A man sitting on an office desk, looking tired and worried

Starting a business no doubt presents itself with a lot of challenges and responsibilities; therefore, a couple of things need to be considered and put in place to ensure that your business dreams are actualised. It is, then, safe to say that any mistakes made at this stage could be detrimental to your operations and the overall growth of the business. As a new business owner, you need to ensure that you are crossing all the T’s and dotting the I’s, but in trying to be perfect, many business owners still miss out on the most important things to do to get their businesses up and running.

Here are some of the most overlooked mistakes that would most likely wreck your business from the onset:

  1. Starting With No Business Plan

Setting up a business plan is critical when starting a business. This helps you set your goals straight, analyse them, and see to it that these goals are achieved. When setting up a business plan, it is important to also consider your stakeholders (investors, partners, etc.). These groups of people are crucial to the success of your business and you should have a business plan tailored to meet their interests.

A good business plan should not be complicated; it should be comprehensive, identifying where you are now, what you want your business to become, and how you plan to achieve it. It will help to guide you into making the right decisions and it will also help you identify any lapses/potential weaknesses.

Creating a business plan could be tasking, however, it is worth it. You also should note that writing a good business plan does not guarantee success, but it can go a long way toward limiting the chances of its failure.

2. Not Sticking To The Plan!

It is not a plan if you would not stick to it. After creating a business plan, you are only expected to stick to that plan as that’s your guide to achieving the best results. Not sticking to your business plan will lead to disorganisation and you making misguided and not carefully thought out steps.

You need to be accountable for your plan. If you often find it difficult to follow plans, having business partners or coaches will be of great help as they will help you to be more accountable and could prevent you from making erratic decisions.

3. Not Determining Your Target Audience

Everyone is not your customer. Understanding your target audience is the first thing to consider as a business owner. What’s your business there for if not to render services to people? The purpose/goal of your business should align with the needs of your target audience. Determining your target audience will help you see that your products/services go out to those who have genuine needs and interests in your services. This is a significant guarantee of credible sales.

Also, putting your target audience into consideration when developing your product will ensure that you satisfy their needs. Seeking opinions through surveys and case studies will also go a long way in understanding how to solve customer problems.

4. Poor Knowledge of Tax and Statutory Laws of Your Country

Many startup owners have made this mistake in the past and it has cost them a lot. It is crucial, as a business owner, that you properly understand and adhere to the statutory laws of your country. These laws ensure the welfare of — the employees, the employer, and the organisation. And all organisations, irrespective of their sizes are expected to abide by Federal and state labour laws, and failure to abide by these laws in most cases attracts strict legal actions.

Unfortunately, a lot of people fail to do their proper research to learn about these laws before delving into businesses. It is necessary to do some research and get the necessary counsel on tax laws before starting your business. Book a free tax advisory session with Ropay to help set your path straight as a new business owner in Nigeria(or Africa).

5. Trying To Do It All

Do “Jacks of all trades” really exist? You can be knowledgeable about a lot of fields but you certainly cannot do it all! Except you wanted to quickly get worn out, and still not get the desired result. One of the peculiarities of a good working organisation is teamwork. According to INC. Africa, the №1 thing you can do as an entrepreneur to massively expand your capabilities, increase revenue and build your ideal lifestyle is to stop doing things yourself. To ensure that you’re headed toward your desired results, you would need at least a few hands on deck.

Delegate duties to trusted people or invest in software i.e software for onboarding and processing payroll, that can help you perform hectic tasks. This will help to cut down on your busy schedules. You don’t need to employ so many people at first, but at least get some assistance and listen to lots of credible advice.

6. Being Afraid of Failure

This is a mistake most people subconsciously make when starting up a business or embarking on a new project. The fear of failure would often make you try to play it safe, thereby limiting your chances of taking risks. Risk-taking is one of the ways to attain a breakthrough in business. If many eyes got opened to see into the future, everyone would take risks!

Many of the prominent entrepreneurs today only got to where they are because of the risks they took. Mack Zuckerberg famously said, “The biggest risk is not taking any risks”. Take that risk today. Apply for that multimillion-dollar grant, and work on that big idea! Do not be afraid to fail. If you fail, you try again till you eventually get to your goal. Nothing good comes easy, persistence is key.

Starting a business could be overwhelming, but do not get carried away by the challenges that come with it. If you want to see your business thrive, ensure you draft a comprehensive plan and make sure to get the right people on your team. Good things take time, so be patient and optimistic and your business will turn out to be the best version of itself. Did you find these tips helpful?

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