Statistics show that around half of companies wind up after three years of activity.
It is therefore essential to prepare your project well and to analyse your opportunities before launching your business.
To increase your chances of success, here is a list of six mistakes to avoid when starting a business. Please note that this list is not exhaustive.
Mistake 1: Poor preparation of the project
A company launch is planned for months, which will lead you to ask yourself some crucial questions:
- What do I want?
- What are my skills in the project and in the company being set up?
- What is the action plan for getting the project started?
- What are my long-term goals for both the company and myself?
- What are the investments to be made at launch and over the medium term?
Mistake 2: Not testing your product/service offering
Just because you are convinced that a product or service will work does not mean you should launch it without testing it.
A product/service may be successful in one market but not in another. The pilot customers will be decisive in the conclusions of the tests.
Make sure you test this at an early stage as this will prevent you wasting time on an offering that will not interest your “future” customers.
The test phase can also consist of a market study.
Mistake 3: Wanting to do everything yourself
Clearly, it all depends on the product/service you want to launch. But as information flows faster and faster, a good product/service can be copied and improved on very quickly.
Wanting to do everything yourself is not only time-consuming but you also risk being drowned out by the competition who might simply take over your project using their greater human and financial resources.
So you need to enter the market quickly.
That means you need to distinguish between what you can do yourself and what you will need to delegate.
You do not have all the skills, you do not have enough time to do everything, and sometimes the right decisions are made in consultation.
Mistake 4: Not communicating about your future product/service
You can launch the best product/service in the world, but if you do not let the world know, the launch is doomed to fail.
At the beginning of the project, set up an ambitious marketing and communication plan by precisely calculating the costs related to each communication channel.
Visibility to attract the first customers is essential.
Beware that on certain communication channels like SEO (Search Engine Optimization), such visibility can take months.
Mistake 5: Starting out without an exhaustive business plan and without objectives
In Belgium, the revised Companies Code in force since 2020 requires entrepreneurs to provide a detailed business plan before starting a company.
A good business plan allows the profitability of a project to be verified.
Of course, it is never possible to predict the actual figures. But you will be able to model different scenarios.
The business plan is divided into two parts: the first has a global and economic vision (business model, market, team, etc.), the second focuses on the purely financial aspect (financing plan, cash-flow plan, investment plan, expected results, etc.).
The establishment of this business plan helps the company owners to structure their project and make decisions.
Mistake 6: Not paying attention to the registered office of your future company
The registered office of your future company is not only the official address used by third parties (customers, suppliers, visitors and public authorities) but also the image you want to give to your company.
Choosing your registered office wisely is also an important step that is often overlooked.
Many company owners no longer wish to domicile their company at their private home but instead use a coworking or serviced offices centre to set up their company headquarters.
Not only does this enhance the image of their company, but as their needs increase in step with the growth of their company, they can benefit from a wide range of à la carte services: renting meeting rooms, offices, reception for visitors etc.
The choice of the head office is often neglected. However, the product/service is usually associated with an image and this image is reflected by the head office.