One of the most rewarding things you’ll do in your life is to start a new business. It’s a time filled with excitement, possibility and, yes, the likelihood that you’ll make a mistake or two along the way. The best new entrepreneurs learn by trial and error, honing and refining their approach as they go.
Below are three of the most common blunders small business owners make:
Trying to do it all. Whether it’s to save money or because they think they can do it faster and better if they do it themselves, many small business owners try to take on too much responsibility. Yet the success of your company depends on every aspect of the being handled by someone who knows what they’re doing. Don’t be afraid to outsource tasks that could be handled more efficiently that way. From bookkeeping to marketing to sales, if you don’t have the expertise to do it right, investing in a professional from the get go can save time and money down the road.
Waiting until you really need the money to seek financing. Many entrepreneurs start their business on a shoestring budget or borrow startup capital from family and friends. But what happens if your business growth outpaces expectations? At some point, you may need financing to pay suppliers and employees or keep up with growth. Faced with an immediate need, you find yourself scrambling to meet the demands of lenders or investors and perhaps even making bad deals in a time of desperation. The best time to seek financing is before you need it. Develop a realistic business plan and start building relationships with potential investors and lenders before you’ve reached critical mass.
Measuring your self-worth on how well the company is doing. It’s not surprising that many small business owners are so passionate about their business that they base their self worth on the success — or failure — of their company. However, when times are tough, that’s when a small business owner needs to be self-assured, a fearless leader pulling the company through. If you’re wallowing in self-pity and doubt, you won’t have the “can do” attitude needed to weather the storm. Learn to separate the entity from the individual now so you can be the positive force when your business needs it most.