BY DEREK GOODMAN
Setbacks are inevitable on the road to greatness. Every successful entrepreneur can tell stories of their past failures and misfortunes. Jeff Bezos, for example, made some serious mistakes when he was building Amazon, and look where he is today! While setbacks can trip you up for a while, don’t let them stop you from pursuing your long-term goals. Here’s how to learn from your mistakes, re-evaluate your business plan, and build a startup that will thrive from day one.
Ask for Help
One of the biggest mistakes you can make as a small business owner is trying to do everything yourself. From financial management to marketing and everything in between, you just can’t handle it all on your own. You need a team!
Hiring freelancers is a great way to free up your time while unlocking invaluable expertise that will round out your weaknesses. Writing is one area where it always pays to hire help. As a business owner, you don’t have the time to spend hours of your day writing blog posts, e-books, landing page copy, and email newsletters. Consider hiring a company like ReillyWriting LLC to handle your various writing projects so you can focus on what you do best.
Establish a Fool-Proof Bookkeeping System
Poor financial management kills hundreds of small businesses every day. As Outsourcing Insight explains, common bookkeeping mistakes like misclassifying employees and inconsistent recordkeeping can have significant financial and legal consequences. Give your business the best shot at success by establishing a reliable accounting system from day one.
Payroll is one financial area where business owners often struggle. When we say “payroll”, we’re referring to several complex steps including calculating pay, withholding deductions, reporting taxes, and issuing payments. It’s important to understand each payroll component so you can remain compliant with labor laws and keep your workers happy. Besides taking the time to learn about payroll, consider investing in an online payroll service that will help you stay organized and avoid potential errors.
Stay on Top of Cash Flow
Cash flow issues almost always play a role in business setbacks. Many small business owners make the mistake of focusing on revenue and profits, but cash flow is the metric that really matters. A cash flow statement shows how much available cash your business has at any given time. Although your business may be landing clients and selling products, if you don’t have the cash on hand to pay your bills, you’re going to run into problems.
Keep an Eye on Your Competition
To ensure the success of your new business, it’s important to keep an eye on your competitors. If you don’t know who your competitors are, you’ll never be able to stay ahead. Take note of what your competitors are doing and brainstorm ways to go a step further. Watching your competitors can also help you learn what not to do. If you see other businesses facing negative consequences from certain decisions, you’ll know not to take those same risks with your own business!
Be Prepared to Pivot
If we didn’t know it before, the coronavirus pandemic taught us that nothing in business is certain. You need to be ready to pivot your business strategy at a moment’s notice. Businesses that thrived during the pandemic were those that shifted online and adapted their products to meet new market needs. Keep your ear to the ground. The next change in consumer habits might not be as obvious as a global pandemic, so you need to keep a close eye on trends and always be prepared to adapt your strategy to better align with the desires of your customers.
Overcoming setbacks is all about learning from your mistakes and using your experience to do better the next time around. As you prepare to launch a new startup, take steps to avoid common obstacles that hindered you in the past. Determination is the key to success in business—and life!
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About Derek Goodman
Derek Goodman is an entrepreneur and writer who left a cushy job to take business into his own hands, founding Inbizability. Be sure to check out his work!