5 Things to Avoid When Starting A Business
There are plenty of checklists out there to help you start your business, apps to use (here’s our faves!), how to price your products, and so on. However, there’s not much about what to avoid or what not to spend time on in the early stages of business. This can be extremely challenging if you’re starting from the ground up. We’ve mapped out some of the most important tips to know when you’re in the early stages of starting your business.
Striving for Perfection
A lot of time is wasted if you strive for perfection. Many successful business today form their roots by simply beginning. Your vision for your business is going to change throughout your journey, and that’s okay! You’re going to learn things that work, and things that don’t work, things that you like, and things that you dislike, and you’re going to learn about your customers and their preferences.
Although, the ups and downs can be cumbersome, they are part of your business evolving! Failing can be a good thing. Striving for perfection will slow you down if that’s how you choose to carry your business on this journey.
As a new business, customers are also forgiving to your mistakes. They are forgiving to little inconsistencies. Embrace that while you have the chance! This can also help your business feel relatable. At the end of the day, we are all only human! Everyone makes mistakes. Although, it can sometimes be embarrassing to mess up, don’t be afraid to correct yourself and not take your mistake too seriously.
Selling to the Masses
What does this mean? You have a larger and easier chance of growing quicker if you niche down. There’s a saying that goes “if you try to sell to everyone, you sell to no one”. It is so important to find your target audience, and luckily, there are so many ways to do this!
A great way to find your target audience is through Instagram and other social platforms. After you’ve created your business accounts and start posting consistently for roughly 2-6 weeks, you’ll be able to see the analytics of your audience. Your analytics will show things like your audience’s, age, gender, geographic, and more! These are some very useful things to know when you’re starting out.
Lastly, you’ll want to know your competitors. It’s important to do competitor research. Find the top 3-5 competitors in your type of business. Ask yourself questions like these:
- Who are they?
- Who are their customers?
- Where are they located?
- What are they doing that seems to really work?
- What are they doing that doesn’t seem to work?
- What is something they do better than me?
- What is something that I do better than them?
Figuring out the answers to these questions will help you stand out and be successful. It’s also important to keep in mind that just because someone is doing something similar to your business, doesn’t mean you can’t be friendly towards each other. It’s actually good to build a relationship with each other! Especially if you’re in a niche community, you’ll want to have likeminded business friends.
Starting on the Wrong Platform
Where do you see yourself in 2 years? Perhaps you’re starting on Etsy today, but will you plan to move to Shopify? Make the decision now for which platform you ideally want to be on.
Trust us, moving your shop is not an easy task, so make sure the platform that you choose to start your business with offers all the features that you will want in the long run. Think of features like being able to purchase shipping labels and generate custom discount codes. Can you easily list your products for sale, do you want a blog, do you want additional custom pages like an ‘about’ section or ‘ingredients’ page? These are all questions you’ll want to ask yourself before selecting which platform to use.
Here are some pros and cons of a few of the popular selling platforms:
Pros: User-friendly, affordable listing fee
Cons: Limited ways of branding your store, lack of blogging and customizable features
Pros: Fully customizable, integrated shipping and postage options
Cons: May need additional plugins for certain shop features
Pros: Drag and drop editing
Cons: No unlimited plan, limited app tools
I know this sounds like one you can’t predict, but what we mean is take each step through your business, starting today, with a defined purpose and strategy. This goes hand-in-hand with avoiding perfection.
Why are you posting on Instagram? Is it just to make it look like you’re active on the platform, or does the caption actually convey who and what your business is? Are you spending hours on a product label design left to be unsatisfied each time? Maybe it’s in your best interest to hire someone to design it instead, so you can focus on growing your customer base.
What we are trying to say is have purpose behind everything you do! Work smarter, not harder.
Also, don’t forget to use tools to help you stay organized as a small business owner, and save hours of your personal time on by performing tedious tasks. But you already knew that! 😉
Offering Too Much
As a new business, offering a minimal variety is key. This will help you from spending too much early on, without having any data to backup what people actually want.
With a slim offering, you will soon learn what are your best sellers and what types of products to invest more in. With this being said, it’s okay to brainstorm things you want to create and accomplish, and trying to map out a good time to introduce those into your shop. However, you’ll want to be cautious to not do this too soon. Start out with a handful of products you’re confident in, then go from there!
If we knew these things before starting, there may have been less bumps in the road where we began. However, the learning process is all apart of the experience and will ultimately help shape your business into a unique operation.
What advice would you give to someone who is starting a business? Let us know below!