). In the real world of business that doesn’t happen. Marketing is the only option, so make sure you are investing enough.
- Recruiting Too Many Or Too Quickly
Recruiting staff in the early days of a new business is challenging. New members of staff are expensive so you should wait for as long as possible before recruiting. However, you don’t want to find yourself in a situation of turning down work, or delivering poor customer service, because you don’t have the resources. You should plan this very carefully, and take advice if you need to. Also you should explore alternatives, like bringing in contractors or freelancers instead of employees.
- Not Getting An Accountant
Staying on top of your finances is critical, so an accountant is a resource that every new business needs. They will ensure you are up-to-date with your returns and your obligations to the tax authorities. They can also help you structure your business, plan for the future, and identify areas that can be improved.
To find out more about how Gilroy Gannon can help your business, please contact us today.