Many small businesses don’t make it past their first year.
In some cases, this is due to circumstances that are completely outside of their respective owners’ control. Other times, assorted missteps and oversights on the part of business owners are directly to blame.
Needless to say, pouring a tremendous amount of effort and capital into a business that closes prematurely can be deeply disheartening – not to mention financially ruinous.
Fledgling small business owners looking to keep their doors open for many years to come should steer clear of the following blunders.
Renting a Workspace That’s Outside of Your Budget
When opening your first business, wanting to go big is perfectly understandable. As such, many entrepreneurs seek out workspaces that offer immense spaciousness. Since a spacious workplace is commonly regarded as a sign of success, it’s easy to see why so many fledgling owners are eager to rent them. Furthermore, who doesn’t appreciate having ample space in which to stretch their legs?
Despite the various benefits synonymous with roomy workspaces, renting one before your business has even established itself can present you with a number of difficulties. For starters, the rents associated with such spaces are liable to eat up a sizable chunk of your limited resources. Additionally, the larger the space, the more maintenance it is liable to cost. For example, it’s typically more expensive to heat and cool a large space than a small one.
So, no matter how grand your aspirations are, it’s strongly recommended that you stick to a reasonable budget when selecting your business’s first base of operations. Should your first year prove incredibly successful, you may find yourself in a good position to seek out a new workspace.
However, until this time actually comes, you’d do well to adhere to a budget and consider how much room your business truly needs when scouting out potential workspaces.
Failing to Obtain the Proper Licenses
Before opening the doors to your small business, you’ll need to obtain the proper licenses a business of this type requires. Regardless of how cumbersome you find this process to be, operating a business without a license is liable to result in severe consequences.
Not only can this result in the immediate closure of your business, but such behavior can also earn you hefty fines and land you in legal hot water. As such, it is essential that you obtain the proper licensing from the city or township in which you intend to open your business.
Luckily, this process is fairly easy in municipalities that utilize convenient government software systems.
Treating Marketing as an Afterthought
Being a knowledgeable business owner doesn’t necessarily mean someone is a skilled marketer. While word-of-mouth can certainly be a boon to brand awareness, expecting patrons to become aware of your business in the absence of a coherent marketing strategy is liable to result in disappointment.
So, before declaring your enterprise open for business, you’ll need to develop a marketing strategy that’s likely to resonate with your target audience.
Among other things, this entails identifying the avenues of promotion that are best suited to a business of your type. For example, if you’re looking to reach a young, tech-savvy base, your attention should be focused on the digital space and involve social media, search engine optimization (SEO), and pay-per-click advertising.
Conversely, if you’re hoping to connect with an older demographic, you may find success using more traditional forms of promotion, like television, radio, and local print publications.
If your marketing experience leaves something to be desired, consider reaching out to a dedicated, experienced marketing agency. Seasoned pros will be able to help you identify the types of marketing that are best suited to a business of your type and craft a marketing strategy that’s likely to resonate with the audience you’re trying to reach.
Given the tremendous amount of time, capital, and energy people put into getting small businesses off the ground, having to close a business’s doors prematurely can be extremely distressing. As such, it behooves every new business owner to educate themselves on mistakes that commonly lead to premature closures.
The more aware you and your staff are of certain blunders, the less likely you are to make them. So, in the quest for lasting success in small business, take care to avoid the missteps outlined above.