Entrepreneurship and business ownership are lofty goals to strive for. Unfortunately, there are a few pitfalls that could easily send an enterprising new owner tumbling down to earth like Icarus. Here, we’ll go over six of these errors so, if you happen to be starting a business, you know what you need to avoid.
Wearing Too Many Hats
Many business owners make the mistake of taking on too much responsibility for themselves. It is almost as if these business owners forget that they aren’t running a sole proprietorship, that they are running a business – which means they have employees to leverage and delegate tasks to. If they don’t, they need to prioritize building a team they can trust, allowing themselves to focus on their top-tier responsibilities.
Misunderstanding Your Audience
So, you’re doing your best to understand your audience better, and so you’re doing research into their preferences – specifically, whether they prefer Coke or Pepsi. You spend weeks running surveys, conducting market research – you analyze every bit of data you can – all to determine which variety of cola your audience prefers. Unbeknownst to you, however, your target audience actually prefers ginger ale.
While this is admittedly a silly example, too many business owners make assumptions about the people they are trying to attract, inadvertently disregarding them or worse… driving them away.
Curse of Knowledge Bias
Whatever business you’re trying to open, you know your stuff. You’re more familiar with the ins-and-outs of your offering than you are with the back of your hand. It is perfectly fair and accurate to describe you as a subject matter expert – but there are cases in which this isn’t always a good thing.
Have you ever had an expert try to explain something to you, only to have it go completely over your head? This was likely because the expert is so familiar with their subject, they subconsciously assume that everyone else is, too. As a result, they’ll gloss over crucial details and key facts (after all, these are all a “given” to them). This is a habit that needs to be identified and broken, if only to avoid frustrating your clients.
Treating Employees Like a Corporation Can
No matter their size, all businesses rely on their employees in order to function. However, larger businesses and corporations have the advantage of being far more able to attract and hire new employees (primarily due to their visibility) as compared to SMBs – which means that turnover is less of a concern for them.
In order to not lose the people you’ve hired, you need to make sure you aren’t stifling your staff. Encouraging them will only benefit your business in both the short and long-term.
Cutting the Wrong Costs
When starting a new business, there’s considerable financial commitments to be made. Many entrepreneurs short-change some of these commitments at first, whether that means they’re postponing their marketing or they’re turning to resources found on the Internet rather than professionals. This kind of behavior is risky at best, as making the wrong cuts could wind up costing you and your business far more in the future. If you do need to cut costs, make sure it is done with a lot of consideration and predictive analysis.
Not Leveraging Technology
Technology solutions are known as solutions for a reason: they are intended to assist a business in accomplishing their goals by fixing problems. By not using them, a business owner is hamstringing their own operations.
Emerge can help you avoid making this mistake, at least. To learn more, reach out to our team at 859-746-1030.