Starting a new business is an exciting and ambitious undertaking, something you may have looked forward to for years.
It is easy to get caught up in the buzz of day-to-day operations, but here are five common mistakes to avoid as you launch your new company.
1. Failing to develop a marketing plan
You will need more than the support of friends and family to get your business off the ground. You must develop a marketing plan that will allow your business to sustain itself and become profitable. Use modern marketing technology by establishing a website, building a strong social media presence, networking and putting up ads.
2. Underpricing your products or services
Find out what your products or services are worth in the marketplace. Pay attention to what your competitors are charging and do not make the mistake of underpricing your services or wares.
3. Avoiding written agreements
Written agreements matter. Business is no longer conducted on the strength of a handshake. Send out professional invoices, provide customers with receipts for purchases and sign contracts with partners and service providers.
4. Neglecting the protection of IP
Do not fail to protect your intellectual property. Intellectual property (IP) is more than just a logo or name. It might include certain kinds of documents or photos. Be sure you protect your IP by filing for a trademark, a copyright or another type of legal ownership.
5. Ignoring long-term planning
It is a mistake to think only about tomorrow or next week or next month. Make a plan for different spans of time. Where do you want your business to be in a year? What should it look like in five years? Ten? Your goals for future products and the financial health of your business should be part of a long-term plan.