17 Mistakes to Avoid When Starting a Business

17 mistakes to avoid when starting a business

So you are starting a business venture of your own…how does it feel? Starting your own business can be one of the most exciting moments in a person’s life.

It is a dream come true and you’ll finally be able to turn your vision into a reality.

Hold your horses though.

There are traps to be avoided.

This article will enlighten you on 17 mistakes to avoid when starting a business.

As a new business owner, it’s important to keep in mind that not every business venture ends in success.

If you don’t take the time to do the right kind of planning and investigation, your business is sure to fail.

While being eager and motivated is certainly important, making sure you do everything in your power to ensure you’re really ready for that opening day will be key.

The following are 17 different mistakes that many new entrepreneurs make that you should try and avoid at all costs as you start your business in order to strive for success today.

1. Being Afraid Of Failure

Business mistakes

When it comes to starting out on the right foot, you absolutely need to have confidence in your own business.

Among our 17 common mistakes to avoid as you start a business of yours, fear of failure is one of the main reasons that too many businesses don’t even get to see the light of day.

Of course, there’s a possibility that your business won’t succeed.

But, how will you ever know if you don’t try?

Giving into this fear can lead to you making poor decisions and avoiding confrontations that are necessary to get things moving.

You need to remember that falling down is part of the learning process and that to appreciate the success that comes later on, things will be a bit tricky in the beginning.

Your ability to brush up yourself and keep going will be what sets you apart and helps your business to thrive.

2. Not Having A Plan

Small business mistakes

Whenever you start thinking about starting your own business, one of the first and most crucial things you need to do is write up a business plan.

This is another trap among our 17 avoidable mistakes when starting a business that way too many new business owners fail to avoid or see its importance.

Ultimately leading to their own downfall.

A business plan is critical to helping you stay consistent and on point with your initial goals.

They don’t have to be overwhelmingly detailed or especially long.

They just need to help layout the foundation upon which you’re setting up your business.

What are your long and short-term goals?

Where do you see your business headed?

What issue are you trying to solve?

By having all of this laid out in front of you, you will stay on track.

And you’ll be able to show others how serious you are about these future endeavors.

3. Not Enough Funding

Startup mistakes

At the end of the day, starting up a business can be expensive.

This is one of the crucial traps of the 17 mistakes you should avoid as you start your business.

Lots of new business owners fail to recognize the amount of funding they’ll actually need to get things off the ground.

Make sure you take the time to get the funds necessary to purchase the things that you need.

Also, aim to cover all your potential spending needs for at least a few months.

Some experts recommend having funds to cover 6 months to one year of operations.

Few people have this kind of money lying around, so it’s important to remember that you have options.

You could consider taking on investors or new partners.

These would provide you with a specific amount to become a part of the organization.

On the other hand, if you aren’t interested in bringing anyone else in, you could always try to take out a small business loan from a bank or a lender.

Just make sure you read all the fine print with those agreements.

If not, you could end up putting your business in a difficult position later on down the road.

4. Organizational Failure

Common startup mistakes

Next on our list of 17 mistakes to avoid when starting your business is the failure to be organized.

One of the most important factors in opening a new business is organization.

Starting out can feel overwhelming.

A lot of things need to be done including, finding the right staff, getting all of your suppliers in place, and getting things ready for opening day.

Ensuring you have a system for knowing where everything is at any given time will help you stay on track and keep things moving.

The peace of mind that it can bring you can make a world of difference.

5. Lack Of Market Understanding

Common startup company mistakes

Just because you understand the industry you’re jumping into doesn’t mean you have a clear idea of the market around you.

This also is another important factor from our list of common 17 mistakes to avoid when you start a business.

You need to make sure you’re creating a product or a service that those in the immediate area will be interested in buying.

You need to take the time to get to know the market.

Understand the current economic situation and gauge the type of spending that your ideal client will be able to afford.

There are a wide variety of factors that influence the movement of the market from finances to trends.

So make sure you take everything into consideration and learn all you can about your customer base ahead of time.

This way, you won’t have to scramble or make serious changes to attract people to your business later on.

6. Trying To Handle Everything Alone

Common startup business mistakes

Moving on, another serious factor on our list of 17 mistakes to avoid as you start your own business is one that too many business newbies fall prey to.

And it is, trying to handle everything on your own.

It’s true that a business owner needs to be a jack of all trades.

Nevertheless, you should take advantage of the skills and knowledge that other professionals can offer.

This will make a dramatic difference.

Having people, such as accountants and marketing experts, can give your business the boost that it needs to get things rolling.

They’ll be able to get your business off on the right foot, setting you up on a strong foundation to grow your business into the success you’ve always dreamed it could be.

When things are set up correctly from the beginning, gliding into a bright future quickly becomes significantly easier.

7. Failure At Delegating And Management

Mistakes business owners make

Learning how to delegate and manage your staff will be one of the most important steps you can take.

You might think that your staff will thrive if you keep a friendly and open relationship with them.

True, but in reality, they are also looking for your guidance and leadership.

People work hard for those who inspire them, so make sure you turn yourself into a leader worth following as quickly as possible.

8. Hiring More Than Necessary

Mistakes startup business owners make

Another crucial factor among our list of 17 mistakes to avoid that can ruin the starting or opening of business, is bringing on too many employees, too quickly.

You certainly may want to have some people by your side when you first start out.

Nonetheless, the reality is that bringing on too many people can end up draining any profits you might see in those first few months.

Which ends up killing your business before it can even start.

The likelihood is that most of the initial work can be handled by you and a couple members of staff, so don’t go hiring an army of employees and preparing for work you don’t even have.

Also, keep in mind that outside contractors could easily handle a large number of time-consuming jobs.

People whom you won’t need to guarantee a steady paycheck.

Your profit is the most important thing at this point, so don’t throw it away on staff who aren’t even working to their full capacity.

9. Working With Friends, Rather Than Partners

Startup business errors

When you start your own business, it’s important to remember this factor among the common 17 mistakes to avoid.

You have to bear in mind that you need to keep things professional and that business is business.

All too often, new business owners bring in friends that they think it will be a dream working with only to find that dream quickly turning into a nightmare.

Involving friendships in business without a clear definition of the business relationship can be an absolutely destructive decision for a wide range of different reasons.

You need to evaluate and make some of the following decisions upfront to increase the chances of success in your business relationship.

Will you be taking equal shares?

Who’s doing what task?

Who’s doing more work?

Who makes the final decision?

When it comes to your business, it’s might be best to keep your friends as clients, rather than employees.

10. Spending Too Quickly

Common mistakes of startup business owners

One of the things that quickly leads many new business owners down the road to failure is their initial spending habits.

When starting your business, you should avoid this trap among our list of 17 mistakes.

Just because you’ve seen early profitability doesn’t mean you should go out and start making massive investments. 

Starting out on a successful path is great, but there’s no guarantee that it will continue.

Many business owners think that the initial curiosity shown by clients will just keep growing.

So they go out and spend a large amount of money on unnecessary things.

Then, a few months down the road, they find themselves unable to pay their bills, having to sell back whatever they purchased for a lower amount, or even having to close their doors.

Keep in mind that there will always be time for spending later on.

11. Planning For Success

Small business pitfalls

Dreaming big and having substantial goals for the future is, of course, important.

However, many businesses end up failing because their owners focused too much on planning for success, rather than preparing themselves for failure.

As you start your business, this factor among our list of 17 mistakes to avoid may seem contradictory but should be taken seriously.

Unfortunately, things don’t always go according to plan.

So when it comes down to it, being ready for those difficult times and knowing what needs to be done ahead of time can make all the difference in the world.

By recognizing the signs of serious problems and knowing how to handle them, you’ll be able to cut your losses before things get out of hand.

Thereby saving your business and keeping it afloat.

Don’t let your business fail because of your own ignorance and mismanagement.

12. Creating Equal Partnerships

Startup pitfalls

When you start setting up your business, it’s incredibly important that you establish your position and your partner’s in terms of leadership.

While you might think that it’s a great idea to have everything set on equal footing, the reality is that eventually, someone will need to make those final decisions.

Having a 50/50 relationship can quickly lead to conflicts that could destroy the business before it even starts.

Take the time to figure things out and declare them legal when everyone is in a more amicable state, rather than leaving things to figure out later on and putting the business at risk.

13. Ignoring Modern Technology

Common mistakes new business owners make

Modern technology has been one of the most important advancements in business over the last few years.

Things such as cloud technology, have made it possible for businesses to stay constantly connected to one another no matter where they are.

Thereby giving them a serious upper hand when it comes to managing client’s needs.

Don’t let this significant advantage pass you by.

When it comes to necessary investments, this absolutely needs to be at the top of your list.

Keep an eye on business blogs to see what new technologies are coming through the pipelines.

Additionally, see what it is that other businesses have found to be absolutely invaluable to their success.

The more you know about what’s out there and available to you, the better you’ll be able to decide what your business really needs.

14. Not Taking Advantage Of The Online Market

Common mistakes of new business owners

When it comes to marketing in today’s business world, there is nothing more important than your company’s internet presence.

You need to have a strong website, as well as a healthy social media following for clients to consider your business to be successful.

Too many new business owners underestimate the important role that the online market plays.

However, you need to remember that the internet has the power to reach millions of people at the same time.

Making it one of the most cost-effective and wide-reaching marketing platforms ever.

Make sure that you stay ahead of the competition by investing the time and resources necessary to create pages that will catch the eye of every customer who visits.

If you don’t have the time or understanding, take advantage of freelance social media managers who can help create the perfect online presence for your business in no time.

15. Being Closed Minded

New business mistakes

It’s true that sticking to your guns and holding true to your beliefs is key to running a successful business.

Yet, so is staying open-minded and recognizing the need for change.

The last thing that you want to do as a new business owner is to fall into tunnel vision and refuse to see any issues with your business or the plan you’ve put in place.

Make sure you take customer input and the concerns of your employees into consideration.

If they are coming to you with your business’ best interest in mind, and offering you a solution that could seriously benefit your company, accepting these changes can be one of the best decisions you’ve ever made.

16. Not Signing Contracts

Mistakes new business owners should avoid

Verbally agreeing to things and thinking that you’ve made a deal can be one of the biggest mistakes that new business owners can make.

You certainly want to trust the people that you’re working with, whether it be customers, employees, or suppliers, but unfortunately, these relationships can quickly turn down a negative path if things aren’t plainly laid out in writing.

Having contracts that help set up expectations can be one of the most important steps any new business owner can take.

It’s critical to remember that no matter how good and open a relationship is in the beginning, things can always change.

You need to protect yourself just in case things go south at any point in time.

17. Grow When It Counts

Avoidable startup mistakes

Too often do business owners get caught up in the idea of growing their business and taking things to the next level.

However, trying to force growth when the time still isn’t right can quickly end up killing your business rather than expanding it.

Make sure that you recognize the signs that growth is needed before you make any serious investments.

Do you have a dedicated and dependable staff?

Are your clients eager to see you take the next step?

Do you have steady profitability that will allow you to make this kind of move?

These are all important factors that you’ll need to take into consideration before you start looking for bigger and better things.

Focus on making what you already have great instead.

Opening a new business is a thrilling experience, but you need to make sure you’re really ready for what you’re getting into.

Keep these traps in mind and avoid making these mistakes so that your business can really thrive.

What do you think about the 17 mistakes to avoid when starting a business?

Do leave us your comments!

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17 mistakes to avoid when starting a business