Starting a new business is like a game of chess: You may have strategies and a plan laid out, but there’s no such thing as a fool-proof blueprint for success. During these early moves, it’s essential to focus on development while ensuring to avoid embarrassing blunders that could bring your whole game crashing down. Read on to discover five critical business mistakes to avoid:
1. Scrimping on important things
There are things in life that you should never bargain-hunt for. This rule applies to anything related to the face of your business. When it comes to your logo design, promotional products, website, and signage, it’s essential to invest in a skilled designer and top-quality products to ensure you shine brightly to potential clients.
Consider this: if you got a free pen from a business but the ink never flowed properly, you would be frustrated, and then forever associate the brand with cheap and tacky products. Don’t let that be you.
2. Overspending on unnecessary things
With your accounts flush with funds from your new business loan or invested capital, it can be tempting to go all out, getting the best of the best for your burgeoning company. However, this is the equivalent of pushing undefended pieces into open territory on a chessboard. You’re likely to find yourself in serious trouble with nothing to show for it.
Just as there are things you should never scrimp on, there are also things you shouldn’t splurge on excessively when starting a new business. One example is an expensive inner-city office space with a raft of additional utility and maintenance bills. As much as you love the idea of the trendy converted warehouse with ping-pong and foosball tables, at the startup stage, you’re better off opting for a serviced office suite that comes with one easy monthly payment and some extra benefits rolled in.
3. Only planning for success
In chess, if your mind is completely occupied with plans for capturing your opponent’s king, you will miss the threats to your own survival. The same is true in your new business. Dreaming big is essential, but to be successful, you need to develop contingency plans and be flexible if things don’t go as you’d hoped.
4. Trying to do everything yourself
No single chess piece can win a game alone. The same rule applies to your business. Even if you’re starting out small as a sole trader, failing to engage the services of an accountant or IT support, for example, could see you in trouble down the line. Take care of everything you’re an expert in, and line up the right people to cover you for everything else. Otherwise, you could be in for some embarrassing legal issues in the future.
5. Leaping before you look
One of the most common chess blunders involves pushing a piece forward without fully assessing the threats it may face in the next few moves. When it comes to your business, leaping in before fully assessing the market and your position could see your product fail, or worse, could land you in legal trouble with things like intellectual property and labeling laws. There are so many regulations to adhere to nowadays, so save yourself the drama and assess your position before taking action.
One of the most important factors to achieving your desired outcomes in business and in chess is being aware of the common blunders made by new players. Avoid the cringe-worthy mistakes listed above, and you’ll have crafted yourself a safer path to the success you’re chasing.