It’s an exciting time if you are thinking about opening a business. You may not even be sure what type of operation you want to run; you just know that you have a great mind for business. You may be reading books and blogs for advice and getting nuggets of wisdom, solicited and unsolicited, from various people. To that end, here is a look at the worst advice that tends to pop up.
- Start ASAP
This piece of advice is common from loved ones and perhaps from yourself as well. Diving in is tempting. However, resist this urge. Take the time to methodically plan your business; at least draw up a business plan first.
- A Business Plan Is Not Necessary
You absolutely need a business plan, no matter what type of operation you are gearing up for. A one-person, home-based business still needs a road map that spells out how it will find and make money, achieve its goals, reach its target audience, track its competitors and stand out through its various offerings. If you plan to seek a bank loan or to approach individual investors, you need this type of plan.
- Hire Family and Friends
This particular piece of advice is not necessarily bad, but for quite a few folks, it can be the worst advice. Family and friends can be willing to work for low wages and to put in extra effort. Some, however, will blur the line between the personal and the professional. For example, they may think it is OK to show up late for work. Moreover, you may be hiring someone unqualified in an attempt to save money. For that matter, are you in a position to accurately assess the hard and soft skills of someone close to you, and how quickly and comprehensively he or she could be trained in hard skills?
Tread with caution when considering hiring family and friends. Engage in serious talks only with those who are qualified, and whom you trust to separate the personal and professional aspects of your relationship. It also helps if you compensate them fairly, or at least make the situation clear from the beginning, so they know what they are getting into.
Many other morsels of bad advice exist, but the above three are among the big ones. To start on the right track, write a business plan, move forward strategically and hire with purpose.