Starting a new business is exciting, liberating…and risky. Phoenix lawyer Mark Briggs provides aspiring entrepreneurs with advice on three mistakes to avoid making:
Daunting though it may be, all prospective small business owners need to acknowledge a very telling stat: nearly half of all business ventures fail to reach their fifth birthday. As a result, it’s especially important to avoid any common mistakes that might doom your startup from jump street. With that in mind, here are three mistakes to avoid when starting a new business:
1) Don’t assume customers will find you on their own: Your business may be the greatest thing since Google, but unless you put yourself out there and sell the thing, no one is going to know about it. Luckily, in today’s business world, it’s easier than ever to get your information out there. Thanks to the Internet—and helpful web-based resources like Yelp, Facebook and Google pages—consumers should be able to find your business, just so long as you are willing to sell it to them.
2) Don’t underestimate this commitment: When launching a startup, there is no substitute for lots of hard work. Late nights, missed vacations, and short weekends are just the way it is for successful entrepreneurs. If you (and your family and friends) have not accepted this commitment as part of your new life, it is not worth investing the time and money necessary to launch a business. Being an entrepreneur is not for everyone, and there is no shame in working for others. It’s easy to get caught up in all the upsides to being a small business owner, but before you get going, be sure to consider the potential downsides, too.
3) Don’t try to do it all yourself: Look, I get it—no one knows, or cares about, your startup quite like you do. But trying to do everything yourself opens you up to a whole new world of risk. Figure out your own strengths, then bring in trustworthy people who are good at the things you consider your weaknesses, and let them loose. One thing I like to recommend is an advisory board, which is essentially group of advisors of your choosing, who come together periodically to give you advice about how to run your company. They can also connect you with the right employees, independent contractors, vendors and strategic alliance partners to set yourself up for success.
Have you ever started your own business? What are some mistakes you made, and learned, from along the way? Share your insights in the comment section.
Photo credit: Leo Reynolds