April 17th, 2021 | Updated on June 29th, 2022
To call small business ownership challenging on multiple levels would be an understatement.
A savvy entrepreneur has to wear many hats. From money manager to client finder to team recruiter, heading up a small business essentially entails doing multiple full-time jobs.
As such, there’s little wonder as to why so many seemingly proficient entrepreneurs make an assortment of rookie mistakes in the early days of their respective businesses.
So, if you’ll soon be opening the doors of your very first enterprise, steering clear of the following blunders is likely to serve you well.
Dedicated, talented employees are the backbone of any successful enterprise. As such, there’s little wonder as to why so many small business owners want to recruit as many stellar applicants as possible.
While the desire to populate your place of business with highly competent team members is perfectly understandable, it’s generally recommended that you keep your hiring numbers within reason.
For example, if certain positions don’t actually require a full-time commitment, there’s no financial sense in bringing on full-time employees to fill them.
So, if you only need specific roles filled on an as-needed basis, staffing them with contractors and part-time workers is often more economical.
Granted, this type of arrangement isn’t always fair to the people taking on these roles. So, if you’re particularly impressed by the work put forth by specific contractors, you may want to consider offering them full-time roles once your enterprise becomes more financially solvent.
This will provide them with incentive to keep doing their best and help ensure that you’re able to retain top-tier talent.
Renting More Workspace Than Necessary
When opening your first business, you’re liable to adopt a “go big or go home” mentality and be tempted to rent workspace that’s both larger than you need and not particularly affordable.
While there’s nothing wrong with business owners having lofty ambitions, it’s important to keep yourself grounded when working with limited financial resources.
So, if your enterprise has very few full-time employees – or most of your staff can comfortably carry out their job duties from home – you should limit your office options to locations that accurately represent the amount of space you actually require.
This can prove helpful on a number of fronts. For starters, your monthly rental costs will be kept within reason.
Secondly, the larger the workspace, the heftier the operating costs. As many budding entrepreneurs quickly discover, heating, cooling and supplying electricity to large workspaces can be a drain on already-limited finances.
Failing to Properly Promote Your Brand
Starting a small business without a coherent marketing plan in place is never a smart move. With consumers having more options at their fingertips than ever before, expecting your target customer base to simply find you on its own is downright foolhardy.
When formulating a solid marketing plan, there are numerous components to consider. For example, if your desired customer base skews younger, you’d do well to place your effort and resources into social media promotion, search engine optimization and other web-based marketing endeavors.
Conversely, if you’re hoping to reach an older demographic, purchasing ad spots on local television stations, radio outlets and print publications can prove a worthwhile investment.
Furthermore, it’s important to get out into the community when working to promote your brand. This means maintaining a presence at local job fairs, gatherings for entrepreneurs and other relevant social events.
While attending these events, you can make a lasting impression by distributing promotional products that bear your brand’s logo. Hats, mugs, t-shirts and water bottles are all examples of promotional products that have practical applications.
It’s easy to see why so many small businesses are forced to close their doors within their first year of operation.
Despite having the best of intentions and all the ambition in the world, a fair number of first-time entrepreneurs fall victim to a variety of rookie mistakes that ultimately render their businesses insolvent.
While there’s no magic wand to turn a fledgling small business into an overnight success, there are a number of incremental steps proprietors can take toward long-term solvency.
In the interest of helping your small business survive its tumultuous first year, make an effort to avoid the mistakes discussed above.