Running a startup business is hard. I’ll give you a moment to recover from the surprise of that incredibly shocking statement. All joking aside, there are few things more challenging that running your own business. And when you’re dealing with something that is so fast-based, competitive and challenging, you’re going to make some mistakes. Don’t worry, that’s totally normal, and pretty much every single business does. This is especially true in the early days when you’re still sort of finding your feet. The important thing is to be able to identify the most common mistakes and deal with them before they become a real problem. With that in mind, here are some of the most common mistakes that startups make, and how to avoid them.
Ignoring the boring stuff
Look, no one likes dealing with the accounting for their business. Just about every business owner is more concerned with their customers and their products, the things that actually make the business interesting. But, as boring as it might be, your bookkeeping is a crucial part of your business that you can afford to ignore. There are plenty of different types of accounting software out there to make the whole process easier, or you could hire an accountant. However you do it, just make sure to deal with it and not put it off.
Not being flexible
Flexibility is one of the things that every business needs to embrace in 2017. The days of being able to dictate terms to your customers are over. The market has never been more saturated which means customers have never had more to choose from. This means that if you’re trying to force your customers into a particular slot, then they’re going to get frustrated very quickly and go elsewhere. Make sure that you’re able to be flexible and help provide them with their ideal service. This can involve everything from customer service to the product itself, although payment is often one area of flexibility many business owners forget. If you offer financing options to your customers, then you should avoid being too rigid in the criteria that they have to meet. For example, 28% of consumers won’t even apply for credit for fear of being declined. This means that there’s a huge subset of customers who might have been more inclined to buy your product but simply didn’t feel like they could. Make sure that you let your customers know that you’re more than willing to make allowances and be flexible with them.
Not managing your time
Time is a startup’s most precious resource, and yet so many new business owners end up wasting huge amounts of it. Make sure that you’re planning carefully and prioritizing tasks based on their importance. Don’t put off the big tasks until later, get them out of the way. Time management is one of the most important qualities in a great business owner and it’s one that you need to have if you want your startup to succeed.