6 New Business Mistakes You Can Easily Avoid

  • A businessperson sketches out plans for a new business while sitting at a café.
You’ve never been more motivated or more excited. Finally, you’re the captain of your own ship and in control of your destiny. You’ve started your own business and life never looked so good.

Your enthusiasm and willingness to work hard are two of the keys you’ll need to succeed.

But they’re not the only things.

Don’t let your excitement (which is good) blind you to some of the obstacles ahead. In order to succeed, you’ve not only got to work hard; you’ve also got to work smart. Avoid these 6 business mistakes to keep your new venture on the right track.

1. Develop a Business Plan

You can’t start a new business without passion. But passion is nothing without a plan. A typical business plan looks three to five years into the future and includes yearly revenue projections—and a road map to achieving them. If you need help, consider recruiting a mentor. The U.S. Small Business Administration also has a tool available on its website that walks you through the steps of creating a plan for your new business.

2. Know Your Weaknesses

You may have the greatest product in the world, but if you can’t sell (a very specific talent) then you won’t go anywhere. Or maybe you’ve got an incredible eye for design, but you’d rather have a root canal than do your taxes. Recognize what you’re not any good at—and find somebody who is.

3. Be Meticulous

This is such an exhilarating time. It’s easy to get caught up in the fun and make handshake deals, especially if you’re working with friends. At the same time, you’re probably busier than ever, so it’s easy to overlook the more mundane aspects of the job like saving receipts. But taking care of the details now could save you a whole lot of hassle down the road.

4. Prepare to Pivot

Henry Ford once said that, “Failure is only the opportunity to begin again, only this time more wisely.” It won’t help you to begin your venture with the resolve that you will make it work exactly as you planned, no matter what. Instead, be prepared to switch things up and change directions as need be.

5. Be Patient

Don’t expect to turn a profit immediately—and make sure you have the capital to make it through this lean period, which brings us to the next point.

6. Don’t Get Ahead of Yourself

Unless you’ve got more money than you know what to do with, don’t gear up with more than you need. That means the number of people you hire, but it also means square footage. Do you really need a warehouse right now or could you make do by renting a self storage unit (an increasingly common strategy)? Do you need a dedicated office? Or could you work out of your home—and use a self storage unit nearby to fill in the gaps? Yes, you still expect your business to do well and there will be plenty of time to acquire office and warehouse space down the road. But try to stay flexible and lean while you’re starting up.

StorageMart offers affordable self-storage units for businesses that are clean, well-lit, and can be rented on a month-by-month basis. Check out our storage unit size guide or rent a unit online today. It’s an easy way to give your new business the space it needs to grow, without weighing yourself down with long-term contracts or commitments.

About Sarah Little

Sarah Little, Marketing Director at StorageMart, holds a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration. She serves as Vice President on the Board of Directors for the Central Missouri Foster Care & Adoption Association, a non-profit group dedicated to improving the lives of children.

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