Starting and running your own business is a challenge, and there are many skills you’ll need to master in order to keep things going smoothly. You will make mistakes, but quickly identifying them and learning from them will teach you valuable lessons along the way. Some mistakes, however, can spell doom for your startup. To make sure your company doesn’t go out of business, make sure you do these three things.
Alter Your Estimates
When estimating the cost of starting your business or embarking on a new product line or service, always alter your original estimates. Gather information about what you can realistically expect your income and expenses to be. When you have these numbers, increase the expense estimate and lower the income one. Entrepreneur Magazine suggests that you should overestimate your expenses by up to 30% to make sure you’re really covered.
Listen to Your Customers
Though listening to customers seems like an obvious plan, many entrepreneurs sell the items that interest them rather than what their customers want. While it’s true you should do something you love, it’s also important to make sure enough other people love your product or service enough to sustain a business. In the end, the business you build may not be an exact match to the one you’ve been dreaming of, and that’s OK. You may think your product or service is perfect, but your customers may disagree. Embrace their suggestions rather than resisting them or risk alienating the customers you need to keep your business going.
Get the Right Help
If you’ve never run a business before or have limited management experience, you can help yourself by getting training. You may even want to consider getting a masters of organizational development online before striking out on your own. Even with the right training and experience, however, it’s important to understand that you can’t do it all by yourself. You need employees or contractors who have the skills you lack, like marketing or IT management, to help you get your business where you want it to be. Once you do, you’ll need employees to handle the workload. Though it’s hard to trust your baby to others, you’ll burn yourself out and likely fail in your endeavor if you try to do it all alone. You may also miss out on important times with your friends, spouse, children and other family members that you won’t be able to get back.
With the right team and the right product or service, your business is likely to be quite successful. Adding careful planning to the mix before branching out will help prevent you from taking on too much too soon or venturing into less than profitable waters.