Top 3 Mistakes to Avoid When Starting a New Business: Neglect These to Your Own Detriment!

Any person will testify to the fact that when starting a new business there’s a lot to navigate. No matter what anyone will tell you, you’ll need to put in a lot of time, money, and effort to make a success of any business venture.

It’s really tasking!

With so much to think about, it’s not a surprise that sometimes things slip through the net. Now, while there are some things that it’s okay to forget about, there are others that can cause all sorts of problems if you allow them slip through. But this is really where most business owners make a whole lot of mistakes when starting a new business.

Now, as I have just mentioned you cannot take away the element of risk with running a business. There are hundreds of things that could go wrong. But that doesn’t mean you should allow those common ones, which can be avoided by all means, to sabotage your success.

Hulk Hogan on making mistakes

In this post I want to highlight the most common mistakes business owners make when starting a new business. I will also briefly point out the impact these mistakes can have on your business if you allow them slip through.

So, if you’re thinking of starting new venture in the coming year or you already own a business but you know things are not the way they should be, then you will want to read this post very carefully. This will help you protect yourself and your business from any unwholesome experiences in the days ahead.

Avoid These Common Mistakes to Protect Yourself & Your Business

1. Not Securing Your Trademark

Coca Cola Brand Image

Just for a minute, imagine that you are the founder of Coca-Cola. You launched your business but made the fatal of not securing your trademark – aka your famous red logo. This was because you didn’t think it was necessary. This meant that another brand was able to trademark it and claim it as their own, and now they use it to make their drinks seem more appealing to consumers. You’re no longer able to use it, so you’ve basically got to start your business again. This is because everyone thinks that the other brand using your trademark is you.

What a pickle to be in. The worst thing is that this whole predicament could have been avoided. If you’d opted to use a company like Secure Your Trademark to protect your trademark, you wouldn’t have had this issue. You may not be the founder of Coca-Cola, but your business’s trademark still needs protecting. Unless you want someone else to use it, that is.

2. Failing To Take Hacking Seriously

Mack Zuckerberg on making mistakes

A lot of business owners presume that hacking is only something that affects massive companies, not small startups. However, that’s not the case. Hackers aren’t fussy about who they target; they target anyone and everyone. So, regardless of the size of your business, you need to take the risk of being hacked seriously.

This means having strong passwords that can’t be easily guessed on everything. From email accounts to cloud storage, everything needs a secure password. It means having IT support to ensure that you’ve got adequate online security in place. It’s also a good idea to encrypt sensitive files. This is to ensure that should they be hacked, they can’t be understood.

3. Not Taking Employee Rights Seriously

Do not neglect employee rights

Whether you have four employees or 400, you need to take employee rights seriously from the start. A lot of business owners don’t make an effort to get to grips with employee rights and end up in a sticky situation because of it.

If you don’t think that you have time to deal with employee rights, get the support of an on-site or virtual HR team. As a , you need to take any complaints from employees seriously. Whether they’re about sexual harassment or unfair dismissal, you need to take them seriously. Because if you don’t, you could end up in court being sued.

Conclusion

It doesn’t matter what type of business you are starting, these mistakes could frustrate your efforts if you allow them. But that shouldn’t be having learned how potentially dangerous they could be. You can’t afford to give room for any error in this matter. Use this knowledge to protect yourself and your business starting now, instead of adding to the many risk of running the business.

This quote is right on point:

“Everybody says, mistake is the first step of success” but the real fact is,.. correction of mistake is the first step of success!”

Correct mistakes to make progress

The 4 Common Small Business Mistakes That Could Destroy Your Business

The statistics are alarming, and most times, they could be demoralizing. But they are true all the same. Fact is, not every business idea will see the light of day and for those that get started, 25% will fail within the first year, 55% within 5 years and 71% within 10 years! (Source)

Now, if you’ve had enough of working as a “wage slave” and you are thinking of stepping out on your own by starting your own business, this really is not to scare you but to help you to be better prepared. Of course, it is a good thing that you’ve got a great idea you that want to share with the world by starting a business. Far too many ambitious and intelligent people have such great business ideas, but never pursue them out of fear. For this can-do attitude, I salute you!

However, while launching a company is easier today than it has been in the past, there are still potential pitfalls which could destroy your great idea. It is better therefore that you learn the potential risks that could sink you business boat even before you start so you can do well in avoiding them instead of regretting later on. Here are some of the major ones which you need to avoid.

Common busines startup mistakes to avoid

Small Business Startup Mistakes to Avoid

1. Hiring the Wrong Staff

The first big mistake you need to be aware of is hiring the wrong staff. If you’ve just got out of education and you’re raring to get your business up and running, then this is one of the big ones you have to look out for. Choosing the wrong people to work at your company may be one of the most expensive mistakes new entrepreneurs are capable of. With a bad enough team, you’ll not only throw a lot of money down the drain, but also grind down your overall business morale.

Recently, you may have met someone you share all kinds of opinions and ideas with, and be just about ready to launch a business with that person. Bringing your friends into the venture will make for a pretty pleasant opening period, true. However, in the long run, those very people may end up killing your business.

It’s better to hire someone who’s annoying but professional than your best friend who knows nothing about business. Hire people with varied skill-sets and a common vision, rather than people you get a good vibe off.

2. Picking the Wrong Price

If you’re running a manufacturing business, then one of the biggest mistakes you can make is bad pricing. This is one thing that will destroy a B2B firm faster than you can imagine, so it’s important not to slip into it.

There are a lot of causes for bad pricing, but one of the most common is a poor grip on your business’s costs. From the payments on your merchant cash advance to the materials you need to logistics, the costs never end! You may hate number-crunching, but don’t be tempted to round up figures, or leave anything out. You can’t afford any laziness here!

You need to be taking everything into account and getting an accurate cost-to-markup figure. While you might be able to recover from bad pricing through good luck and perseverance, it’s not the kind of thing you want to risk.

Before you sign off a single invoice, make sure you understand pricing and all the factors in your industry that influence it.

3. Lack of Flexibility

Another common mistake is going into business with a lack of flexibility. If you land on an absolutely brilliant idea, then you may build it up into this perfect image of everything you want your business to be. After some time overcoming financial and personal obstacles, it’s easy to become attached to this idea. Lean too much towards it, and you could end up putting the big launch off for far too long. Remember that the longer you’re not trading, the longer it will take to actually start turning a profit.

If your business idea hinges on a new program or an app, then this is a particularly big danger you have to look out for. A huge amount of techy entrepreneurs start to develop a program, and won’t consider pitching it until it’s absolutely perfect. This leads to a lot of spending, wasted time, and disgruntled investors. In fact, the only people who benefit here will be your suppliers!

This applies even when your product is matched exactly to your vision. You’ll still need to put money into advertising and distribution to make sure your business doesn’t fizzle out. Grind down too much resources too quickly, and you’ll end up with no product and a pretty substantial debt over your head.

4. Failing to Outsource

Failing to outsource when you definitely should is another common mistake. Again, this is tied in heavily with the software and technology niche. You don’t have to know too much of the technical details to be a successful businessperson. Richard Branson, CEO of this little company called Virgin, didn’t even go to university, and yet managed to expand into too many areas for me to list!

However, you certainly need some kind of expertise in your camp, whether it’s from you or from outside sources. Let’s say you have a great idea for a new program. You know exactly what it’s going to do and how you’d like it to look, but you know absolutely nothing about coding or software development.

Some entrepreneurs are fixed on the idea of independence (or at least reduced costs) and will put off outsourcing for as long as possible. This is something you probably can’t afford to do. Either hire some permanent, in-house experts in your industry, or outsource the work to a trusted professional.

While you probably won’t have all that much to worry about after this, it’s also a good idea to become savvy about your industry. I’m not talking about re-starting your whole formal education here. However, if you hire in some specialists who put across a professional image this isn’t necessarily a reflection of their worth. If you’re spending money on a service that isn’t doing anything for your business, you’d want to know sooner rather than later, right?

Conclusion

When you’re trying to take your business from an idea to a reality, make sure you avoid these big mistakes. I don’t mean to alarm you, but this post is only the tip of the iceberg! Starting a business is a very risky move, which can be undone with all kinds of other factors. However, if you keep yourself informed and on top of all your possible risks, you’ll stand a much better chance of success!

Over to you: Of these common mistakes which do you think is actually the BIGGEST? Share with us in your comments below.

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How Are You Sure You’ll Succeed In 2014? [GOALS]

Goa setting success 2014!

It has become a ceremony that many must perform at the start of every year. Even when they nothing has come out of their previous years’ ritual they will gladly perform some more with the hope that this year would be different!

Of course, I’m sure you already know what I’m talking about here. But in case you still cannot figure it out, I’m talking about New Year resolutions and goal setting!

Do I mean making New Year resolutions and setting goals for the New Year is a wrong thing to do?

No, and a thousand NOOOOOOOOO!

However, as you can testify (because I’m sure you have personal experiences) the excitement that moved you to make that resolution or set those goals in the first place, most times rarely last 3 months!

It is true that many hardly remember what their resolutions and goals for the New Year are after the first couple of months. They simply make these resolutions and set their goals but then they continue with every other thing they have always done.

Can I hear you already saying, that’s insanity?

Yes, and that’s exactly what someone actually called it. If you continue to do the same thing and expect new results, that’s the sign of insanity!

So, may I inform you today that if you want to be sure of success this year 2014, forget about simply setting goals and making New Year resolutions. Take practical steps to ensure that you succeed.

If you have not taken a good look at your business activities in the past year, this is the time to do so. No, it’s not too late, do it now! I did mine in December and I took the Christmas holidays to work on putting in place some very pertinent changes that you can see on this blog right now. I just wrote about that here. And, I intend to follow the path I have set out for the year.

How Can You Make 2014 Different and Guarantee Your Success?

In setting your goals and making 2014 the best year in your business, I want to give you the following 3 action steps:

1. Be Specific

You’ve heard it said, set SMART goals, right? Now look at the goals you have set for the year, are they really specific? Read most of the blogs that have posts on the blogger’s goals for this year. Can’t you see that something is wrong?

Look carefully and you discover that most of what is being referred to as goals in these blog posts are nothing but “to-do-list” for the year! There should actually be a goal(s) which these “to-do-list”, rightly called objectives, are targeted at achieving.

So, if you want to guarantee your success in year 2014, be specific about your GOAL!

I intend to expand on this in my next post. If you don’t want to miss it, subscribe to my newsletter and you’ll be notified at no cost whatever.  Don’t miss it!

Work SMART: Set Goals!

2. Be Methodical

Now, setting that goal is not enough if you want to truly achieve your aim. The next step is putting in place a methodology for bringing that goal to fruition. You must be methodical. Plan out your strategy. Take a look at what you have being doing and note what you will need to change and what you must retain.

This will require work but don’t shy away from it. Take the time to carefully layout your strategy for the year.

From experience this is actually the bane of many online business entrepreneurs. Many do not take the time to do this. After setting what they call goals for the year, they simply continue with their work somehow hoping that things will fall in place.

But that is a fallacy! Things will not work unless you work on them!

3. Be Consistent

This is where many fall off.

In fact, it does appear that our human nature has a way of playing pranks with us here. When we set out to work on something the tendency is to always be on the lookout for results but once this refuses to come when and at the time we expected them, we quickly loss interest.

And, this has caused many a heartache!

If you must see results from your New Year resolutions or goals in 2014 you must consistently push on with your strategies. Be consistent with your methods. Of course, you need to evaluate them along the line but never make the mistake of switching from one method to another just because you saw someone else using something else.

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  • The woodpecker is able to accomplish its job because it is consistent.
  • The spring of water is able to grow and become a mighty river because it was consistent in its flow. Meandering and snaking its way around obstacles, it continues its flow until finding the place of least resistance it spreads out to become a might river!
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Do not allow obstacles and the troubles of life stop you from achieving your goal for the year. You have all that it takes to overcome that obstacle.

Remember, there’s nothing that you’re facing right now or will face that others have not faced. The Good News? Whatever obstacle that comes your way, you have all it takes to overcome it!

So, keep on keeping on and success will be yours!

It doesn’t matter what market you are serving. It does matter the competition you are up against. If you decide this year to really be specific about what you want to achieve, if you will be methodical in working it out and if you will stay your course and be consistent no matter the challenges, 2014 will be the best year you ever had!

I look forward to saying “Congratulations” to you at the end of 2014!

Let’s continue this discussion in the comments section below.

Do You Agree? Misspellings Can Affect a Website’s Sales and Profits!

Hi everyone. It’s my pleasure to welcome you to our first ever “Community Timeout.”

As I mentioned a few days ago, we are devoting Mondays here on the WebIncomeJournal to readers discussing in-depth issues that has to do with running a successful business on the net. And so today, I want us to look into an issue I consider a serious one.

As a blogger or webmaster you definitely know the importance of your communications on the net. Besides, there is no doubt that our online communications are carried out mainly with the written word. This means therefore that being able to communicate clearly with your written content is crucial to your success.

Now, a few days ago, I came across an article by BBC News education correspondent, Sean Coughlan, titled: “Spelling mistakes ‘cost millions’ in lost online sales.” In the article, Sean Coughlan reported a web entrepreneur, Charles Duncombe saying, an analysis of website figures showed a single spelling mistake can cut online sales in half.

Mr Duncombe, who runs travel, mobile phones and clothing websites, made it very clear that poor spelling is a serious problem for the online economy.

Said He,

“Spelling is important to the credibility of a website. You get about six seconds to capture the attention on a website. When there are underlying concerns about fraud and safety, then getting the basics right is essential.”

Could this be an indictment on SEOs Advice on Misspelt Keywords?

Misspellings can affect your website sales and profit!Reading that report I was amazed but not really surprised. You see, as a professional freelance content writer, I had always advocated that businesses use professionally written, well structured web content on their sites. This is really necessary if you want to convince your site visitors that you are a professional in your field. It will also help you to communicate powerfully with your site visitors and be able to build trust with them.

But then as an SEO enthusiast, I’ve heard the search engine optimization experts advocate the use of misspellings on web pages. Their argument is that many people make mistakes when using the search engines for searching for information. To them, these misspelt keywords form a bulk of traffic  and optimizing your web content for these misspellings, could help you ‘corner’ some of these traffic and direct them to your site!

Good reasoning, right? And I’m sure you may have used misspelt keywords at one time or the other. Personally, I’ve done it on a few occasions but then, I was more concerned with traffic than sales!

Did you read that very well?

But is traffic any use if it does not translate to sales on an e-commerce site? I doubt!

So, here is what I want us to discuss:

1. Do you really believe misspellings can greatly affect sales on the internet?

2. If this is really true does it therefore mean that business persons who may have hired SEO companies to optimize their web content and who may have received misspelt keywords as part of their optimization strategy, actually paid those SEO’s to drive away sales?

3. Would you, from these findings, encourage bloggers to be more careful about proof-reading their blog posts before publication?

and,

4. Would you encourage online businesses to use professional writers for their web marketing content or produce just anything they think is ok for their sites?

Please post your comments below and make your discussion useful and relevant. We want to gain something from you.

5 Quick Tips For Turning Negative Criticisms into Profits as a Web Designer!

Working as a web designer is one creative field where there could be a lot of criticisms. And if you’re in the web design business then you must be  prepared for this.

There are times that critics, not really understanding the flow of your thoughts, will disapprove of your work and will even put you in a situation of self-doubt. If you are not careful and you take these criticisms negatively, then you will only be pressing the self-destruct button. However, if you’d learn to take the criticisms with a positive stride, it could lead you up the ladder of excellence.

As a web designer, you need to understand that some criticisms are simply a pointer to some deficiencies in your design.  With this understanding you should seek ways of turning what these critics intended for evil into something great for your business. Instead of being agitated you should rather remain calm and hold your composure.

In this article I want to give you some tips on how you can turn any negative criticism into good returns for your website design business.

handling web design critics

1. Do Not Be On The Defensive

In the face of criticism, many web designers make the mistake of jumping on the defensive. Taking the criticisms personally they are quick in lashing back with double venom. But this is not the way to go. Rational judgment is necessary in situations like this. If you want to prove a point to your critics then try to be assertive rather than aggressive. If you are confident about your design then there is no need to get involved in needless arguments. Proving your point with rational reasoning will make the critic to understand your point of view and you would have won a new follower or client! So learn to speak to your critics in a calm and confident manner.

2. Be Positive

You must understand that web designing is a relative concept.  In this work, there is no ‘right or ‘wrong’.  Two people will never have the same perspective when looking at a design.  There is no way that their opinions will ever tally. So you must realize that it is impossible to make everyone happy.  There is no point in trying to achieve that objective. Of course, there will be those who will disagree with what you’re doing but that shouldn’t be a reason to look down upon your work. Let the critics found the faults but for you, while you turn them into ingredients for better designs. So stay positive!

3. Handle Client’s Criticism With Tact

If the criticism is coming from a client then you must be very deftly in handling the criticism. You must understand that a wrong move can spell doom for your project. Be open to your client’s feedback and try to understand what he/she really wants. If the client is very harsh, do not make the mistake of keeping mum; ask the client to explain the requirements in detail so that you can make the necessary corrections in the design that you have conceived.

4. Look At Suggestions

As mentioned earlier, every criticism could be great suggestions to improve the design. It doesn’t matter from whom it is coming from. It may be from an amateur web designer or even a layman. There are many pros and cons of a criticism of a web design and if the pros are more than the cons then it would be a good idea to implement the suggestions. If someone has rightly pointed out some flaws in your design, then accept it and make the necessary corrections.

5. Separate Useful Information

As a web designer you will get hundreds of comments on your blog and website and it is your duty to bring out the useful information from all these. You can actually get ideas on how to make your website far better than the present form. Just scan through the different comments and look for suggestions that might have come from experienced web designers. You can even thank a critic for any suggestion that have helped you in designing a website.

Conclusion

Succeeding as a web designer comes with many challenges. Trying to satisfy clients with different backgrounds and understanding is one of these challenges. You simply need to be creative not only with your designs but in handling criticisms and differences in opinions as you deal with your clients. No matter where the criticism may come from, with tact and goodwill you can turn it into something more beneficial for your web design business.

So what do you think? Do you have some further suggestions a designer can handle negative criticisms? Let’s hear in the comments below.