The good news is that fresh-faced business owners are expected to make mistakes and given a little leeway here and there. But it’s only a little leeway. There are a few areas of business that early mistakes can evolve into issues that last for its entire existence. If you put the kibosh on these errors early, you can save yourself a lot of trouble in the future.
The early adopters of any business are the people who will have the greatest impact on the business going forward. That’s not just true for customers but for employees, too. Make sure that the people you’re hiring are committed to the ideas of the business and that you have found them the roles that help them not only contribute but stay engaged in their work. Even a brand-new employer has to be a good manager, paying attention that employee needs are fulfilled and that their motivation is kept high. Unhappy, ill-fitting team members can be a big sabotaging factor in a young business.
It’s the message you send to customers and the image you use to represent the business. If you launch with an unfocused, unprofessional brand, you immediately start losing potential leads. If you don’t have the skills to create an attractive brand, particularly online, then you need to consider investing in outsourcing to a web design company and those who can give the business image the professional sheen it needs. Of course, it’s down to you to think about the core of that brand, as well. What’s the story of the business and what is the crucial need of it? What’s the problem it solves for the customer?
The customer connection
As said, those early adopters are amongst the most important. Once you get them in the door, you want them to stay with you as long as possible. Not only are they the most eager, they also have with them the potential to do the most good in terms of building referrals and providing positive proof that the business works. To that end, get involved with your customers personally from a very early basis. Thank them for joining you, ask for feedback, keep them in the loop of any potential further value you can offer.
On a more practical level, the one area of running a business that you can’t afford to lose track of is the money. Failing to keep on top of all the costs and earnings of the business early means that accounting will only get more and more difficult as time goes on. It also makes it a lot harder to spot the opportunities to cut costs when you need to, for instance, pay for a new marketing push or invest in equipment that will improve the productivity of the team.
The sooner you get the training wheels off in business, the better. You can’t launch a business then continue to test the water. Commit to professionalism and commit to better standards. Otherwise, you will never see better results.