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I can answer that question for you: no, you probably aren’t, and the truth of the matter is that most people aren’t ever ‘ready’ to start a small business. A small business is usually small because it stems from an idea or a love of a specific skill, or task, then you believe you can turn that into a career. Earning money to do what you love, that’s the dream, isn’t it?
But before long a lot of people find themselves in a bit of a mess, wondering where it all went wrong, why they aren’t living their dream yet and questioning if this was the right decision to make? Here are some of the common mistakes made by first-time small business owners.
Fail to prepare
The good news is, this is a prevalent problem, most people start a small business with good intentions, a solid knowledge of the work they are going to be doing and enthusiasm, loads and loads of enthusiasm. But the number one reason so many people end up in a state of panic, especially in the first year of business is that they didn’t prepare well enough. This can’t be stressed enough, if you’re starting a small business, you have to find out everything you can about the market you are entering, your potential customer or client base, as well as everything there is to know about the work you are going to carry out, and your competitors.
Underestimate the workload
When you become a business owner you become the workforce unless you are very smart, already have all your processes in place and hired people to help with the workload, you will find that there is more work than you ever imagined possible when setting up a business. From the day to day work, the admin, the marketing, the accounts and absolutely everything in between. You might find yourself wondering should you hire a facebook ad agency for your adverts? Should you hire an accountant? These are all things to be considered when setting up a small business for the first time.
Forgetting to look after yourself
To be efficient you have to be healthy, physically and mentally, and a lot of people find it challenging to look after themselves (and their family at times) when they are putting every waking hour into making their business a success, and if you skipped everything above you’ll quickly find less and less time for a break, let alone actual rest. But it really is vital to get the balance right as soon as possible. You can’t be too careful and if you’re ready to launch a small business, make sure you’re prepared to take some self-care into account also.
It goes without saying that you should have a business plan when you start a small business with projected profit and loss factored in. But there are many unexpected costs when it comes to owning a small business, things happen (usually at the worst time), even something as simple as a broken printer can tip the balance when it comes to finances. So being extra cautious and having a contingency plan will be a significant benefit to you, in the long run, don’t go celebrating too hard when you land a big contract and don’t forget to put aside money for your taxes!
Ok so you don’t have to be the most organised person in the world to succeed in business, but you must be able to get your business to a state of being pretty well organised. Whether you need to use management tools, a CRM, diaries or even hiring someone to help you, it is incredibly important to keep your ducks in a row and everything in order the best you can. You’ll be seriously kicking yourself when someone asks you a question you can’t answer otherwise!
Now that’s a few of the things that can go wrong out of the way, there are many positives to owning a small business, for a start, you will have more freedom to a degree, you get to call the shots, and you don’t have to answer to anyone else. Your vision will become real from your own hard work and putting your whole self into that work. You will have the most frustrating times and the most exciting times, and you will sometimes want to get off the rollercoaster called being a business owner. But as long as you prepare, take care and stay organised, you have every chance of succeeding.