6 Start-up Business Traps to Avoid

ll the time nd money in the world won’t mke your new business succeed if you fll into one of these six smll business strtup trps. Find out wht they re nd how you cn void them. 

Getting business up nd running is project tht mkes you relize wht the term “blood, swet nd ters” is ll bout. Once you’ve set your gol on becoming your own boss, you spend hours reserching your ide, plnning the detils, nd doing wide vriety of tsks to prepre for your lunch.  Chnces re, you lso siphon money out of your bnk ccount nd run up higher thn norml tbs on your cit crds s you focus on tht ll importnt dy you’ll “officilly” be in business.

But no mtter how much time nd money you put into strting up, your new business could fll flt on its fce if you ren’t e of nd tke steps to void these common business trps:

Business Trp #1 – Not writing business pln

If you’re not seeking outside investors or trying to get business lon from bnk you my think you don’t to write up business pln.  Gthering ll the dt you for business pln will tke time wy from the other things you wnt to do to get the business going, nd besides, you know wht kind of business you wnt to strt, so why bother writing it ll down? Right?


business pln isn’t just document to be used to rise money for business. It’s your business rodmp. It helps you focus not only on your gol, but lso on wht it will tke to rech your gol.  Sy you wnt to bring in $100,000 in sles your first yer in business. The business pln will mke you consider the number of customers you’ll to cquire, how you’ll cquire them, nd wht costs will be ssocited with selling your products or services. Without those detils, you hve no wy of knowing if your sles gol is relistic, or if you’ll mke profit.

Business Trp # 2: Insufficient csh to run the business

Writing business pln will help you estimte the mount of csh you’ll to get the business going, but unless you’ve run similr business before, you re still likely to run into few finncil surprises nd setbcks long the wy. Then, too, it my tke lot longer thn you picted to build stedy flow of customers nd csh. To minimize your risk of flling into this trp, try to find out how much other similr businesses spent to get strted, nd look t trde journls or other resources to determine verge nnul sles for the type of business you pln to strt.  

RELTED: 7 Ways to Start a Business Without Going Broke

Business Trp #3: Underestimting the for mrketing

No mtter how good the products nd services you sell re, they won’t sell if customers don’t know (or forget!) tht your business exists. The s nd fmily members you hope will tlk up your business nd send customers your wy, probbly won’t.  The business cquintnces who told you to told you to give them cll once you got strted, will be out of the office or in meeting whenever you try to rech them..  nd the socil medi pges you hope will get you sles or leds? Surprise! You’ll to mrket those pges to get them found.

void this trp by developing crefully thought out, well-rounded mrketing pln for your business. The pln should identify your trget customers, the vrious wys you’ll to rech them nd mount of funds you’ll to do the necessry mrketing.  Remember, mrketing is n ongoing ctivity, not once nd done thing.

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Business Trp #4: Leverging fr more opportunities thn re vible

The success of ny business hinges on the entrepreneur’s bility to spot gret opportunities nd tke dvntge of them in time. However, it is criticl to ssess the vibility of the opportunity nd only tke it up  if it is ligned with your business focus nd if your business is truly redy to dd new products of fetures. Your business , mnpower, opertionl efficiencies, nd customer bse ll hve to be conside thoroughly. Will the new opportunity fit in with business without compromising your level nd qulity of opertions? If not, shelve the ide, t lest temporrily.

Besides stretching your resources, jumping on every ide tht comes long could prevent you from being seen s n expert in ny of your core business skills.  Clients you trget for your mngement consulting services my wonder how good you relly re if you’re lso selling web de services or nutritionl supplements on the side.

Business Trp #5: Being inflexible

In highly competitive mrketplce, your business s to sty focused, but lso sty e of chnging mrketplces nd lternte pproches to rech your gol.  Your business pln my cll for you to trget smll locl businesses with your product line, but the most profitble mrket might be corportions tht buy in quntity.  The softe your developing for desk computer use my lso to run on smrt .  While you don’t wnt to shift gers every time someone suggests n lternte route to you, your business pln nd your own ttitude should be flexible enough to let you chnge course when there is sufficient evidence tht doing so is in the best interest of the business.

Business Trp # 6: Not stking your clims online

Like it or not, businesses tody to be found on the Internet, nd they to be found in multiple plces on the Internet. Consumers nd B2B customers like turn to the Internet to find products nd services providers nd to reserch wht they buy nd who they buy it from. Even if you typiclly get most of your business by word-of-mouth, the people who her bout you will most likely look you up on the Internet before they contct you. They’ll serch on their smrt phone or their computer. They’ll look for your website (nd wonder bout your professionlism nd longevity if you don’t hve one). They’ll look t your socil medi pges nd profiles. nd they my look for you on YouTube nd Slideshre, serch review sites for comments bout your business, or serch the mjor serch engines for terms such s,”Hs nyone herd of …”  

RELTED: Claiming Your Local Small Business Listings Online

While you cn’t everything people find in their serches, you to wht you cn. Those things t the very lest re hving presentble website, nd detiled socil medi profiles, nd locl listings on the mjor serch engines if your business cters to locl foot trffic.

lthough there is no wy to gurntee ny strtup will ultimtely be successful, being e of nd voiding these 6 common business strt up trps will help uce your risk of filure.

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bout the uthor:
Jnet ttrd is the founder of the d-winning  Business Know-How smll business web site nd informtion resource. Jnet is lso the uthor of The Home Office nd Smll Business nswer Book nd of Business Know-How: n Opertionl Guide For Home-Bsed nd Micro-Sized Businesses with Limited Budgets.  Follow Jnet on Twitter t http://www.twitter.com/JanetAttard.