Starting a business can be exciting, but did you know only 51 per cent of new firms make it to their sixth year? Save yourself time (and money!) by learning from others’ mistakes.

How to avoid the top five reasons businesses flop:
1. Bad value proposition, bad marketing
A value proposition is what makes a business attractive. Focusing on product quality at the expense of everything else can spell failure - focusing on your customer is essential to your success.

To determine your value proposition, you need to understand your market. Once you determine your target client group, ask yourself what problem(s) your product or service can solve for them. Invest in marketing and PR that answers this question clearly and engagingly.

2. Poor competitor analysis
Never assume that your product is in a league of its own. It’s important to do a proper competitive analysis to identify your competitors and their marketing strategies so you can set yourself apart.

Improve upon your competitors’ strategies and mistakes to give yourself an edge.

3. Lack of funds
We’ve all heard the old adage “spend money to make money”. But, as with most things, balance is key.

It’s crucial to keep track of cash and equivalents going in and out of your business. Ensure you’re prepared for lulls or unexpected costs. Work on funding options. Spend wisely while still investing in good people and products. Not doing so may cost you long-term.

4. Perfectionism
You can’t do everything yourself. Do what you’re best at and delegate the rest or risk burning out (along with your business).

Use the Pareto principle (the 80/20 rule) to combat time and resource-consuming perfectionism. Once you’ve put 20 per cent of the time into a task, you’re already 80 per cent finished - any additional work will give diminishing returns. Recognize when the profits gained are less than the resources invested.

5. Weak network
Building your business in isolation isn’t just a lonely way of life, it can limit the success that networking can open you up to!

Find a mentor. Ask questions. Never underestimate the benefit of a fresh set of eyes.

Setbacks are normal but avoiding the mistakes of others will help you save time and money so you can get back to what’s really important – building your business!

Visit yesmontreal.ca to see how we can help you avoid other common pitfalls and put your best foot forward.