10 Small Business Startup Mistakes to Avoid

10 Small Business Startup Mistakes to Avoid


What are some common mistakes entrepreneurs make when starting out? Here is a list of ten of the most common mistakes new entrepreneurs make when starting their business. While mistakes can be our greatest teacher, they can be time-consuming and costly. So here I want to share with you my hard-earned experience and the insight I have gained from my own lapses in business judgment.

Mistake #1. Starting without a business plan

If you are serious about making your new business a success, you must have a written plan. It can be as simple as one page to get you started. Writing it will make you think about how you plan to make your business come to life and become profitable. Force yourself to honestly answer questions like “Who will my customers be”; “Why will they buy from me?”; “How much will I charge for my products and services?”; “How will I get the word out about my new business?”. Be realistic about the costs of running your business. Your business plan will act as an ever-changing and ever-improving guide to follow.

Error #2. No management experience

As a small business founder, you will be directly responsible for all aspects of management – ​​finance, marketing, sales, employee relations, subcontracting and bathroom cleaning, etc. But if you’re starting your business because you’re great at a particular skill or service and want to devote all your time and energy to it, perhaps a family member or partner can handle most of the running of the company. This person should share your vision and goals for the business.

Error #3. Hiring help too soon

Don’t hire employees unless absolutely necessary. The cost of hiring help can financially drown your small business very quickly. When hiring someone, make sure they are hardworking and honest. Only hire people you really need, it will have a positive impact on your business. In our home based small business we try to outsource as much as possible.

Error #4. You don’t hire professional help

Don’t skimp on hiring professional advisors like an accountant and lawyer. Interview a few and find advisors you’re comfortable talking to. Do they understand what you are trying to achieve? Are they quick to share their experience and knowledge with you? These professionals can save you a lot of headaches and a lot of money.

Error #5. Failure to use the cash method of accounting

With the “cash method,” you record business income when it is received in your bank account. And you record an expense when it’s paid out of your bank account. Most of us use this money method for our personal finances because it is much simpler and takes less time. It is also the ideal method for small and home businesses. Under the “accrual method,” you would record business revenue when it is earned, regardless of when you might receive payment for the product or service you sold. And you record an expense when it’s incurred without regard to when you’ll write a check to pay for it. This method of charging is too difficult to maintain for a small and home business.

Error #6. You don’t keep track of your money

You should track your income and expenses each month to know where your money is going. You can do this yourself with inexpensive accounting software or simply download your monthly bank and credit card statement. Cash flow is the lifeblood of a small start-up business.

Error #7. You don’t do enough market research

This is a very common problem with startups. Proper market research can take many months and a lot of research. You need to know who your competition is and who your customers will be. You need to understand all aspects of your industry – inside and out. Read all the books and articles you can find about your particular type of business. Talk to others who are in this industry.

Error #8. You’re not doing the right marketing

Every business needs to have an online presence. It doesn’t matter what business you’re in, you need to be online. It is now possible to do extensive and complex marketing for free – for free. Whether it’s a simple website, Facebook, LinkedIn, Tumblr, or an online phone book listing, you need to be online.

Error #9. You spend too much too soon

If you’re on a tight budget, don’t start by spending thousands on business cards and letterhead. Don’t spend thousands paying a company to build your website when you can very quickly create a great website yourself. Keep using that older computer until you have the cash flow and actual need for a new computer. Before very large purchases, such as a new truck or machinery, seek advice from your accountant.

Error #10. Giving up too quickly

A major part of being an entrepreneur is having stamina, drive and determination. Not giving up on your dream because of a few bumps in the road is an essential part of entrepreneurship. Developing the guts to get through the tough times is essential if you ever want to have any success. Don’t believe anyone who tells you that starting and running a business is easy or simple. It also requires time, effort, faith and vision.


Please feel free to ignore this advice completely or listen to it and keep it in the back of your mind as you start your new business. But just don’t let the fear of making mistakes, expensive or not, stop you from starting your new business. Making mistakes and understanding why you made them, and learning how to fix or avoid them in the future, will truly be your best teacher. And it won’t hurt to start a relationship with an experienced accountant and attorney you can turn to for help.

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