Starting a small business can be a thrilling, life-changing event. It allows you to be in charge of your career and make something that could benefit both you and your community. However, some people go into it without knowing exactly what they should do. This results in a lot of mistakes. Here are some of the most common mistakes to avoid as a new small business.
Ignoring Digital Security
These days, a lot of work is done online. This includes everything from storing employee information to taking payments on a customer’s credit card. This information is extremely personal and needs to be stored securely. If someone gets into it, they could steal it and wreck the lives of the people it actually belongs to. When you ignore digital security, you don’t consider things like encryption and security programs. According to Verizon, small businesses make up 28% of data breach reports. A data breach can destroy your customers’ trust, so you want to avoid it as much as possible. Pay for effective digital security from the beginning.
Doing It All Yourself
You might be tempted to do everything yourself in order to save money. However, there is only so much time in the day. You won’t be able to get it all done and your business and well-being will suffer as a result. As you budget for your business, try to delegate tasks as much as possible. This will allow you to focus on the parts of your business that make money without letting the other parts slide. The amount of delegating you can do will depend on how much money you have, but even some help from the start will make a big difference.
Partnering With the Wrong People
Whether you’re looking for a business partner or an investor, you should be careful who you work with. It can be tempting to go with the person who will bring in the most money, but you also want to make sure that they are honest and that the two of you are a good fit. If you have a dishonest partner, they might embezzle money. Embezzling is a white-collar crime where someone mismanages the financial assets they’re in charge of. They then use that money for unauthorized things. If you find that your partner is embezzling funds, it could ruin your business. So make sure that you only work with people that you know and trust.
Ignoring Online Marketing
Some small business owners think that the internet is a waste of time. In fact, 10% of small businesses don’t invest in marketing at all. They want to focus on local customers and what’s happening in person. However, even if you’re not selling online, you should incorporate online marketing into your business plan. Social media and good SEO will make you visible to significantly more potential customers than physical advertising will. It can also connect you with a younger audience who does much of their research and shopping online. You don’t need to be over the top with your online marketing, chasing trends and spending a lot of money. Instead, focus on a few things you can do to boost your online presence and alert people to your small business’s existence.
Not Making a Business Plan
It might be tempting to just jump in feet first and make it all up as you go. However, you should never do this. Having a business plan from the beginning will help you figure out how much money you have and how well the business is doing. It also gives you the steps to take if something unexpected happens. Before you open your doors, set up your business plan.
Starting a small business takes a lot of time and resources. You want to be sure that you do it correctly from the beginning. Keep these mistakes in mind and make sure that you avoid them.