50 Mistakes to Avoid When Starting a Business

November 2, 2010 | By | 4 Replies More

50 Mistakes to Avoid When Starting a Business

Starting a business is not easy. It is a lot of hard work, planning, strategizing and implementing. It is also an endeavor where you put so much of yourself into the venture, including your own money, your time, and even your dreams. However, if you are going to survive and be a long-term success in business, then you need to be aware of the most common mistakes and pitfalls that can ruin your best-laid plans.




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Here are 50 common mistakes to avoid when starting a business:

  1. Not having a vision for the business, or what you want to achieve through and from the business. Read How to Create a Strategic Vision
  2. Losing focus about your vision and thus failing to reach your goals and objectives.
  3. Not having a clear understanding how the business will make money or the lack of a business model. Read Understanding Basic Business Principles.
  4. Selecting a business that you know nothing about, has no passion for, and in a field that you do not enjoy. Read 7 Methods in Choosing a Business or visit our Choosing a Business section.
  5. Ignoring warning signs about the business, from the high risks involved, competitor might, and even potential obsolescence. Read Breaking Chain Of Mistakes Prevents Business Disasters.
  6. Not starting a business with a clear plan, including financial strategies. Read What Makes a Good Business Plan? or visit our Business Planning section.
  7. Not setting clear benchmarks and targets for the business — and failing to review them on a regular basis
  8. Not knowing exactly the startup expenses the business requires. Read How Much Money Do You Need to Start Your Small Business? or visit our Startup Expenses section.
  9. Making unrealistic and false assumptions about the business, especially in terms of cash flow and financial projections
  10. Insufficient funds to finance the business. Read Pros and Cons of Financing a Business or visit our Finance a Business section.
  11. Caving in to outside pressure, especially from financiers who provided the money to start the business
  12. Failing to have clear and well-written agreements governing relationships — from families and friends who put money into the business to business partners. Read Contracts and the Importance of Putting Business Agreements in Writing
  13. Skimping on must-have resources and assets, including technology and even manpower
  14. Spending way too much money at the start on non-critical and essential things
  15. Failing to understand what the market really wants
  16. Not researching and understanding the competitors enough
  17. Going into the business that is way over your head in terms of knowledge and skills required. Read 6 Skills Every Entrepreneur Need to Succeed
  18. Failing to research on who is the target market for the business. Read Are You Tapping the Right Target Market for Your Business?
  19. Not completely prepared for the hard work required of startup entrepreneurs
  20. Not knowing how the business actually works and what processes are required
  21. Leaving your full time job, without adequate savings, before the business is actually making money. Read How to Make the Jump from Employee to Entrepreneur
  22. Starting a business by competing with your employer, poaching their customers, stealing their client list, thereby opening you to a lot of legal risks and loads of ill-will. Read 10 Mistakes That Will Kill Your Transition From Executive to Entrepreneur
  23. Not building the right team for the business — from the right investors, partners, supporting professionals. Read How to Build a Winning Team: 17 Laws of Teamwork.
  24. Inconsistency in the quality of products and services
  25. Developing products and services of poor quality, even misleading customers about the quality
  26. Not offering anything unique or valuable in the eyes of the customers
  27. Waiting for perfection to the point of losing any opportunity
  28. Not setting the right price to ensure profitability of the business (e.g. setting prices too low). Read 15 Pricing Tips for the Small Business Entrepreneur or visit our Pricing Strategies section.
  29. Not seeking mentors who can provide solid advice and knowledge about the business
  30. Being afraid to get help, especially before the business starts to fall apart. Read Where Entrepreneurs Can Get Help and Advice
  31. Not getting involved and connecting with the business community in the area, missing out networking and partnership opportunities. Read Local Marketing For Faster Small Business Growth or visit our Networking and Word of Mouth section.
  32. Starting a business only for the money, without any deeper meaning and commitment
  33. Losing momentum quickly, crashing and burning after a few months of all-out push
  34. Not having the patience to persist when the road gets bumpy and starting a business proved to be too much of a challenge
  35. Thinking and acting small, letting your size hold you back
  36. Not knowing about how to market a business, or not dedicating enough time and resources to market the business. Read 8 Secrets to Marketing Success or visit our Marketing. section.
  37. Not taking the steps to protect the intellectual properties of the business, including business name, and patentable technologies and processes. Read How to Protect Your Business Ideas or visit our Intellectual Property section.
  38. Not keeping customers happy. Read How to Keep Customers Happy.
  39. Not giving customers with the buying experience they are looking for.
  40. Offering poor customer service, even being rude to customers, ignoring them, and not responding to their concerns or questions quickly. Read 10 Commandments of Great Customer Service or visit our Customer Service section.
  41. Underestimating the importance of sales: not knowing how to sell, and not developing a solid sales strategy
  42. Not knowing how to manage a business, especially a growing one when the initial startup hurdles have been overcome
  43. Ignoring problems that crop up, especially those with potential to break and crush the business
  44. Failing to learn from mistakes committed and not fixing those mistakes quickly. Read 9 Killer Mistakes to Avoid When Starting a Business.
  45. If there are employees, not delegating and trying to do everything by yourself resulting in spending too much time on the little things and not enough time on the bigger strategies and thinking required.
  46. Not hiring the right employees for the job.
  47. Not knowing how to manage people.
  48. Not taking care of yourself personally, ignoring your health, relationships and need to release stress and relax. Read How Entrepreneurs Can Manage Stress or visit our Stress Management section.
  49. Failure to achieve sufficient balance needed in life. Read 25 Ways Work at Home Parents Can Balance Work and Family Life or visit our Work/Life section.
  50. Losing yourself and your own moral compass in the process of starting the business

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Category: Starting a Business

Comments (4)

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