When you start a business, it’s as if you’re on stage. You have a new product or service, and you want to be on the top of the world.
You have to go through many failures before you get there, though. It’s a long process, and the main problem is that most people start online businesses without any experience whatsoever.
They just do it because they think they have a brilliant idea.
No matter how great your idea is, you still need to make sure that you avoid some common mistakes in order to make sure that your business succeeds in the long run.
Here are 11 early startup mistakes that can kill your business. Make sure you avoid these.
1. You Don’t Have an Exit Strategy
Every successful entrepreneur has an exit strategy. You need to know how you will get out of the business if necessary.
If you can’t easily sell your company or transfer your ownership, you might as well not start it to begin with.
2. You Haven’t Done Your Research
This includes determining whether there is a market for your product or service and identifying who your competitors are and what they are doing right or wrong.
You also must define your niche and ideal customer. And understand how much money you need to start and keep going until the business starts generating positive cash flow.
Must read: Most Important Questions to Ask Yourself While Doing Market Research.
3. You Didn’t Really Want to Start a Business in the First Place
When starting a business, it’s important to be passionate about what you do.
If you don’t have that passion, you might not have the drive to push through some of the struggles you may face.
On top of that, if you don’t truly believe in your product or service, how can you convince anyone else to?
4. You Haven’t Defined Your Target Market
People who don’t define their target market often find themselves targeting everyone — which means they end up targeting no one.
Remember: you can’t be everything to everyone. The more specific you are about your target market, the easier it will be for them to find and use your product or service.
5. You Didn’t Plan for Growth
This one was a biggie for me when I started out in business. When you are starting out, it’s hard to predict what will happen with your business long term.
But if you don’t plan for success by thinking about where you want your business to be in a year or two down
6. You Don’t Want to Spend Money on Marketing and Sales
You have a great product or service, but nobody knows about it. It’s not going to sell itself.
Just because you put an advertisement up on Facebook doesn’t mean people are going to buy what you are selling. You need to test different channels, different messages, and different offers to get social media engagements and traffic.
This is the worst mistake you can make as an entrepreneur. Your job is not to build a great product or service, it’s to sell it. It doesn’t matter if you have the best thing since sliced bread — if nobody buys it, your business will fail.
7. Your Employees Aren’t Pulling Their Weight and You Don’t Do Anything About It
If you notice that one of your employees isn’t pulling their weight, try to figure out what the problem is. Is the person just lazy? If so, then maybe you need to fire them.
But if the person is struggling with their job, the answer might be training or reassignment.
And remember, when you’re tough on people, they can sometimes feel like you’re being mean to them.
In that case, they may start acting even more sluggishly than before as a way of getting back at you. Make sure you communicate with them so they feel like they’re working together with you and not against you.
8. You Attempt to Be All Things to All People
Don’t try to appeal to everyone.
In marketing, it’s important that you are able to clearly identify your target audience. Who exactly is your ideal customer?
What specific problems do they face? The more specifically you can answer these questions. The easier it will be for you to create marketing messages that will resonate with them and attract them to your business.
9. You Don’t Ask for Help When You Need It; You Try to Fix Everything Yourself
Nobody likes admitting they are wrong or that they need help, but sometimes this is the only way you can move forward.
If you have no idea what you are doing and refuse to ask for help, then it’s time for some serious self-reflection and mentoring from other entrepreneurs who have been down the same path before.
One of the best ways to deal with mistakes is by learning from them and having someone there along the way who can offer guidance.
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