As a team that works in small business consulting for the Columbus area, we have seen startups of all kinds fail while others succeed. In fact, surviving your first few years as a small business is incredibly difficult. During these early years of your business, it will be vital that you take the right steps to ensure you are on the path to success. If not, you might fall prey to one of the most common small business mistakes, leading to a detrimental end to your company.

Check out these common pitfalls you should avoid when running your small business and reach out anytime for help from our team with building, launching, and growing the business of your dreams.

#1: Starting Without A Plan

Before you ever launch your small business, you should have invested a large amount of time in the planning stage. Creating a solid plan with goals and a firm grasp of who you are as a business will go a long way in preventing you from failure. A small business that simply hits the ground running without ever planning out their future will be doomed from the get-go.

Taking the time to create a business plan will ensure that you prepare for the obstacles you will face ahead. A business plan will give you direction and clear goals that you can utilize as benchmarks as you go. This helps keep you on track and prevents you from being uncertain of whether or not you are hitting the milestones you need in order to succeed.

Not sure how to create your business plan? We can help. Check out our workshops geared towards assisting small business owners with the initial planning stages of their business. You will walk away with a better idea of the direction your business needs to go.

#2: Overpromising And Under-Delivering

One of the worst things you can do during the early stages of your business is to overpromise on what you can deliver. When you create expectations for your customers that you cannot meet, you will damage your company’s brand image severely. This is an extremely costly mistake for businesses who are in the early stages of growth. You need your initial clients to be loyal, brand ambassadors who feel like they received more than they expected.

As a startup, it is far better to promise less and deliver more than to disappoint clients. You might think that your over-hyped sales pitch is what will bring you more customers but when you can’t deliver on those promises, you run the risk of tarnishing your company’s name. Be realistic about what you can provide and if you exceed people’s expectations, all the better.

#3: Undervaluing Marketing

During the early stages of your business, make sure that you are investing in a quality marketing plan. Nothing will damage your ability to grow like undervaluing marketing. Whether you hire an in-house marketing team or work with a company that specializes in marketing for small businesses, make sure that this plan is a key component of your company’s growth.

As a new business, your number one hurdle up front will be spreading the word about your product or services. No matter how amazing what your company provides is, it will be meaningless without the ability to let people know about it. Make sure that when you create your company budget, you reserve a chunk of your cash for marketing your business.

#4: Trying To Do It Alone

If you were responsible for the brilliant idea that led to the creation of your small business, it can be tempting to try to launch and grow your startup all on your own. While the initial stages of running a small business will require a lot of your own manpower and effort, trying to operate as an island won’t get you far. Everyone has weaknesses that could be balanced by someone else’s strengths.

Working with others doesn’t have to mean hiring fellow employees right away. You can gain the knowledge and value of others through networking, joining local small business communities, and finding a mentor. If you can think of a way to involve other great minds in the creation of your small business, do so. This will go a long way in helping you succeed.

Business owners who try to wear every hat, never stop for advice from others and don’t invest in quality mentorship run the risk of burning out or harming their business through personal oversights. Make sure that you surround yourself with a network of intelligent minds who can help you steer your business in the right direction and who can call you out when you are leading your business astray.

Need Help Growing Your Small Business?

If you need help ensuring your small business continues to flourish and grow, we can help. From our workshops to small business consulting, we provide the Columbus area with the resources they need to build, launch, and grow their small business. Reach out today to learn more about how we can help you create the plan you need to avoid the above pitfalls of a small business.