While some sectors of the economy are struggling, many are using the recent world events as an opportunity to finally get their business ideas off the ground. If you are part of that group, or if you have a relatively young company that is just now gaining
ground, here are some of the common pitfalls you should avoid.
Overworking yourself or your staff
The first months of a company are often the busiest, as all the systems and routines needed to keep the company running are still being discovered and fleshed out. Tasks you thought would be big problems may turn out to be trivial, while parts of your business
you hadn’t even considered may turn out to be crucial for your success.
As a result of these shifts and overall uncertainty, staff members are often forced to step up and fill various gaps in order to keep the business running. And while this is a necessary survival tactic in the short-run — especially if you are starting with
little capital —, it can’t be allowed to continue forever.
Overworking can lead to you or your employees burning out, and certain tasks shouldn’t be performed by inexperienced employees for long. Having people with no IT experience manage your customer data can lead to breaches and data leaks, for example.
Failing to raise sufficient capital
It’s easy to get complacent with money once you open the doors of your business and cash starts flowing in. But a successful business owner knows when it’s time to spend the company’s cash, and when it is wiser to use someone else’s.
Securing funding for your company isn’t something you do once and forget about it — continually looking into new funding options and considering ways to renegotiate your company’s debts can both help ensure the longevity of your business.
On top of that, continually securing funding and paying back creditors will help you establish a reputation as someone who can be relied on. And that is almost as valuable as having a great credit score.
Growing at an unhealthy rate
Most business owners can recognize when their businesses aren’t growing fast enough. The challenge comes in trying to admit that your business is growing too fast. If you find yourself with more demand than you are able to meet, it may be tempting to expand
as fast as possible in order to capitalize on it. But that isn’t always the best course of action.
It’s important to balance the speed at which you grow with the quality of your services. If you expand your business fast at the expense of providing a poorer customer experience, there is a good chance that the demand you are trying to meet won’t be there
for long. Don’t capitalize on demand at the expense of your company’s future.
Skipping business optimization
Many ventures start off on the wrong foot by launching an unoptimized business model or product. Yes, it is always possible to learn from experience and improve, and that will be necessary no matter what. But that doesn’t mean you should skip optimizing
your business entirely before you open your doors.
Talk to other business owners, take classes, hire consultants and mentors, and — if you are building an actual product — make sure you are following the best
design for manufacturing practices. All these steps can be accomplished within a month, and they can spare you years of headaches down the line.