What not to do when starting a business

Six tips for things to avoid  when starting a business

Don’t choose a career or product because it is the next big thing. Fads and trends come and go. Unless you are a master in a particular area, chances are your market will be flooded and you will struggle to get the business volume you want or need. Or, you may find yourself in a bubble where you were making money while the product or service was popular, but when the bubble burst, the business can’t survive. Choose something you know or you are passionate about. Knowledge and skill will set you apart from the pack and passion provides energy to drive success

Not learning from trial and error. Failing is not a bad thing. No, really! Leaders in business know that failing fast is the way to go. If you make a mistake, learn from it and move on to the next iteration or idea. Giving up is the real business failure.

Overthinking getting started. You do not need a fancy office, a staff, or customized doo-dads with  your logo on them to get most businesses going. Do not let the “if I just had this, then…” mentality keep you from getting started. All of those aforementioned things are overhead and will cost you money whether they are one-time costs or reoccurring costs. If you have a service business, you often just need you and your networking skills to get the business up and going. Once you are making money, then you can start to spend money.

Bring in too many friends of family members at the beginning. Starting a business is exciting. If you have a great idea, product or skill, chances are people around you are going to want in on it. You may have a huge heart and want to help others around you. All these things are wonderful, but they can quickly break you or your business. First, see the point above about hiring staff. Don’t feel pressured to do it until you are ready.  Next, consider the knowledge and skill component. You want the right people, with the right skills. If those people are your friends or family, then great- hire them once you have the income to justify it.

Not doing research.  It is important to verify your price point against the market if it is within your control. If you are contracting or franchising, you may not have flexibility. Research your market. Know. Your. Competition. You do not want to be outclassed or undercut for the same or similar product or service.

Under valuing your product or service. While it is important to stay competitive with pricing, it is also important to ensure you are being paid fairly for your product or service. Sometimes when people start a venture, they may undervalue their product resulting in loss revenue or perceived lower quality. Tally up the hours you put into each transaction and look at market rates for your skill-set. Bill and charge accordingly.