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Common Mistakes in Setting Up Your First Business

The recent global situation has inspired many to finally get up and start chasing those dreams about setting up their own businesses. And while the implications of starting a new venture in the middle of such a situation are questionable, there are definitely some viable opportunities out there, and there will likely be even more of them in the near future. Simply having an idea about a potential business is far from enough, though – pretty much everyone gets those ideas every once in a while. How you go about executing it is a different story and the whole main factor that matters here.

Failing to Market Correctly

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Marketing should be your number one concern when setting things up. Some have the wrong idea about how this works, believing that it’s one of the last steps in putting together your business. In the eyes of those people, marketing is equivalent to a promotion, and simply means coming up with good ads for your product. The reality is significantly different from that. Marketing means ensuring that the market is actually in the right state for your product, and studying the viability of your idea in detail before committing is sensible. It also means adapting your design to your findings. All of that should start with the research and development of the product itself. If you already have a finished product but have done no marketing for it, you should prepare for a disaster, unless your idea is truly unique and a once-in-a-lifetime thing.

Ignoring the Legal and Accounting Aspects

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Even for a small business, there are often significant implications on the legal and accounting front. Even if you’re just handling a small volume of transactions at low prices, there are still various things that you must consider. Accounting can be sorted out with a good accountant, and that’s at least something that most people have the foresight to do right. But when it comes to legal issues, the situation is much worse. If you’re selling physical products, you absolutely must research the implications this brings to the table in terms of liability and suchlike. Setting up your company in the correct legal form from the very beginning is going to save you from a lot of headaches later on.

Not Having a Website from the Very Beginning

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A website is a must for any business these days, even for those that don’t operate digitally at all. The saying “if you’re not on Google, you might as well not exist” came up 10-15 years ago, and it’s even more valid today. Just think about how you approach your own research when you need a new product or service – you probably start with your favorite search engine or online community and take it from there. Make sure that your design is done right, too – specialists like WSI Digital Web can help you get the job done right with minimal hassle, leaving you to only worry about the actual business side of your situation.

Doing Your Own Community Management

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Some products don’t require community engagement, but many do nowadays. People expect you to have a Twitter and Instagram account and to post regular updates on them. And a huge mistake you can do early on is to assume that this is something you can handle on your own. Most social media platforms have their own “language” that you need to understand in order to reach their users correctly. There’s also the matter of how you handle negative feedback. One of the quickest ways to kill your business is to engage in a petty argument with a customer over something they’ve said online. Even if you’re in the right, someone looking in from the outside is most certainly going to get an unprofessional impression of your business from that incident. Social media community managers know exactly what to do and how to avoid the hidden pitfalls of the job, so hire someone to do that for you instead of doing it yourself.

Lack of Proper Customer Support

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On a similar note, you should make sure that you have someone professional handling your customer support. This is actually something you can reliably do on your own in the beginning. As long as you have a professional, calm attitude, people should get a good impression. The problem comes when your operations start to scale up because, at some point, you’re going to find yourself doing more customer support than anything else in your business, and this is going to cause the rest of your operations to suffer.

Expanding Too Fast

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And that brings us to another important point. Expanding your company is completely natural and it’s the main goal of most businesses. But there’s a thin line between successful growth and heading for disaster. At some point, you will want to slow things down, take a step back, and re-evaluate where you’re going. Because if you start to expand too fast before you know it, you’ll be signing contracts for new rental properties, hiring new people, investing in new technologies, and so on. And what if things slow down over the next couple of months and you no longer need any of those things? With the way most commercial contracts work, you’ll be stuck paying for them for a long time. And that’s exactly how many businesses die even if their product is successful. Sure, the idea of slowing down your own progress can seem very annoying and counterintuitive, but it’s absolutely necessary if you want to preserve your company for the future.

As you can see, you have a lot of bases to cover. And not all of them are immediately obvious to a newcomer to the field. This makes it important to do a lot of research early on and not be afraid to reach out for help when you know you need it. In the end, having your own company can be a very rewarding experience that can bring a lot to the table. But getting to the point where you can call it a reliable, steady source of income is a journey that few people anticipate properly.

About Ronald Lamumbe

Ronald Lamumbe

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