It’s no secret that many businesses fail within the first year, or for some, before they even get off the ground. According to Forbes, about 8 out of 10 businesses will fail within their first 18 months. While there are an endless number of factors that can contribute to the failure of a business, many entrepreneurs agree that having some simple guidelines of what to do when starting out would be nice to know beforehand. If you’re getting ready to start your own business, read ahead to learn about the things that every entrepreneur wishes they had known when they got started.
Don’t Try to Provide a Product or Service for Everyone
At some point, every business owner is going to have to accept the fact that some people will not only be ambivalent to their company or its services, they may outright dislike it. By focusing on more specific demographics, you’ll have far greater success. Now, don’t go to the other extreme and make your demographics too narrow. By doing research about your product or industry, you can get a better idea of what type of groups you should be targeting. Depending on the product and industry, you might need to be more selective and specific about who you market to and who you’re targeting. Some businesses struggle in the beginning because they are sending their message to everyone all at once, and it isn’t really reaching the target group of people.
Be Careful in Choosing a Co-Founder
Siblings, parents, close family friends, and even current co-workers may seem like a great choice as a co-founder, but it is important to remember that they will have a say in the business’s dealings. It can be tough to find people who believe in your company enough to risk their finances and perhaps their futures to take on this kind of position within the company. Choosing family or friends can get messy later down the road when there are disagreements about how the business should be run. Instead, find someone who shares your business ideals and your vision for the company in the future.
Don’t Limit Your Hiring Pool
Just like co-founders will often be limited to closer friends, many new business owners will limit their hiring pool to a select few around them. Instead of bringing on a new hire simply because they are known personally, it is important to expand hiring practices to college hiring centers, online hiring organizations, and other professional contact services. As mentioned above, mixing business and family can get tricky, so sometimes it is easier to deal with those who aren’t related to you or close friends. Plus, by using a hiring system, you will have access to potential employees that may have more business savvy than those in your inner circle.
Listen to Your Customers…Seriously
Entrepreneurs are notoriously proud of their new company, and this means that critical feedback often comes as a personal insult. Some people will give you negative feedback just for the sake of being negative, but paying attention to customers in the early stages will help the business owner focus on improving the things that they can change and not worry about variables outside of their control. Address legitimate complaints, and you’ll soon see that catering to your customers from the beginning will help you build a loyal following.
By preparing to avoid common mistakes, business owners can tackle the other challenges that come with launching your own business, and hopefully make it through the first year or two. Take the advice of entrepreneurs who have come before you, and avoid these detrimental but common mistakes.
AUTHOR BIO: This article was written by Dixie Somers, a freelance writer who loves to write for business, finance, women’s interests, and technology. Dixie lives in Arizona with her husband and three beautiful daughters who are the inspiration for her writing. For entrepreneurs who want to learn how to properly lead and manage in the business world, Dixie suggests obtaining an organizational development degree, which can help you learn the ropes of business before attempting to start your own.