5 Pitfalls of Starting a New Business

  • April 1, 2015

When starting up a business it is very easy to fall into some simple traps that can ultimately lead to failure.

Here are some basic tips on what to watch out for in the early days of a start up business. Good luck and hope your business thrives.

1. You don’t invest enough!

When starting a new business often one of the biggest problems is that people don’t invest enough cash into making sure the business will succeed. You may have a brilliant idea and you’re sure it will work.

However, before you start making money you’re going to have to invest capital to make it succeed.

Whether it is set-up costs, initial running costs or many of the other hidden costs involved in a business you need cash to keep going at the start.

While you must have cash to start your business, realise that you’ll need this cash to last for a long time. A company that can control overheads but skilfully deploy capital to solve the correct problems is far more likely to be successful.

Please remember – spending money is not the cure for lack of experience or a bad product.

2. You don’t have a Business Plan

Starting a new business

There are essentially two types of business plans and when starting a new business and you require both.

The first is the type you would show your bank manager, it is full of what they would like to see.  It analyses your competitors, marketplace, advantages, marketing and more. This is is important as it gives you an overview of where you are headed from the start.

The second type is an internal plan for the business. It charts who is responsible for which tasks, outlines the daily responsibilities for each person and discusses the vital aspects of the business – such as how much money is needed to keep the lights on.

By knowing what’s at stake when you enter the premises in the morning, you’re far more likely to tackle tasks like your business depends on it!

3. You don’t delegate…

Big companies have great training programs for their employees and even companies that are not great know that their employees need to know what to do.

You need to be able to show your people how to work. You need to make sure that they have some clue what they need to do next.

If you’re wondering why your employees are standing around and you’re doing all the work, look at yourself and ask – why you haven’t told them how to do their job better.

4. You’re afraid to market your product/service.

EVERY job is a marketing job when it comes down to it. To be a successful business you have to ask people to buy what you’re selling.

Some businesses manage to appeal to the population at large without much effort, but assume that this isn’t going to be the case for your business.

You’ll need a marketing plan that details how you’re going to find your customers. What are you going to do to get them? Will you attend trade shows? Will you generate buzz via social media? Will you set up a referral scheme?

A marketing plan is important but if you don’t keep detailed records that allow you to work out what is working, your plan is basically worthless. You need to know what is working and be able to change course if things are not working.

5. You aren’t interested in “the numbers”.

They may be boring, but being on top of “the numbers” is vital.

Whatever your speciality is, whether you’re great at marketing but terrible at accounts, fantastic at organisational planning but rotten at logistics, your business will always generate statistics that show a picture of how you’re doing every day.

You need to always know ‘are you winning?’.

Failing to look at the numbers can lead to big trouble, you need to know the health of your operation to make decisions appropriately.

Are you growing or dying? Where do you need to improve and where should you focus your efforts?

It’s not easy starting a business but it’s even more difficult to know what to do unless you have numbers at your disposal.

There are many pitfalls budding entrepreneurs may find themselves stumbling over but if you focus on the areas we’ve mentioned, you’re more likely to have that successful business you’re hoping to introduce to the world.

Gareth Jones
Technical Guy at SiteZulu