Running a business means managing moving parts at every turn. Many new business owners, unfortunately, make things harder on themselves by making mistakes that can put them further behind on their path to success. Today, I share five mistakes and tips on how to avoid them.
Mistake #1: failure to register your business.
Depending on where you are and what type of business you’re running, you may be required to register in your state, province, or country. There are many different types of business structures, and each will have clear pros and cons. In the United States, for example, many small businesses choose a limited liability company or LLC. An LLC offers individuals a bit of cushion between legal issues with their business and their personal assets. As an LLC, you will appoint a registered agent to ensure you always have someone that can handle legal and financial matters on your behalf. Depending on where you are, you may be able to form the entity yourself without an attorney to save money.
Mistake #2: DIYing everything.
When you’re trying to manage all the moving parts we mentioned earlier, you’ll spread yourself thin and likely won’t be as effective where it matters the most. Don’t be shy about getting help, even if you have to invest in a full-time employee, freelancer, or part-time assistant. According to Riveter Consulting Group, there are many benefits of having a personal assistant, including handling small tasks and helping you manage the balance between your personal and professional lives.
Mistake #3: pricing poorly.
As you start your business, you may think the best way to attract customers is to offer bottom-dollar pricing. This is inaccurate and can actually cause your business harm. Value your products and services in a way that meets the market. Underpricing tells consumers you may not provide the quality they expect, while pricing too high can push you out of the market entirely.
Mistake #4: sending the wrong message.
What is your business’s message? If you said “to sell,” you are wrong. While that is our ultimate goal, your message has to be catered to your demographic. Make sure that you have identified the right people and media so that you can tailor your message to the people that need to hear it. When you work with social media strategist and communications specialist Kesi Gardner, you can rely on her expertise to help you capture your fair share of the market.
Mistake #5: mismanaging payroll.
We’ve saved one of the biggest mistakes for last, and that is mismanaging your payroll. Once you start taking on employees, you have to pay them, and you have to pay them accurately, on time, and according to the letter of the law. Fuse Workforce explains that not tracking hours, not reporting taxable employee compensation, and keeping disorganized records can all be detrimental to your business.
While this is not a complete list of all the mistakes business owners make (you’ll find more here), these are some of the greatest self-inflicted challenges that many of us face when we are first starting out. Give yourself a bit of breathing room as you learn to manage your new business and life as a business owner by taking simple steps, such as forming your business structure and crafting the right message. In doing so, you will create a smoother path and a solid foundation to follow and grow as you build your business.
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