Million Dollar Mistakes
I`m not worried about what you`re doing to do in year three or year four of your small business career because you`ll know what to do by then. I`m most worried about the mistakes you may make before your business actually opens for business.
I`m most worried about these five common and costly startup mistakes:
- Giving away ownership. Aside from investors who will take a piece of your company in exchange for money, you should think twice before formally partnering with anyone. Early entrepreneurs are too eager to trade a piece of their ownership pie for help with marketing, sales, management or production. Keep your equity – you can easily delegate those functions to vendors or employees.
- Failing to check names and trademarks. It’s easy to fall in love with that business name you dreamt up one night in the bar. It’s a mistake not to check it out. Ask your lawyer to search the government database of registered business names and trademarks. You don`t want to find out later that someone else has legal rights to your business brand.
- No focus. You can’t be all things to all people so
don’t try. Offer something really specific to a very narrow customer niche
market – like banjo lessons for preschoolers in Houston.
- Low price. Big businesses can survive on thin margins because they enjoy high sales volume. You can`t. Charge large and enjoy healthy margins to fuel your business growth.
- Skipping market research. It’s a million dollar mistake to jump into business without first conducting market research. Find out everything you can about your intended customers, your competition, and your general marketplace.