Starting your own business can be the scariest thing in the world. Especially if you have never before been your own boss, setting out on your own can be truly terrifying.
This fear can drive your success in the initial months or years – you know there is some shocking statistic about the number of startups that fail each year, and you don’t want to be a part of it. You spend all your waking hours trying to make it, and then you do. You reach that stage where you have a secure influx of business, where your employees are happy with what has been accomplished, and you feel safer than you ever did before.
While congratulations are in order for making it this far, this is not the time to stop giving it your all, and having laser-sharp focus. In this stage, when you have made it through the initial crash and burn, you can make a serious mistake that can easily cost you everything you have thus far achieved.
Here are five mistakes to avoid:
Don’t take on too much
While you are not yet an established name, you don’t want to refuse any client who comes knocking, and you are super happy they have chosen to do business with you. However, taking on too much too soon can bury you quickly. It’s better to refuse a client, than take on too much, and not perform well because you just can’t keep up with all of them. If you are to make it, you need to become a master of time and resource management, and you need to know how to scale your growth. If you acquire a bad rep, you will have a harder time of fixing that, than admitting you are still too small to take on huge projects.
Don’t lose focus
When you start your own business, you know just where you want to take it and how. You know what you are all about, and have a clear vision of the direction you need to be going in. As time goes by, you may be tempted to branch out, and take on work you are not properly equipped to perform. Whether you still don’t have the right experience, or the right employees, you simply can’t do everything all at once, and it is better not to start taking on work you will complete poorly.
Don’t hire without a plan in place
Even at the very beginning, you need to hire only the right people for the job, and bear in mind how they will impact your future business. Whenever you hire someone new, they need to fit into the company structure, and fit into the company dynamic you have in place. This becomes increasingly important as you grow, as a bigger team means a bit more challenges along the way.
Don’t forget to invest in security
While it may be the last thing on your mind, you need to make sure your property, both intellectual and material, is secure. If you are coming up with something brand new, make sure to copyright it. Invest in a proper firewall and anti-theft software, and make sure your premises are also secure at all times. Even if you feel you are not a prime target, the crime rate is not something to neglect. Reliable CCTV remote monitoring can help you sleep more soundly, knowing there is always someone keeping an eye on your premises. Remember how much it would hinder your progress if someone just walked away with all your equipment.
Don’t underestimate the power of proper marketing
Even if you have the best product or service in the world, if you are not marketing it properly, no one will know about it. You need to market it, and do it right. Digital marketing can help put you on the map, but only if you play by the book, and do your research right. While a certain marketing channel may work for one business, it may not necessarily work for yours. Establish a target persona, and come up with a sound marketing strategy that will be able to reach just the right people.
While being your own boss can be tough at times, it can also be extremely rewarding. Don’t make the mistake of taking your eye off the ball, and you will surely be on the road to success.