Common First Year Mistakes To Avoid When Starting A Business



There is nothing quite as exhilarating as embarking on the path to business ownership. Enthusiasm is a blessing and a curse for new business owners; if you are one that tends to think and act rather impulsively, you’ll need to curb this natural inclination and learn to take steady, methodical steps to ensure that your startup doesn’t fizzle out too quickly.

Statistics show that almost 30 percent of small businesses fail to get off the ground in the first year, with 50 percent failing within five years and an alarming 66 percent becoming obsolete within the first ten years. With these stats, it becomes easy to see that setting up a solid foundation is critical to your success, and that begins in the first 365 days of business. Let’s take a look at some common first-year mistakes to avoid so that you can solidify your success as an entrepreneur:

  1. Don’t quit your day job. Some people think that branching out on their own is the only way to escape the day to day conflicts that come with working for a boss amidst coworkers. You will not avoid people when starting a business; if anything, the quality of your relationships with employees and clients becomes even more important as you branch out on your own. Learn the lessons that these demanding relationships afford you, and take this knowledge into your solo venture as you seek to develop long-term relationships that will help sustain your business growth.

  2. Slow and steady wins the race. Enthusiastic business owners try to do too much, too soon. One surefire way to burn out quickly is to overextend yourself with your time, money and resources. Pace yourself, take slow and steady steps toward unfolding your business plan, and celebrate small consistent successes as you build your business.

  3. Accentuate the positive. There might be days when absolutely no one comes knocking at your door, and that’s okay. Ebbs and flows that come with any type of business need to see longevity to see consistent growth. Keep a positive mindset of “build it, they will come,” and you will see results.

  4. Get some much-needed support. There is a lifestyle change that comes with running your own business, and failing to fill in friends and family members on your new time and money commitments is bound to get you into trouble at some point. Let the people closest to you that there may be extra demands on your personal time as well as personal sacrifices you must all make, and that it will be worth it in the long run as you see a steady climb toward the pinnacle.

  5. Clear your name. Many first time, first-year business owners fail to do the legal legwork necessary to see if their chosen name is “in the clear,” meaning that no other legal entities have laid claim to those magical words. Conducting a national trademark search before designing your company letterhead, social media graphics, and business cards will aid you in being able to avoid legal hot water that is associated with copyright infringement.

  6. Choose the right business structure. The type of business structure you choose to set up your empire under will affect your liabilities, your assets, and your taxes. It is imperative that you do research to determine what the best structure is for setup, and if this will give you advantages of asset protection and financial responsibility when it comes to paying creditors, paying taxes, and keeping money in your pocket.

  7. Set up a separate bank account. Blending personal and business finances is never a good idea, as it puts you at risk for creditors to come after your personal property if things go south. Maintaining a professional account will also aid in establishing credibility with clients and give the impression that you are well established and well qualified.

  8. Plan every step. The enthusiasm and fervor that caused you to branch out on your own can also aid you in setting up a solid business plan and growth goals. Failure to plan, however, is planning to fail. Document goals and mile markers for yourself, and write down solid strategies for achieving them. Don’t worry--these plans can always be adjusted as you progress on this winding road, but not having these structures in place will most certainly leave you buffeted about by the winds of change.

Self Control And Self Discipline--Sure Keys To Success

You don’t necessarily need to abandon the startup fire in your belly to accomplish your goals; couple this passion with methodical business planning, and you will find yourself achieving levels of success than you never dreamed possible. Here’s to your highest success!