08 May, 2018
Seven deadly sins every new small business must avoid
If you’re a budding entrepreneur, take note: one in five new businesses fail in their first annum, while a third go bust in year two. Don’t think those are bad odds? Then you must already realise the start-ups that do survive implement near-perfect game plans executed by switched-on leaders. Of course – as with everything in life – there are tried-and-tested steps you can take to avoid becoming just another statistic. Better still, there are mistakes you can dodge assuming you know what to look out for.
Fortunately, Hoxton Mix has got your back. Allow us to Introduce the seven deadly sins start-ups must avoid at all costs.
The blinding lights of passion
You’ve got a great idea, you’re surrounded by talented people and you’re raring to go. In fact, the reason you started a business in the first place was that burning passion for your product and/or service. But before you dive headfirst into a world of meetings, plans and sleepless nights, ensure this: you are not being blinded by the bright lights of passion. No – we’re not talking about a love interest holding sway over your decisions. We’re talking about the affection for your idea, which can ultimately result in poor judgement and a reluctance to take advice. It’s wise to put distance between your business mind and emotions – or it might just end in heartbreak.
Location is everything in business. A badly run company may survive purely on the basis of its great location, while a fantastic enterprise in the wrong place will ultimately struggle. It’s imperative that you take into account where your customers are based – as well as the companies with whom you will be competing. If your prospective customers are unlikely to work with a business in your current location, you should consider one of our Virtual Office packages. Nothing says credibility like a fantastic London address.
We get it. If you’re going to get your new venture off the ground, you need expertise – and fast. But realise this: just about every CEO worth their salt finds hiring (and retaining) great employees one of the hardest tasks in business. Start-ups usually don’t have the capital for top salaries, which is obviously a challenge when your flourishing business requires top staff. But more damning to your company’s future than delayed growth is a workforce unfit for the task. This could prove debilitating in the long term, affecting not only budget, but your entire company culture.
Be patient and vigilant in your hiring exploits.
If you start a business to get rich quick, be prepared to fail. Genuine, quantifiable success takes years to achieve and doing it ‘overnight’ is a myth. Allow your business to grow over time, accept there will be low points, and keep your fingers (and toes) crossed for a little bit of luck along the way.
Can any great action take place without a carefully structured plan? In marketing terms, the answer to that question is a resounding ‘no’. There are several ways in which a prospective client might hear about your business – whether it’s Facebook, e-mail marketing or a TV advert. However, if all of your marketing channels don’t align, you’re in trouble. (You get one chance at a first impression, after all.) Ensure you have the right tools and people to market wisely, targeting the right demographic and ensuring your brand – i.e. tone of voice – is consistent across the board.
Your business is new and so are your clients. Trust is at a premium. So, if anything goes wrong and those clients want to reach out to you, this needs to be both quick and easy. Nothing is more frustrating than sitting in a phone queue indefinitely when you have an issue. Delayed email responses will also put out the wrong message, and so it is imperative you reach a certain level of service before a hard launch. Our Virtual Phone service can offer you a prestigious London number wherever you are.
Lack of capital
Last, but certainly not least, you need to ensure you have the capital required to sustain and grow your business. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist (or Hoxton Mix) to tell you what happens when a business runs out of cash in year one.
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