1. Allowing belief to override the business plan
Owning a business is not for the weak in spirit. You need a strong mind and heart to face the day-in and day-out work. In the early days of the dream, it’s easy to be so excited and enamored with the idea of “your” business that you fail to grind out a proper business model.
2. Listening to customers instead of spreadsheets
The lesson is, you’ll be tempted to set up your business in the way your customers say they want. And, sometimes that will be fine if it fits your model. Otherwise, trust your spreadsheets. Make sure the math works before giving in on every demand in hopes of making the sale.
3. Miscalculating the time needed to launch
Set your own grand opening inside a buffer zone. Plan to be ready 10 days ahead of “the” day and you just might open on time, without dread and anxiety.
4. Equating personal experience with business expertise
You might be a great cook, mechanic, web designer or artist, but that doesn’t automatically translate into business acumen. So grab some study courses and arm yourself for this battle called business.
5. Don’t hire too quickly.
Big companies have the luxury of significant resources, allowing them to invest in the hiring process. Typically, they put candidates through multiple hiring interviews, as many sometimes as eight or nine. Why spend so much time with a simple hire?
These companies understand that the cost of hiring the wrong person is a significant waste of money and time. Small companies, in contrast, commonly limit interviews to the candidate’s prospective manager, and maybe the CEO. Don’t fall into that trap.
When you’re small, every individual can have a disproportionate impact on your business. How these people fit in with the team, the alignment between their skills and the job’s requirements and whether they buy into the company vision are all critical to creating a dynamic and powerful team. So, vet your candidates thoroughly, and if you can hire them as consultants for a few months to “try before you buy,” that’s even better.
So there you have it, five common mistakes people make whilst starting their first businesses. Learn them, remember them, and, most importantly, avoid them!