Anybody who creates for a living understands one key yet frustrating point: The process of creating anything is a less than scientific process. Pharmaceutical companies go through thousands or millions of combinations of ingredients before developing the next game changing drug. Composers who create beautiful music end up with a lot of useless music on their way to getting it just right. Finally, to make it more applicable to us, as new businesses are created, mistakes are made. In fact, a lot of them.
It is impossible to avoid the numerous mistakes that are made in the creative process but the more we are aware of the potential pitfalls, the more equipped we will be to plan for them. It’s ok to make mistakes but what we don’t want is to allow them to put us out of business. Here are a few to watch for as your business startup begins to take shape:
Do What You Know
All of the education you have gained in the field of your future business startup doesn’t make up for experience. We have all met that person in our lives that never went to college but is highly skilled in their craft. If your new business is in a field where you are making a career change, spend a year working in the industry before starting a business of your own.
Don’t Fight Gravity
Every seasoned investor knows one harsh fact about business ventures: It’s much easier for an investment to go wrong than it is to go right. For this reason, it’s important to never be too optimistic. If your business needs $5,000 in profit in order to support you and your family, make sure you have solid evidence that you can make $7,000. If your business plan estimates $20,000 in equipment costs, plan for $30,000. There is no place in business for an overage of optimism. Be conservative and realistic when crunching the numbers.
Mark Your Territory
Create your brand. Form an LLC or corporation so your business is officially a business and purchase the web domain. This not only makes your business an official entity, you can now look for funding from investors.
Balance Cost with Value
It’s important to reign in your costs. If you don’t absolutely need to put out the money, don’t do it but if you’re going to spend the money, make sure you go all the way. If you have the skills to do it in house at a professional level, save the money and do it but if you have to outsource, get the best person. Don’t find the cheapest way to buy. A cheap price tag often means a cheap product.
You’re going to make mistakes as you build your business but they don’t have to put you out of business. Good luck!