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Bad Business Idea #7: The VisionClear

Avoid making common mistakes when setting up your own business.

There are no bad ideas, just bad practice!

Now that we’ve got your attention with this ridiculous headline, we can get down to real business. When it comes to starting your own company, there are a million ways things can go wrong, and sometimes it can feel overwhelming. It’s hard to know where to start when you’re a budding entrepreneur, and even more difficult to know which decisions are mistakes (until you’ve already made them)! That’s where we come in, we’ve compiled a list of what to do and not to do when starting your own business. There are no bad business ideas, just bad business decisions!

A virtual office is a fantastic business decision.

Making mistakes

Mistakes are part of life, we do it every day, we buy the wrong brand of coffee, leave the keys in the front door, or forget to call our friend back, it happens. The same goes for starting a business, you hire the wrong person, you get a bad review, or your business pitch isn’t quite the success you’d hoped it would be. Mistakes don’t always have to be catastrophic, and in fact, can be an excellent opportunity to learn and grow. Business blunders can be helpful and help you learn how to move forward more constructively and give you an insight into what you can do better in the future. However, not all mistakes are quick fixes, so let’s have a look at some common mistakes and how to avoid them.

No business plan

Failing to draft a business plan is a common mistake many new entrepreneurs make when launching a venture. A business plan serves as a critical foundation for building a successful and sustainable business. Thorough research into your idea is essential for positioning yourself for success, and a well-structured plan provides a competitive edge. Without it, understanding market dynamics, financial projections, and operational logistics becomes challenging. A lack of research and understanding can be costly, and writing a business plan can save you time money, and effort in the long run. If you need a loan to finance your startup, you are unlikely to get one if you don’t have a business plan. So, in short, this is an important part of the startup process and is key to the success of your business, if you don’t know where to begin with writing a business plan, there are several free templates available online.

No marketing plan

Marketing is arguably one of the most important ingredients to the success of your startup. Every business should have a marketing plan, especially if your business operates remotely. A solid website that is SEO friendly is a must,  the higher your website ranks on a search engine, the more likely potential clients/customers are to find you and use your services. Every business is different, so therefore there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all approach to marketing, some channels will be more effective than others. PPC (pay-per-click-advertising) is a great way to appear on a search engine results page and keep within a set budget. Social media is also a free and effective way to promote your business, write and post engaging content, respond to your followers, and share the benefits of your services!

Keep scrolling!

No market research

Conducting thorough market research is crucial for the success of any new business venture. Here’s a breakdown of why it’s essential and some steps to take:

Understanding Competition: Knowing who your competitors are, what they offer, and how they position themselves in the market is vital. This helps you identify gaps in the market where you can differentiate yourself and find unique selling points (USPs).

Niche Evaluation: Assessing the demand and competition in your chosen niche is important. If the market is saturated or has low demand, it might not be viable to enter it. However, if you find an underserved niche with potential, it could present a great opportunity.

Market Landscape Analysis: Examining factors such as online reviews, social engagement, blogging habits, press coverage, and SEO rankings of competitors can provide valuable insights into the market dynamics and help you formulate your strategies accordingly.

Trend vs. Sustainability: Determine whether the market you’re entering is just a passing trend or if it’s a sustainable category with long-term growth potential. This involves looking at industry reports, analysing consumer behavior, and forecasting future trends.

Identifying Opportunities: Market research not only helps you understand the current landscape but also allows you to identify emerging trends and opportunities. This could involve exploring adjacent markets, niche segments, or untapped customer needs.

Mitigating Risks: By conducting thorough market research, you can mitigate risks associated with entering a new market. It helps you make informed decisions and reduces the likelihood of failure due to a lack of understanding of market dynamics.

Market research serves as the foundation for building a successful business. It provides valuable insights into the competitive landscape, helps you identify opportunities, and minimises risks associated with entering new markets. By investing time and resources in market research, entrepreneurs can make well-informed decisions and increase their chances of success.

Product overload

Selling too many unrelated products can dilute a new business’s brand identity, confuse its target audience, and divert attention from refining core products. By adding unrelated items to compensate for poor sales, businesses risk losing focus and weakening brand recognition. Specialisation is crucial for establishing expertise and competing effectively. To avoid this mistake, new business owners should prioritise building a strong, consistent brand identity aligned with their core products and target audience, focusing on refining their offerings before expanding.

Don't make simple mistakes!

It's important to have a well thought out marketing strategy.

Having a well thought out marketing strategy will benefit you.

Delegate tasks to colleagues.

Hire help to give yourself a break and to delegate tasks.

Focus on profit and cash flow.

Focus on profit and cash flow.

Not focussing on cash flow

One common financial mistake among entrepreneurs is neglecting to monitor cash flow and profit margins. Many start their businesses as hobbies and overlook the importance of numbers. Business maths simplifies profitability assessment with a formula: Profit = Demand × (Revenue – Expenses). Initial expenses for small businesses average around £40,000, covering various costs. For instance, with 20,000 monthly online searches for your product, reaching half that audience yields 100 to 200 potential sales. Assuming a £100 average order value and a 30% net profit margin, monthly profits range from £3,000 to £6,000. Though estimates vary, calculating potential profits helps entrepreneurs understand their business’s financial landscape and avoid this mistake.

Try this gross margin calculator

Not hiring help

Many entrepreneurs subscribe to the idea of going solo, yet this often overlooks the concept of opportunity. By dedicating time to one endeavor, you sacrifice opportunities elsewhere. When starting a business, people tend to undertake all tasks themselves, from website setup to marketing, which is commendable, but time-consuming. The challenge lies in deciding between necessary and unnecessary tasks. Unnecessary tasks like obsessing over minor design details can consume valuable time without significant impact. Recognising when to delegate or hire help (whether that may be a co-founder, freelancer, or employee) is a critical business decision. Many hands make light work, and hiring help will enable you to focus on core activities and foster business growth without shouldering all responsibilities alone.


In conclusion, starting a business is a journey filled with challenges and opportunities for growth. Whilst mistakes are inevitable, they also present valuable learning experiences that can help entrepreneurs refine their strategies and improve their chances of success. By avoiding common pitfalls such as neglecting to create a business plan, overlooking the importance of marketing and market research, succumbing to product overload, and failing to prioritise cash flow management, entrepreneurs can set themselves up for long-term sustainability and growth. Additionally, recognising the value of delegation and seeking help when needed can lighten the load and allow entrepreneurs to focus on their core activities, ultimately leading to a more efficient and effective business operation. By embracing these principles and learning from both successes and failures, aspiring entrepreneurs can navigate the complexities of entrepreneurship with confidence and resilience. Remember, there are no bad business ideas, only opportunities to learn and grow.

Alexandra handles all things marketing here at Virtual HQ

Alexandra O'Hagan

Marketing Executive

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