From topics as wide as “Opening a Business” to as narrowly-niched as “How to Start a Coffee Shop in Arkansas,” information, advice and “how-tos” are not hard to come by. It’s the Information Age, after all! The only problem? You can start a business with a mile-long list detailing exactly what to do in the process, but if you don’t know what not to do, you’re still sunk. That’s where our team at Arkansas Capital comes in to help with our top six mistakes to avoid.
Skip Market Research
Encouragement from your friends and family is a wonderful thing. Although you’ll need that support on your business journey, no amount of grandparents’ accolades can compensate for not having a defined target audience. Instead, use the motivation from your friends and family as that– motivation, and continue to research as much as possible. Hold focus groups, survey strangers and take advantage of Census data to narrowly pinpoint exactly who you’re trying to reach, where you can find them and how they’ll react to your services.
Wait too Long to Hire
We understand. Money is tight, this startup is your baby, and “if you want a job done right, you have to do it yourself.” Unfortunately, this is exactly the mentality that can cause founders to break or make poor business decisions. Learn to delegate tasks early on to promote better mental health and prevent a poor hiring choice out of desperation.
Use the Cheapest Professionals
Set a realistic business budget, but also don’t be cheap. Just because someone has an additional acronym behind their name, doesn’t mean they’re the best in the business. Trust us when we say that spending $300 per hour on a top-notch professional is a worth-while investment if it avoids a $30,000 mistake. Remember– just because you can do it all, doesn’t mean that you should.
Not having a website in 2017 is the equivalent of opening a business, but not hanging a sign on your door. Take advantage of that market research that we previously discussed, and use your website and social media tools to promote your company. Don’t make the assumption that your ideal customers will find you. Go out and find them.
Wait too Long to Seek Financing
Predicting the future may not be possible, but that doesn’t mean you can’t try! Create ongoing financial forecasts from day one, so you know exactly how much cash flow your business can anticipate during each stage of the game. This way, you’ll spot any potential money mishaps early enough to seek capital before you’re struggling to stay afloat.
Don’t Research Your Loan Provider
Remember– lenders should put money in your pocket, not take it out. Whether you’re looking to start a business or grow your existing one, contact us today for information