Kick-starting a business is never easy. From finding the perfect location to hiring trusted accountants to help with your financials, there are plenty of factors to consider before business operations can begin. To help you start your new venture on the right foot, we've found the four biggest mistakes that small businesses make before launching, and how you can avoid them.
1. Neglecting goals
There's little point in starting a business if you haven't defined why you're doing it in the first place. Establishing SMART goals helps in identifying not only the core of your business and the reasoning behind it, but acts as a roadmap for your objectives and how you can achieve them. SMART is an acronym that stands for the traits goals must have for them to be feasible.
- Specific: Goals need to hone into specific areas of your business, without being too broad. A specific goal is unambiguous and clearly understood.
- Measurable: Your goal needs to have metrics that you can track success by.
- Achievable: While it may seem like a wise idea to shoot for the moon in terms of your goal setting, it's vital that your objectives can actually be achieved. Setting unrealistic goals means that you'll just be working towards an unattainable target – think smaller, first.
- Relevant: Your goal needs to be relevant to your business objectives.
- Timely: The best goals are those that are set within a specific timeframe. This gives both you and those in your business a scope in which to achieve the objective, without allowing them drag on unnecessarily.
Having SMART goals set in place lets you incorporate the necessary steps to achieving them into your daily processes, knowing that they can be reached realistically with purpose.
2. Misidentifying the customer
As a rule, the customer is the most important part of a business, therefore a thorough understanding of your target audience is vital to tick all the right boxes in their books. Market and demographic research should never be an afterthought. Different age groups and those with varying interests respond to unique things – investigate your audience and incorporate their interests into the essence of your business, from store decor to branding.
3. Sticking to old technology
The beauty of a new business is that you have an opportunity to push your operations into the future before you've even opened your doors. Unfortunately, many small business owners tend to stick to the tried and true technology of years past. To stay relevant and up with the play, it's key to embrace changing tech and adopt it into your business processes. Whether it's creating an online shop to sell your wares or enabling smartphone payments in your store, an awareness and understanding of new technology puts you in a sweet spot with customers, as they'll associate your business with being ahead of the curve.
4. Skipping marketing campaigns
Word of mouth is an incredibly powerful tool, however in today's age of social media and instant connectivity, voices can be lost within the noise of the internet. Even before you're open for business, marketing is crucial in generating hype and interest for your company – skipping out on advertising could have dire consequences. You can adopt plenty of new technology here. Whether it's paid social media advertising or reaching out to a content marketing agency to boost your presence on Google search, your business is nothing without customers, so it pays to be adventurous and forward in presenting your company to the world.
At WMC Accounting, we're dedicated to helping our clients achieve their business dreams. To collaborate and discuss how we can assist you in hitting your targets, get in touch with our team.