Starting a Small Business? Avoid These Common Mistakes

There were 32.5 million small businesses accounting for 99.9% of all businesses in the United States in 2021. If you're thinking about adding to those numbers, starting out with a plan can help you experience greater success. Consider these common small business mistakes before you start your small business.

Failing to Plan

Some business owners get excited to start, so they skip past planning and go right into action. Skipping a business plan makes it difficult to make decisions and can cause major money issues for your new business. Instead of jumping into your business, create a detailed business plan to serve as a roadmap for your business. You can find business plan templates online to make the process easier. Creating a marketing plan with customer analysis, competitor analysis, and market strategy helps your business grow faster.

A marketing plan can be a part of your overall strategy for launching a product or service. A good template will help you and your team have a holistic understanding of what’s expected when bringing something new to market.

Choosing the Wrong Business Entity

Choosing your business entity affects how you run your company and the benefits you get. Forming an LLC in Texas is a common option that provides you with limited personal liability, tax benefits, reduced paperwork, and flexibility in how you run your business. Formation services can handle the process of setting up your LLC for you without expensive lawyer fees. They will also help you save time when getting your business started.

Not Understanding Your Audience

A successful business solves a problem or meets a need of target customers. If you don't narrow down your target audience and tailor all your business activities to them, you're likely to struggle. Instead of trying to appeal to everyone, narrow your scope to a specific group of people. Evaluate what they want and need as well as what types of things they respond to well. Adapt how you run your business based on that research.

Doing Everything Yourself

Many new business owners try to do everything themselves to save money. This can often cost you more money and time in the long run. Trying to do things outside of your expertise can be difficult and time consuming. You also increase the risk of making mistakes. Evaluate what you do well and what wastes your time. Consider outsourcing common tasks, such as accounting, IT, customer service, and HR, that have specific regulations and take a lot of time.

This also extends to business services. For example, you’ll want to choose a payment processor that can authenticate bank account information swiftly to make payments easy for your customers. Choosing lesser service providers can lead to a frustrating experience for your customers and may cost your business money from lost sales.

Wasting Money

New business owners often think they need the latest equipment and technology to launch. They might lease a commercial space or hire employees before they need them. Spending too much money up front can put your business in a tight financial situation. Start small and spend conservatively to keep your finances strong from the beginning. 

Not Putting Things in Writing

Whether you're talking about customers, suppliers, or business partners, failing to have contracts in place sets you up for problems. Doing business based on a handshake without anything in writing leaves you open to disputes or people going back on their word. Even if you trust the people you're working with, always insist on legally binding contracts and written documentation to protect your interests if conflicts arise.

Avoid Common Mistakes

By being aware of common mistakes, you can avoid these pitfalls and get your business off to a smoother, much easier start. 

The Ennis Chamber of Commerce will help you connect with other local entrepreneurs in our great area. Join us today!

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