5 Mistakes People Make When Starting a Business

Trying to do it all: just one of the mistakes people make when starting a business ... photo by CC user orangeacid on Flickr

Like any station in life, there are plenty of mistakes people make when starting a business. By learning from the most common errors, neophytes in the field can avoid the biggest pain points that can threaten the existence of a promising venture before it has even gotten traction. Let’s get right into it, shall we?

1) Hiring the wrong people

When starting a business, it is vital that everybody knows their role within the organization, and the work that is expected of them. While it is important to make sure that everybody gets along relatively well so that you don’t end up with a toxic person that drags everyone down with them, it is also imperative that you have all the necessary skill sets that are paramount to a successful business covered adequately.

There’s nothing more deflating than having to contract out an important task at the last minute because your best bud that you hired with the best of intentions chased his tail most of the month and forgot to get the books done on time.

2) Not getting a lawyer and an accountant involved at the start

There’s something to be said for being first to market with a product, jumping in the deep end and crushing it from the word GO. However, if you forge ahead without considering the laws that surround your business, or the tax implications that arise from making and then spending a bunch of money, you could be setting yourself up for massive migraine headache at some point in the near future.

Getting a lawyer and accountant on retainer should be the first thing you do before bursting out of the blocks, as they will advise you on the rules you have to follow, and they will lay out a plan so you can focus on what you do best in the business arena.

3) Avoiding your phone like it’s covered with the Ebola virus

While it is possible to work on the internet making small time money as a freelancer without having to go anywhere near a phone, if you are developing a product for which you plan on charging a moderate price or higher, you’ll need to get on the phone and cold call prospects.

This is especially true if you are in the B2B space, where hearing a human voice on the other end of the line is critical for building trust before committing to a purchase of $40 per month for a subscription service, or $97 one-time for a product.

If you avoid your phone like it’s a lethal disease, you’ll end up hitting an earnings ceiling early in your growth trajectory, thereby keeping you in busto land.  Besides phones, there are other tools and your resources start-ups need from communications to marketing, security to financing. So, do the research in advance and make sure you have all that you need to succeed!

4) Focusing on things that don’t make you money

The most important money making tasks in business are frequently the most uncomfortable actions that one will take in the course of their work day. Why talk to a complete stranger that might hang up the phone in your face when you could just tinker with the header graphic on your website.

With every second that you waste on low/no leverage tasks in your business, you are leaving money on the table. Outsource the header to a hungry graphic designer and call that client that could increase your top line revenue 20% with a single “yes” … not a hard choice when we put it to you this way, is it?

5) Being afraid to fail

This is the most tragic legacy for those of us that have come from the world of 9-5. Making mistakes in this sphere of existence is a freaking Greek tragedy that spawns drama and hurt feelings when those with a better perspective on things would have simply learned a lesson from the incident and moved on with their day.

Don’t worry if the cold prospect says no or if you lose out on a contract to your biggest competitor. By viewing these speed bumps on the road of life as learning opportunities, you’ll grow stronger in the long run instead of curling up into the fetal position every time something remotely stressful occurs in your business.