Entrepreneurship and business ownership are
lofty goals to strive for. Unfortunately, there are a few pitfalls that could
easily send an enterprising new owner tumbling down to earth like Icarus. Here,
we’ll go over six of these errors so, if you happen to be starting a business,
you know what you need to avoid.
Wearing Too Many Hats
Many business owners make the mistake of
taking on too much responsibility for themselves. It is almost as if these
business owners forget that they aren’t running a sole proprietorship, that
they are running a business - which means they have employees to leverage and
delegate tasks to. If they don’t, they need to prioritize building a team they
can trust, allowing themselves to focus on their top-tier responsibilities.
Misunderstanding Your Audience
So, you’re doing your best to understand your audience better, and so you’re doing research into their preferences - specifically, whether they prefer Coke or Pepsi. You spend weeks running surveys, conducting market research - you analyze every bit of data you can - all to determine which variety of cola your audience prefers. Unbeknownst to you, however, your target audience actually prefers ginger ale.
While this is admittedly a silly example, too
many business owners make assumptions about the people they are trying to
attract, inadvertently disregarding them or worse… driving them away.
Curse of Knowledge Bias
Whatever business you’re trying to open, you
know your stuff. You’re more familiar with the ins-and-outs of your offering
than you are with the back of your hand. It is perfectly fair and accurate to
describe you as a subject matter expert - but there are cases in which this
isn’t always a good thing.
Have you ever had an expert try to explain
something to you, only to have it go completely over your head? This was likely
because the expert is so familiar with their subject, they subconsciously
assume that everyone else is, too. As a result, they’ll gloss over crucial
details and key facts (after all, these are all a “given” to them). This is a
habit that needs to be identified and broken, if only to avoid frustrating your
Treating Employees Like a
No matter their size, all businesses rely on
their employees in order to function. However, larger businesses and
corporations have the advantage of being far more able to attract and hire new
employees (primarily due to their visibility) as compared to SMBs - which means
that turnover is less of a concern for them.
In order to not lose the people you’ve hired,
you need to make sure you aren’t stifling your staff. Encouraging them will
only benefit your business in both the short and long-term.
Cutting the Wrong Costs
When starting a new business, there’s
considerable financial commitments to be made. Many entrepreneurs short-change
some of these commitments at first, whether that means they’re postponing their
marketing or they’re turning to resources found on the Internet rather than
professionals. This kind of behavior is risky at best, as making the wrong cuts
could wind up costing you and your business far more in the future. If you do
need to cut costs, make sure it is done with a lot of consideration and
Not Leveraging Technology
Technology solutions are known as solutions
for a reason: they are intended to assist a business in accomplishing their
goals by fixing problems. By not using them, a business owner is hamstringing
their own operations.
Emerge can help you avoid making this mistake, at least. To learn more, reach out to our team at 859-746-1030.