Despite the fact you’re launching a small business, the process is anything but small – to put it simply it can be a headache. A lot of the bureaucracy and red tape may even put you off the idea completely, but the UK is a ‘nation of shopkeepers’ as Napoleon is once purported to have said.
French revolutionaries aside, however, small businesses are the backbone of the economy, which is something the government have said themselves. The cost of living crisis has undoubtedly hindered many small businesses, from chip shops to pubs, needing to close their doors as a result of unaffordable bills.
Of course it’s always important to have hope and optimism, and if you have the drive to start a small business, then that’s something you must have in abundance. But what are some of the mistakes? Here are 5 that are actually more avoidable than you may realise.
1: Make a fool proof plan
This is the first step you need to consider, and if you’re serious about starting a business, you cannot afford to go into it half-cocked. It can be short and concise; just make sure it has the potential to work. You need that foundational piece in order to build the house so to speak. Even if you don’t stick religiously to the plan, it’s important to have that reference point.
2: Define your target audience
You might have the perfect product capable of reaching multiple demographics, but you don’t know that for sure until you define your target audience. This could form part of your business plan, but your market research is the part of the process that can truly get your business off the ground.
3: Don’t overstretch yourself
These things take time and resources; if things don’t get going according to your hopes and expectations, don’t let it take too much of a toll on your mental health. If you’re not at your best mentally, your business could be subject to more irrational and haphazard decisions. More importantly, you are a real human being – your life is more valuable than any business.
4: Technology is your friend, not your enemy (or competitor!)
Technology is your friend, not your enemy (or competitor!) There’s a lot of talk about Artificial Intelligence (AI) taking our jobs, but you may actually be able to use it to your advantage. Not only can AI be used for the reconciliatory processes, but you could use it for ideas and inspiration if you’re lacking it at a certain point in time. Not only can AI be of assistance, but other technologies are crucial in getting your business going, such as business process management software that will assist you in leveraging your business to become more efficient from data integration, capture, and utilization. It will also help you with visual workflow modeling to streamline all your business processes.
5: Make mistakes
You shouldn’t be afraid of making mistakes; the key is learning from those mistakes and growing. This isn’t just true for business, but for life in general. Starting a business should be a journey and an education, and if you aren’t making mistakes, you aren’t really learning how to grow yourself or your business. Many of the best brains in business started out somewhere and made countless mistakes. Keep in mind that these people are successful, because of those mistakes rather than in spite of them.