It isn’t easy becoming a successful entrepreneur. 60% of new businesses fail in the first three years. To have any chance of establishing your business and becoming profitable, there are more than a few mistakes you really must avoid. Here are just eight…
Don’t expect to be an overnight success
Every venture, no matter how much you’ve planned, or how much confidence you have in your business model, comes with risks – especially when you’re just starting up. Don’t expect things to go smoothly or to make a profit straightaway. Expect problems and setbacks. Being successful is a long term game. That means commitment, a lot of hard work, patience and, above all, perseverance.
Don’t forget to make a business plan
Start without a business plan and you’re planning to fail. Even if it’s just a single page, map out what you expect your start-up and operating costs to be, who your customers are, how you will sell to them and how much you expect to turnover monthly and annually. This will give you some idea of whether or not your business is going to be a viable concern. Continually revisit your plan to review and refine, add new goals to work towards for the short, medium and long term.
Don’t forget your tax obligations
Make sure you follow the rules when it comes to registering your company and paying tax. If at all possible, get an accountant to help you with this and ensure you know exactly what your obligations are. It’s wise to put away enough cash in a tax account each month, so when the time comes to complete your tax return, the funds are in place. KoalaPays can help with separate ‘spaces’ to designate funds so you can manage your finances and your taxes better.
Don’t forget contracts
When you’re just starting out, you’ll do just about anything to get a new client on board – to the\ point where it can be tempting not to use a contract. This can be a big mistake for a new venture with limited resources. No matter how good your relationship with a business partner, when things go wrong, if you don’t have a contract, the outcome can be disastrous for your business.
Don’t waste money
When you’re starting out, being cost-efficient is critical. So when it comes to partnering with service providers, make sure you get value for money. Do your research and find the suppliers, partners and technology that are most compatible with your business model. For instance, at KoalaPays, we’ve designed our services around businesses just like yours with a range of features that can make it easier for you to do business in more places across the world.
Don’t overpromise or under-deliver
If you tell a customer or business partner that you can deliver more than you actually can, you could lose business. Be conservative in your estimates, that way you can always over-deliver and really impress your customers.
Don’t be unprofessional
Following on from that, be professional in all your dealings with customers, suppliers and other business partners. Professionalism is what makes others take your business seriously. Respect your employees and others you work with, as well as customers. Always be courteous and polite. If you’re lax in any respect of professionalism, the result can seriously cripple your reputation. In the business community, word can spread quickly – anything that’s bad for your reputation is bad for business.
Don’t rush when it comes to hiring
The people that work for you are the lifeblood of your business, so it’s important to get recruitment right – even if you need new staff desperately. Invest in advertising and screening candidates. If necessary, outsource. Remember, you’re not only looking for someone who can do the job, but someone who is a good fit for company culture and can even bring more value to the business in other areas.