There is no truer statement when it comes to small business startup mistakes. Consider driving to an unknown location without GPS or Navigation, what were our options? Before the age of this technology, we would do one of two things; get clear directions from someone or use a map. It’s imperative to create a clear map of where you are going, what you are planning to achieve and how you will achieve it. According to Entrepreneur.com market research from every angle is a must to identify, understand and steer around pitfalls.
What is a Plan? Failure to understand this thoroughly will lead to one of the biggest small business startup mistakes.
A plan consists of the action steps that will take you to your goal, therefore goal setting is different from planning. A goal is the end result you want to achieve. The plan is how you want to achieve that end result, consequently a goal must precede a plan. A business plan is a clear map of where you are going, what you are planning to achieve,” your goal” and how you will achieve your goal.
Identify and Understand your Target Market
In starting a business, you are creating a service or offering a product that addresses a need in a new or different way. One vital part of any successful marketing campaign is understanding who your ideal customer is and when overlooked can be one of the big small business startup mistakes. At a high level, target audiences can be quickly defined. For example, the target audience for new dictation software could be physicians. This offers a good starting point to create messaging to drive marketing and sales. It may become more granular and you may find that you are tweaking it as the business develops hence your target audience may shift slightly.
The right market research is key to identify who you are trying to reach. Ask:
- Who are they
- Where will you find them
- How will you reach them
- How will they respond to your marketing efforts
Market research also helps you target pricing (more on this in Part 2). Find ways you can improve on what is being offered by the competition. Watch for my upcoming article on Market Research – How To @ Avalon Suites blog post.
Commitment – Do you have Success-Oriented Character Traits?
Owning a business is not for everyone, it requires success-oriented character traits such as passion, drive, dedication and serious stickability to see it through. There are constant sacrifices of time to hit challenges head-on if you want your business to be successful. You will make mistakes, but awareness is key therefore it’s critical you are making well-informed educated decisions regarding your business. This will help you stay the course and remain resilient when mistakes occur. There is incredible rewarding satisfaction watching something you created grow and prosper.
@ Avalon Suites we want to ensure we help all our clients grow their business to the next level! That’s our commitment to you and especially relevant driving force behind this first in a series of articles on the “Biggest Small Business Startup Mistakes and How to Avoid Them”. Please check back weekly for more great tips and useful insight.