Becoming an entrepreneur and starting up your own business is exciting stuff indeed! However, it is always wise to think things through and be realistic about your plans for your company if you want to avoid the many pitfalls and risks that other entrepreneurs have experienced over the years.
Luckily, becoming an entrepreneur doesn’t mean you have to dodge problems every day. You can look to the experience of others to make yourself aware of the most common problems you may encounter and put plans into place to avoid them before they happen.
Let’s take a look at some of these pitfalls to make you aware of what you may face and how to overcome them:
Not being mindful of your budgets
Being too tight or too generous with your available budget is a common sticking point. You are not in a position to let your start-up or running costs become a burden or even a risk to your personal liabilities. Being too tight with your budget will strangle your business and it will never get off the ground. However, doing the opposite and throwing good money after bad will soon bankrupt you.
Balancing your budget is one of the most crucial but often difficult first steps to learn. There is no one-size-fits-all budget that will cover your needs. It is important to set realistic short-term goals rather than large impossible goals for sometime way ahead in the future. Look at your immediate priorities and available resources and work out a plan to meet your immediate needs with what you already have available before splashing out money on anything.
Not outsourcing some of your tasks
A sole trader or single entrepreneur may find it a struggle to cope with all the minutia of the day to day running of their business. Your company may have started as a one-person show or a small partnership of two, but it’s common for outsourcing to become necessary as the business grows.
Outsourcing allows you to be free of all those annoying, yet necessary, tasks that you may not particularly enjoy or even be very good at. For example, you may think that sitting at a computer writing content for your website or blog is mind numbing, frustrating, or just too difficult. Or the ideal of building or tweaking your website is far too scary. By outsourcing your written content to a freelance professional copywriter, or hiring a web designer to help, such as myself, you can be free to perform other essential tasks that you actually enjoy and are good at.
Research has shown that entrepreneurs who outsource their most time-consuming tasks find they are more focused, full of energy and have more time to grow their business.
Closing a sale instead of building a relationship
Did you know that it is easier to sell to an existing satisfied customer than to sell to a new one? Many entrepreneurs will focus more on their sales than on actually building a relationship of trust with their customers. As a general rule, the hard-sell approach will leave potential customers cold, but if you build a warm and welcoming environment for your potential customers as well as for your existing ones, then you are more likely to attract repeat sales and convert followers into customers.
You can do this through offering plenty of good advice on your website and blog, but also to engage with your customers on social media. Read and reply to questions and comments, solve issues quickly and you will win a customer for life! People like to connect with other real people. An absent host on social media or your blog will drive people away to seek out a connection with one of your rivals who is willing to talk to them. Always remember: Relationship first, sales second.
These issues may not seem like major ones, but they are crucial to your success. By being aware of what other entrepreneurs have experienced while starting up their own business, you can put a strategy in place to cope with these issues, should they arise.