6 Small Business Mistakes to Avoid

When you’re carrying out such a big project like starting a business, it can be easy to have a few things fall through the cracks. In between laying out your marketing plan, hiring employees, and mapping out the budget, there might be more than a few “Oh shoot” moments as you’re getting everything up and running.

Today, we’re going to go over some mistakes that many small businesses make and help you remember to have them on the brain so you’re not going out and making the same mistakes.

Let’s get started!

A Half-Hearted Business Plan

If you’ve ever watched a behind-the-scenes documentary about movie-making, you’ve no doubt come across a storyboard. This storyboard lays out every planned scene, camera angle, and transition.

It’s helpful for directors and producers when they’re trying to manage 5,000 different things but they have their storyboard to keep them focused. 

Having a business plan is key and you might be surprised to find that many entrepreneurs skip over that step. That’s a very dangerous move and research backs up the notion that having a business plan is vital for your business

It doesn’t have to be the longest or most detailed document ever, but having one that lays out your future plans is vital.

Planning Too Much for the Now

While crystal balls are often unreliable, you should be looking to the future for your business and that can tie into your business plans. Of course, you should be laying out what your current plans are but be unprepared for the future can delay your progress or even move you backward.

Planning for the future is vital with everything from having the right amount of office space to anticipating product demand and growth. While you can’t always see the changes coming, it’s best to be prepared for what lies ahead.

Ignoring Technology Because It’s Hard to Understand

These days, you blink and there’s a new version of the iPhone being released. It’s almost impossible to keep up with the ever-relenting wave of technology, but that doesn’t mean you should throw in the towel because it’s difficult to understand.

One of the biggest, yet most difficult, areas to master is that of digital marketing. While you might be outsourcing this area to a marketing firm, it still helps if you’re in the know all. For those not outsourcing, it could seem like a big hill to climb.

Take SEO, search engine optimization, for example. Experts in the field often say there’s no ideal certification to receive because SEO is changing year after year. You need to constantly be learning in order to take full advantage of what’s out there.

You don’t have to become an expert, but there are tons of free courses online to teach you the basics and give you some quality tools to use.

Underspending

Budgeting is incredibly important and people often think of their budget as telling them what they can’t overspend on, but it’s also telling you what you shouldn’t underspend on. 

While it’s great to finish a quarter in the black, you should also be thinking of where those resources can be better allocated. Take something nitty-gritty, like your business insurance. While it may just seem like an extra cost that you won’t need, proper coverage can protect you from the worst like burglary or environmental damage. Some things are just worth the cost.

Skipping Over Bureaucracy

No one likes the idea of visiting a government building, paying taxes, or filling out forms. It’s no fun at all, but very necessary.

If you don’t take the time to decide on a proper business structure and entity, that could come back and bite you in the future. It’s going to affect how you hire people, pay taxes, and affect growth in the future.

Fortunately, most everything can be done online now so take the time and read through your state’s guidelines to make sure you’re doing everything by the book.

Going it Alone

While you might be inspired by entrepreneurial stories of people starting out on their own, there are often plenty of background characters who get left out. For example, you may know more about small business law than the Average Joe, but you may not know a thing about accounting.

So what should you do? You should talk with an accountant. It helps to have a team around you in order to make sure you’re taking the right steps and not missing out on anything vital.

Adam Hansen