There are mistakes to avoid when starting a business and this guide can help you navigate the pitfalls of common mistakes.
As a new small business owner, you’re inevitably going to make a few mistakes; it’s all part of the learning process. However, some of those slip-ups can be costly, which means it’s important to learn how to avoid them from the very beginning.
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You should spend a little time reading business strategy and operations articles to see what people have done prior, what worked, and what hasn’t. You can also seek out consultants with experience and expertise in the business area you intend to work in. For example, if you’re looking to open a restaurant, bar, pub, or similar, you can talk to (or find someone like) Entrepreneur of the year 2022 Eddie Fahmy from A2Z Restaurant Consulting. Or if it is business consulting (from accounting setup to technology integration) speak with the partners at A2Z Business Consulting.
There is a myriad of issues when launching a business,. Whether it’s making sure you choose the right people to work with (and avoid the wrong ones), failing to protect yourself legally, or failing to set up the correct accounting, knowing how to prevent these and other major (and common) errors will help you focus on growing your business and not climbing out of potholes.
You might start by learning the best ways to research companies that you’re thinking of working with. Check out reviews on sites like Clutch, The Better Business Bureau, or some may even have a Dunn & Bradstreet listing.
Mistakes to Avoid when Starting a Business
Not choosing the right business entity
Registering your business correctly can provide tax benefits, protection for your personal assets, and flexibility with your daily operations, which is why it’s crucial to choose the right business structure from the start.
What type of corporate structures are available and which should I choose? There are three main considerations:
Tax structure, so you should consult a business accountant or financial consultant.
LLC (Limited Liability Company), and
Legal protection. Research the states that provide the best legal corporate shield, legally. Typically Delaware is thought to have the best corporate protections for corporations. And yes, you can be incorporated in one state while operating in another.
Tax Benefits. Again, do the research,
Delaware, Nevada, Florida, and Wyoming are all popular states to incorporate in.
Not getting the right training
While starting a business is easier today than it used to be, thanks to the availability of accessible technology, it’s still important to have a solid understanding of how running a business works. There are so many moving parts that it can easily become overwhelming to someone with no experience.
You can change all that by going back to school to get the training you need. There are courses for almost anything these days, and you can take them online. Consider joining an online program to earn a degree in business, management, communications, or accounting so you can learn about all the details that go into running a successful business.
You can also join business network groups and/or follow and read blogs like ours, or that of our CEO (Bruce Dugan Sr.), or some of the world’s most successful leaders such as Richard Branson (on Twitter, Facebook, and Linkedin)
Not protecting your business
Choosing the right business entity can help protect your personal assets in the event of legal trouble, but there are also ways to protect the business itself.
Neglecting to set up security features for your payment system, email, and website could prove costly if your business becomes the victim of a cyber attack. So it’s important to find the right software immediately and, just as importantly, maintain it by following through with updates and keeping passwords secure. (if you need technology and security advice, ask us)
If you have employees, ensure that each team member is well-trained in cybersecurity practices. For email and online storage we’ve been using Google Workspace since 2011, and highly recommend it. We’ve also written about email scams and how to spot and avoid them.
Two other areas are often overlooked:
Compliance with ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act. Learn more about how to get into compliance and mitigate legal liability.
Not remaining organized
There are a few ways in which to remain organized. The first is to be sure to map out the business processes; in other words, the things you do that you earn money from. For example, if you’re a marketing company, your processes may include:
PROTOCOLS AND PROCESS MAPS
Estimates sent to the potential client
Acceptance or denial
Project and task management
This is just an example of the many steps involved in a single job process, and each and every one of them has its own subset of steps.
There are many things in your business that you can automate with technology. This can include simple things such as generating site maps, setting up accounting, billing, and quote software SEO and social media management efforts — by either subcontracting a marketing company or using automated tools to do it yourself –, accounting in billing software, and operating and sales tools such as ADA compliance, CRMs, and other tools,
Whether you’re trying to keep up with security passwords or important entity paperwork, staying organized is an essential aspect of running a successful business. Disorganized filing systems can cause chaos where your invoices are concerned, while payroll and scheduling can easily go off the rails if you don’t use the right tools to keep track of it all.
With so many free and low-cost resources available to small business owners these days, it’s easier than ever for entrepreneurs to stay on top of everything and manage it all, whether they’re at home, in the office, or traveling. Look for helpful apps and online tools that will allow you to focus and keep you in control no matter how busy you are.
It may be impossible to avoid every little mistake as a business owner, but you can certainly prevent the bigger ones from derailing your vision. Consider going back to school to build up your business knowledge, and research entities to ensure you choose the best one and protect your business and your customers with the right tools.
Need help with any of the above, or developing a business and/or a marketing plan? Get in touch with the A2Z Business Consulting team a sister company of Incognito Worldwide.
Sharon Wagner is the Editor in Chief at seniorfriendly.info