September 23, 2022
There are certainly many ways to "shoot yourself in the foot" so to speak when it comes to getting your business off the ground. Below are 3 of the easiest and most common traps to fall into:
The classic trap many new entrepreneurs fall into. Ever heard the saying, *X* percent of businesses fail in the first year? Well, this is very often the reason why. In other words, betting on your idea without exploring your options. Getting yourself tied up in loans, leases and payments you simply can't afford.
This is often paired with quitting your job too early in hopes of dedicating all of your time and resources into your business. It seems promising at first, but over-leveraging, especially without a fine-tuned plan is the easiest way to crash your car before you've even left the lot.
This leads to making rash decisions and/or forgetting about growth and putting all of your efforts into sales, in hopes of bailing you out. But new businesses rarely hit the ground running in terms of sales, and you can't put all of your eggs in one basket before you've developed a reliable system.
Starting a business is a very exciting, adrenaline-boosting endeavor. It's fun to label yourself as an "entrepreneur". We've certainly been culprits of this ourselves — getting stuck in the development phase for far too long.
The fear of imperfection and looking like "the little guy" is an obstacle that many startups cycle through. More often than not, it derives from a fear of hitting the sales floor, because once you've attempted to make a sale, and it doesn't go your way — you'll have experienced failure.
So, as long as you stay in development, you've never actually failed, right?
"Starting a startup", is a project - until you sell something - not a business. So don't forget, failing to make a sale is something every single business goes through. Failing, isn't starting slow in sales; failing is never actually trying to sell in the first place.
Again, we've certainly done this ourselves too. When new founders have an idea, they picture themselves as big-time entrepreneurs. The Steve Jobs or the Gary Vee's. The problem is, they try way too hard to present that way, rather than leveraging the fact that they're the new kid on the block.
Having a solidified operations system, a good product, and a great sales pitch are certainly things to be proud of. But don't act like a Fortune 500 company when you aren't one, otherwise your standard of business and expectation will have to match that, and realistically, it can't. You're not a 50-person company — so don't act like one.
In fact, being the new guy has its benefits. People love to support local, so use that to your advantage. Undercutting competition, not having millions of dollars in overhead, and having face-to-face relationships with your clients is a major selling factor.
With this in mind, you can be in the big leagues one day. But in the meantime, be proud of your "growing" status.