SME Start-up Reminders

30 May

It goes without saying that SME start-ups should begin with a great idea, inspiration, and lots and lots…and lots of research. Many a small business has floundered because someone had wonderful enthusiasm, but once on the road lost her way. If you’ve just started your business and find yourself in this position, you are in good company. Remember, no matter how much research you do and preparation you do, mistakes will happen.

From the start, try to avoid as many errors as you can. Reach out to other business owners in your market (yes, you have to first figure out what that market is!) and ask them what mistakes they made and how they suggest you can handle them better. Don’t be shy. Most entrepreneurs value the chance to mentor. Attend trade association meetings and start networking and learning from those experienced in your trade.

Talk with potential customers before you try to sell to them. Are they the target market you consider them to be? Is the market already to swollen so there is no room for you to squeeze in? Ask questions like, “How often do you buy this product or service?” “Where…?” “How do you feel about your provider?” Find out any reasons that you may want reconfigure your plan before you invest too heavily financially.

The legal issues involved in business start-ups are crucial, but attorneys’ hourly costs can break you before you start. Do your own research, draft your own documents, and then check in with a lawyer to for guidance. The same goes for an accountant. Do as much as you can yourself and not only will it save you money, it will help you understand the business better.

Wait until you see the promise in your business before setting up an office, purchasing lots of equipment, supplies, or stock. This mistake can also knock you down before you get started.

Enthusiasm, a dream, and an excellent work ethic are all you need hang out your shingle, hand out those cards, post those Tweets; just make sure your steady on your own two feet first before you hit the road.

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