Four Things Everyone Gets Wrong About Starting A Small Business
Starting a small business is one of the most exciting and terrifying things – except possibly getting married! – that anyone could ever do. On the one hand, you have the thrill of being your own boss. No more tweaking your personality to meet somebody else’s approval. No more having to punch the clock on someone else’s hours. Nobody breathing down your neck and micromanaging your every move anymore. You’re answerable only to yourself, and so long as you’re motivated enough, it’s a very rewarding experience.
On the other hand, you’re almost certainly throwing away your security net. You’re removing your guarantee of making a set salary every month; and it might be several months before you earn any money at all, let alone attracting the kind of earnings you had in your last, paid job. That can be stressful, and cause you many sleepless nights.
It’s important that if you’re going to take the big jump and start working for yourself, you give yourself the best possible chance of hitting the ground running and making money as soon as possible. To help, we’ve looked at all the expert advice and put together a list of the most common mistakes that people make when launching a new business. Avoid these, and you’re one step up the ladder already.
1. Opening A Small Business That Not Enough People Are Interested In
They say that if you do what you love for a living, you’ll never truly work a day in your life. That’s true, so long as what you love doing actually makes money. You might be very interested in Japanese anime, for example, but it only makes sense to open up a store selling it if enough people around you are also interested in it, and want to buy it.
You might have a unique and distinguished palate when it comes to food, and you’re expert at cooking in your own style, but if it’s too ‘out there’ for people to appreciate, nobody’s going to come to your restaurant.
Think hard about your target market, who they are, where they are, and whether there are enough of them. If you’re not sure, chances are you’re looking at the wrong idea. A good way to think about this is to consider whether you’re aware of anybody else making good money doing whatever you’re planning to do.
2. Getting The Internet Presence Wrong
It’s the twenty-first century now; this is absolutely crucial. When you hear of a new company, product or service for the first time, what’s the first thing you do? Look them up online. We largely decide whether a company or business is trustworthy and legitimate by assessing whatever content they have on the internet. That’s their own website, and any social media they might have.
Common mistakes include spelling errors, cluttered homepages, sites that aren’t complete when they’re launched because someone was rushing, or overly-artistic designs that make the purpose of the site unclear. Most people spend less than fifteen seconds on your website. That’s how long you have to make an impression. It’s got to be totally on-point. If you’re looking for a good example of a website that completely understands this, then check out egyptslots.
Within two seconds of arriving on that website, you know that it offers online slots to play, it was built for gamblers, and it’s been designed around a theme. It’s completely open and immediate about its purpose and it gets to it straight away. The site is popular with gamblers because it makes it easy to instantly access what they came there to do; play slot games. That’s the same level of instant understanding and accessibility that your own website needs to attain.
3. Entering Into A Crowded Field
Remember point #1? This is the polar opposite of that problem. You don’t want to open a business that nobody would be interested in, but you also don’t want to open a business that far too many people are involved in already. You wouldn’t, for example, open a takeaway on the same street as another takeaway in a small town; if they’ve been there for a while, they’ve already got all the business.
On a larger scale, consider who the big competitors are. You might have worked your whole life in the insurance industry, and be very good at selling it, but could you really make it on your own in a world dominated by the very largest brands?
Their advertising budgets for a week dwarf what you were probably hoping to make in your entire first year; how will you reach customers? Where will those customers come from? If you’re going to set up a business in an industry where there are thousands of competitors, you need to have an angle that nobody else has on it. If you don’t, you’re probably best leaving it alone.
4. Starting a Small Business That’s Hard To Explain
Are you familiar with elevator pitch theory? If not, it goes like this; you should be able to explain what your business does, and why someone wants to buy from it, in no more than thirty seconds. That’s around the time it takes to complete a short trip in an elevator, hence the name. If your new business is too complicated to explain and sell in that period of time, then it’s probably too complicated full stop.
People hate the idea of being sold to. When you start pitching your business at them, there is only a very short window of time in which they’re fully concentrating on what you’re saying, and they’ll decide whether they have any interest in buying from you within the first ten seconds of that time. You have to be able to explain the idea clearly, tell them why you’re good at it, and make them want to buy it, all within those thirty seconds. Time yourself trying to do it. If you can’t, come up with a different business idea.
Don’t be disheartened if you’ve read this advice and realized it applies to your idea; if you came up with one business plan, you can come up with another. Generally, those people who truly want to become self-employed get there in the end. Get back to the drawing board, start again, remember this advice and create something wonderful!
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