Launching a startup is hard work, but once it’s off the ground, the work doesn’t stop.
You’ll be working hard on growing your business and making money just to plug back into it for at least the next 5 years, so knowing what you should never do before you begin is essential.
Below, you’ll find 10 things you should never do when launching your startup so you can avoid some of the most common mistakes.
01: Starting Without A Business Plan
A startup should always have a business plan. Creating the business plan isn’t the most glamorous or exciting part of launching your business, but it can help you to get everything right both now and in the future.
Here are some pointers that will help you to create the best plan:
- Take your time, don’t rush
- Use a template if you’ve never made one before
- Put in details, but not so many details that nobody is ever going to want to read it
- Remember, this plan should keep you going when you need it as well as be a tool to get funding if you need it
- Pay attention to detail
- Research your market thoroughly
- Get your financial information right
- Don’t leave out any important facts
- Get a second opinion from a business advisor
02: Attempting To Do The Marketing Yourself
Doing your marketing yourself is a huge mistake. You might think that it’s absolutely fine for you to share advertisements to social media and send out a few emails, but a lot more goes into your marketing than that.
You can teach yourself a lot about marketing your business on YouTube, and this is what a lot of people do if they want to save some money.
However, you’ll be focusing more on that than the actual ins and outs of running your business, and spreading yourself too thin is not a good idea.
Instead, you should find some help from a place like Red Arrow Marketing – web design & digital marketing agency so that you can focus on daily task of running your business.
03: Forgetting To Crunch Numbers
You should know your numbers as well as you possibly can. They should not be estimated – they should be carefully figured out by you or somebody who can help you.
You need a good idea of things like your profits and expenses when you begin, along with other important facts.
Not only because they go into your business plan, but so you can start your business effectively and stay up and running.
04: Failing To Approach Investors
Approaching investors could give you the financial support you need to get started exactly the way you want to.
Some investors will even share their expertise with you, and this can be great if they have worked with similar businesses in the past. Some investors might not want all that much to do with your business and will leave you to it.
You probably don’t want to accept money from anybody who offers it to you, as you’ll want to consider what they want back out of it before you accept.
This is another reason you need to accurately know your numbers; so you can get the right amount from investors and convince them of why.
05: Wasting Money On Things You Don’t Need Yet
You don’t always need fancy brand new equipment when you’re just getting started.
Second-hand equipment and machinery is usually a good idea if you want to stay cost effective and below budget.
You can invest in these things later on if you decide you need them, but at the start, you should be frugal.
06: Believing Your Own Hype
People might start saying great things about you. You might be asked for interviews and all kinds of exciting things.
However, you should never believe your own hype. It’s great that you’re getting good reviews and good press, but you also shouldn’t fall into the trap of thinking you’ve made it.
This can breed complacency or even cockiness, neither of which are good to have in a startup.
07: Focusing Too Much On Sales and Not Enough On Providing Value
It can be tempting to put a lot of your focus on sales in the beginning. After all, if you don’t, you won’t sell anything or make any money…right? Wrong!
Rather than focusing on sales, especially the hard sell, it’s much better to focus on the value you are providing for your audience.
When your audience feel that you provide value, they are more likely to visit you again and again.
You’ll also begin establishing your business as experts in your niche. These things are far greater than a few quick sales.
08: Starting A Business You’re Not Really Passionate About
Before you launch your startup, consider whether this is something you’re truly passionate about and can see yourself doing in the long run.
You might just be jumping on some kind of wave to get a piece of the pie, but what will you do afterwards?
If you want to continue running this business in the long term, you absolutely need to be passionate about it.
If you’re not, you still need to be passionate about it enough, in the beginning, to grow it, get it off the ground, and then sell it.
09: Failing To Research Your Competitors
Knowing your competitors inside and out will help you to inform how you proceed in many situations.
You should never copy them, but you should always be aware of what you can do better.
10: Attempting To Do Everything Alone
There’s no reason you should be doing everything alone.
There are business partners you can go and find, outsourcing various elements that will help to save you time and hassle, and a strong support network is key to your success.
This means staying close with the people who care about you. They’ll often tell you when you need a break and call you out on your BS too!