Seven Business Start-up Tips to Avoid

Business Plan Presentation at FSG 2009
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When you’re starting a business there is no blueprint that will guarantee success. There are some common mistakes that entrepreneurs make that can almost guarantee failure.


Here are the top seven mistakes we’ve seen Arizona entrepreneurs make when they’re starting their companies: 


1.        Not casting your net wide enough: Even if you have a niche market, your company will eventually hit a brick wall if the target that you’re marketing to is not wide enough. The way to address this issue is by choosing a larger market and seeing if you can expand your offering. If you grab a larger segment of the market in the beginning it offers you a bigger pool of potential clients from which to choose.


2.        Not spending enough time on sales: You can’t build a company without having a product to offer but if you spend all of your time developing the product and not enough time on sales, you will lose potential customers. All entrepreneurs, regardless of whether they offer a good or a service, need to concentrate on marketing and selling as well as developing products.


3.        Trying to navigate your business without a blueprint/business plan: Your company may not need a formal business plan unless it requires capital to grow. You still should take the time before you open your doors to map out items such as: who your clients are, what services will you offer, at what price will you offer them, by what metrics will you measure your success. A business plan will guide you toward your success. If you opt for a formal business plan, don’t over think it. Some entrepreneurs will spend so much time thinking of the business plan that they become frozen in place and never open the doors. At some point, you need have faith in yourself and your business idea and trust that it will work.


4.        Flying solo:  Even if you are a sole proprietor, you still need a support team behind you. Your expertise comes in the form of what goods and services you’re offering. Lean on a support team for the aspects of running your business that is not your expertise, such as accounting or public relations


5.         Having too many hands in the pot: The flip side of not flying solo is asking too many people for advice. Asking for input from experienced business people is a good idea. Getting too many opinions on what you should be doing and how you should be doing it, will only delay your path to business success. If you receive contradictory advice, you could start to waiver in your resolve to be your own boss.


6.         Having no way to get your goods to market: If you’re breaking into the market where there is already a network of individuals you can tap into it will make distribution of your products easier. If you’re starting a business for which you will need to find a distribution partner, do your research on this before you open your doors. Make a list of potential referral sources before you start up. Starting a service-related business relieves you of the need for a distributor or vendor.


7.        Not focusing your advertising dollars: It might be tempting to flood the market with advertising your business. The better you know the  demographic, the more finely you can hone your advertising. Incorporate low-cost, no-cost marketing into your advertising plan. Consider using social media as a way to spread the word.


In spite of the myriad of books that have been written for entrepreneurs, it’s just not possible to open the doors on a new venture and have a few missteps along the way. Be proactive and try to avoid making a misstep so great that your company can’t recover.

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