In addition to the individual challenges of a given business area, each entrepreneur also faces the same set of difficulties – and these are the difficulties that everyone overlooks.
So what do you need to keep in mind? The list runs from the serious all the way down to the ridiculous, but every one of them is a pitfall.
1. Under capitalization
You don’t just need to be able to cover the costs of all your startup equipment; you also need to cover the costs of your wage bill, ongoing expenses, et cetera, until you’re making sufficient profit not only to cover your monthly expenses but also to recoup those costs. You’re going to want to be sure that your investors and your business loans’ terms of repayment are appropriate to your work, and appropriate to the speed your business is likely to pick up.
2. Advertising requires a budget
And speaking of that, making business pick up requires more than word of mouth, at least in the short term. Satisfied customers are the best way to maintain an established business, but not enough to get you started. Factor in your means of promoting your business, because it will cost you money to do, and consider, if you can afford it, a discount rate to begin with.
3. Mark discounts clearly
If your customer base is lured in by a good rate early on and they think you’ve raised your prices when the promotion ends, they’ll all reconsider whether or not to return to you. (You’ve probably done this yourself, when one business or another put its prices up.) On the other hand, if you’ve always made it clear that your service was worth the price you go to, but was originally discounted, the same effect doesn’t happen. These tricks of psychology are important as your business grows.
4. Staff morale
A thousand and one little things come into play in whether or not your staff are performing at their best – and that directly and strongly affects how customers perceive your business. Some of them you should already know, but remember that individual member of staff will respond best to different management methods; however, if they get wind of the fact you’re doing that, they may read it as bias. And – especially if you’re male – here’s a tip for free; female employees need a disposal bin in their bathroom, and leaving that out is really going to hurt.
There are countless others, but these four form the basis of a strong strategy to help you build your brand quickly and survive until it’s built.