The most common startup mistakes

Managing your small business when it’s a start-up is a difficult task to handle. Even with ample assistance, it’s nearly impossible to keep track of all of your responsibilities to ensure that your new company will be able to flourish down the road. From hiring your first employees and implementing payment processing technology to meeting with vendors and drafting marketing campaigns, there’s a great deal on your plate when you first open an enterprise.

The situation is worsened when you start making small mistakes that gradually snowball and cause massive problems down the road. For instance, if you improperly allocate your funds, you’ll likely have to deal with financial hardships in the future, forcing you to struggle to make ends meet.

To ensure that your business will be successful moving forward, you should avoid these startup mistakes.

Overcomplication
Especially during your company’s early days, you should keep everything as simple as possible. Jay Levy, co-founder of Zelkova Ventures and Uproot Wines, believes that many entrepreneurs, specifically young ones, tend to complicate matters.

“Young founders tend to complicate things too much, from structuring partnership agreements, financing, leases, etc. This is not a place to be creative; keep it simple, follow the norms and be transparent so everyone is on the same page,” Levy told Mashable.

When you’re just opening your business, be as straightforward as possible to ensure that you don’t confuse important matters and turn basic procedures into large issues. Don’t try to blaze a new trail – stick with proven strategies that usually deliver successful results.

If you want to go off the beaten path, consult with business partners and experts first because they’ll be able to steer you in the right direction. When you’re just starting out, you should always seek help when you’re unsure of the best course or action to take.

Too much, too soon
Startup procedures are the ultimate indicators as to whether you have the requisite skills to be a successful small business owner. Entrepreneur Magazine explains that many fledgling professionals burn out because they try to do too much at once. As a result, these entrepreneurs were overwhelmed by all of their responsibilities.

You can’t open a business without some assistance. If you’re trying to cover every base on your own, you’ll likely become stressed by all the tasks you need to accomplish in a relatively short period of time. Start small and limit yourself to one or two different projects every day while delegating other matters to your partners and employees.

Expecting instant income
In an ideal world, consumers would start buying your merchandise or subscribing to your services on the first day you’re open. You may have some sales during your grand opening ceremony, but it likely won’t be your most profitable day.

Inc. Magazine explains that it takes time to develop a sustainable revenue stream. You can’t count on sales and profits to fund new ventures until you have a loyal customer base and consistent success over a prolonged period of time. If you’re making estimates and earmarking that money for future initiatives or even as payment for your overhead expenses, you’ll end up in fiscal trouble sooner rather than later.

No marketing plan
Failing to create a marketing plan is a huge mistake that small business owners continue to make. Many entrepreneurs have become so reliant on social media marketing that they haven’t developed a comprehensive strategy that can truly bolster a brand. Social networks are great resources when a business has regular clients, but a startup has to make its presence felt by capitalizing on every available resource.

What are some other startup mistakes that you’ve seen?

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Martin Jones

Martin Jones is a Senior Marketing Manager with the corporate Cox Communications social media team where he assists in leading strategy, campaign ideation and marketing execution for Cox Business social media & content marketing. Today, over 1 million fans engage with Cox Communications content, campaigns and Customer Care on Facebook, Twitter, You Tube. LinkedIn and Google+.