Shopping Cart


No products in the cart.


We're Building the World's BIGGEST Online Community for Small Businesses

How to avoid early startup mistakes


When you start out on your business journey, there is a lot to do. It’s easy to get overwhelmed in those first few months, with practical considerations such as invoicing and tax to take care of, as well as growing your customer base.

You’ll also need to spend some time establishing your reputation in the market, as this will lead to an increase in customers in the future.

With so much to do, there’s no way that you’ll get everything perfect the first time. Part of being an entrepreneur is being willing to make mistakes in order to learn from them and grow. In this post, we take a look at some of the most common mistakes small business owners make when they’re starting out. 

Not understanding core values

Whilst your business idea will be unique in many aspects, many owners are inspired by other entrepreneurs around them. As a result, you may set goals that are in line with the ‘success’ you’re seeing from those companies, or be influenced by their style of marketing and customer interaction. There’s nothing wrong with being inspired, but as a small business owner, you need to make sure you’re clear about what you want for your company, rather than trying to exactly emulate others. 

When you don’t fully grasp your core motivations, you’ll put out mixed messages about what your business can offer, which can be confusing for customers. Spending time at the start of your journey defining what you want your business to stand for can help you centre all your marketing efforts around these values. Having a unique perspective and selling point will make you stand out from the crowd.

Thinking you have to do it all yourself

When you’re trying to establish your reputation, you’re likely doubling up on your marketing efforts – spanning your website, social media, emails and perhaps even print. This is a lot to cover, especially when you need to be posting regularly on socials to make an impact. Plus, once you’ve posted, you probably don’t have time to review the analytics to see what’s working.

Don’t be afraid to outsource some of these tasks in order to allow you to stay on top of your to-do list. Utilising freelancers, AI and planning content in batches ahead of time are all great tools to support your business growth. AI can then help you with scheduling, pulling key insights and getting repetitive tasks off your task list in record time.

Underestimating offline connections

With so much emphasis on digital marketing these days, offline connections can sometimes feel like a waste of time. Networking events, business trade shows or even in-person product launches or talks can feel like a waste of your precious time and money. However, when it comes to building your reputation, offline connections are key. As a founder, you’ll have the passion and interest in your product that will help it sell even when you’re not directly pitching. Plus, if you make a good impression, then you’ll be remembered by everyone you meet for all the right reasons – placing you at the forefront when they are ready to make a purchase.

Remember, it might seem like sales are the most important thing, but having a good reputation will increase your chances of being the premier choice in the long-run. Make sure you put enough effort into your offline relationships to help boost your reputation.

Undervaluing slow growth

A good reputation isn’t built overnight – it’s the sum of many hours of consistency and hard work. It can feel frustrating when you’re not the first choice for your target audience right away, especially when you feel you have a great product or service. However, you have to put your faith in the long game, and respect that growth is a slow process. Customers need to get to know your brand and see consistency in order to trust you.

Instead of always opting for quick wins, every decision you make should be based on those core values you set at the beginning. Having those at the heart of your company will help you stay consistent when things feel slow, and get you known for all the right reasons.

Keep up to date with our stories on LinkedInTwitterFacebook and Instagram.


Leave a Reply