Navigating the Seas of Entrepreneurship: 7 Pitfalls You Need to Avoid as a Small Business Owner

StrategyDriven Entrepreneurship Article | Entrepreneurship | Navigating the Seas of Entrepreneurship: 7 Pitfalls You Need to Avoid as a Small Business OwnerAs an entrepreneur, learning to navigate the business landscape can be tricky, especially if it is your first time starting a business. Learning the hard way is never advised if you can absorb the lessons of those who have sailed into the business world before you. However, as an entrepreneur, you may be facing greater risks than normal that can potentially become snares on the path to success. Consider these seven pitfalls to avoid if you want your company to flourish.

Not Setting Clear Goals

A business owner who does not take the time to set clear goals and objectives will travel in many different directions, and is more likely to waste time, money, and effort in the process. Avoid making the mistake of “winging it” as you go, or you may find yourself nowhere fast, or moving in unprofitable circles. Not setting logical, measurable goals can result in great frustration and disorder. Goals and objectives serve as a way to determine whether or not the company is making meaningful progress. Without goals, it is far more difficult for employees to meet quality standards, and for CEOs to make intelligent decisions on behalf of the business. Making your goals too general, or creating unreasonable, elusive aims can leave you and your employees wondering whether the company is sailing forward, or stagnant at sea.

Not Performing Market Research

Many individuals may brainstorm what they believe is a great business idea, but it is a mistake to avoid performing thorough market research before launching any type of business. By understanding the intended industry you plan to break into, you can make more strategic moves to obtain higher influence and more customers while blazing a trail to success. Selecting an oversaturated market can also make it far more difficult for your business to excel, so it is recommended to pick a niche market that you can dominate in.

Not Defining Your Target Market

A business that intends to serve everyone often ends up serving nobody well. It is crucial to focus on a target audience as an entrepreneur. The Small Business Chronicle declares that any company that lacks a target audience can have haphazard promotion strategies, severe budget issues, ineffective consumer tracking, and poor site traffic and conversions. If you know who is a part of your target audience, then you can invest in marketing, omni-channel advertising, and product research and development accordingly.

Not Having Adequate Capital

Ensuring that you have enough financial resources to launch and keep the doors of your business open is wise. It is critical for business owners to secure enough capital to execute operations,obtain efficient, industry software and equipment, and to compensate employees (if you have them). As a small business owner, you can get a loan to help meet fundamental financial needs required to launching and maintaining your business. With a combination of personal funding, loan monies, and funds from investors, you can successfully fuel your small business.

Not Following a Solid Budget Plan

Having money at your disposal is not enough. Acting without a detailed budget plan for your company is reckless and can lead to a significant waste of resources. The Small Business Administration reports that about half of small businesses survive the first five years, but only a third make it past the 10-year mark. Business failure is often a result of the lack of financial resources. CEOs that are too eager to launch without being prepared for both fundamental and unexpected expenses are often stricken by surprise. It is not unusual for a small business to make little to no profit during the establishment stage, so your access to financial resources must be secure until you can generate a steady profit.

Not Creating an Online Presence

Billions of people browse the internet daily, and a huge number access social media platforms every day. If you want to launch a successful business, you cannot underestimate the power of an attractive online presence and reputation. In addition to creating an excellent website that is easy for visitors to navigate, your site and sales funnels must be mobile-optimized for stronger search engine optimization (SEO). Forbes suggests that your site should be mobile-optimized to rank higher in search engines and to cater to the growing mass of mobile users.

Integrating social media marketing into your company’s marketing plan is fundamental to expand your reach to any target audience. Tons of consumers regularly use social media to interact with friends, family, coworker, and strangers, and they are often glad to share their experiences and review companies that they deal with. The Pew Research Center reports that nearly 90% of 18- to 29-year-olds use social media, nearly 80% of people aged 30 to 49, and about 64% of people aged 50 to 64. If your company builds a significant online presence and maximizes it through social media, you can obtain widespread exposure for your brand, and boost your sales significantly.

Not Selecting the Right Partner

One serious pitfall that business owners must avoid is selecting a terrible partner to go into business with. Giving up too much equity too soon with a bad partner is a move that an entrepreneur can live to regret. Although the excitement of launching a business with someone to assist you may seem like a good idea, if you end up at odds and ends with your partner, it will likely cost you in an expensive separation. However, selecting the ideal partner that possesses strong industry knowledge, passion, and is fully committed to the company mission is a true advantage. When you are feeling anxious, your partner can provide encouragement and offer solid advice and direction. Entrepreneur suggests that selecting someone who complements your strengths and weaknesses and shares your vision for the company is key.

Achieving success in a business does not occur by chance, but it is often the result of extensive preparation, deep work, compatible partnerships, and strategic execution. Creating a detailed business plan is the first major step to take to sail towards success in any industry. Having a mission that resonates with your values and the type of brand that you desire to represent to the world is essential for becoming fruitful in entrepreneurship. Small business owners that do not heed the warnings may find themselves out of business and in debt within the first few years. If you cover all of the bases and avoid dangerous pitfalls in your business, you can attain excellence on your journey.

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