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New Business Owners: Avoid These Mistakes

by / ⠀Entrepreneurship Startup Advice / September 28, 2022
new business owners

People have been starting side businesses for hundreds of years with varying degrees of success. The long historical record can guide modern adults who want to delve into the world of entrepreneurship. That’s mainly because all the major, common mistakes are no longer a secret. Why not learn from the past as new business owners and get your company started on the right foot? 

What are the most frequent errors first-time entrepreneurs make? In addition to spending too much money on advertising, the big mistakes include making incorrect assumptions about future profits, not dealing with student loans, working too many hours, making a non-detailed operating budget, being unwilling to outsource, and more. Of course, every new entity is unique, but the following mistakes tend to be very common among new business owners.

Making Erroneous Assumptions

One of the subtle ways that founders derail their dreams is by making wrong assumptions about how ownership will play out. The most common erroneous belief is that profits will begin to roll in within a few weeks of opening day. That’s almost never the case. This is due to it generally taking an entrepreneur at least six months of hard work before there’s a surplus of cash at month’s end. 

Other assumptions to avoid include thinking that you can get by without researching the competition. Be ready to spend at least a few hours per week studying the market and examining the practices of your closest competitors. Additionally, don’t make the mistake of believing more hours of work will improve your overall efficiency. Aim for a reasonable amount of time to devote to the new enterprise each week, taking into account obligations to a current job.

Not Getting Education Debt Under Control

Personal financial health is a central piece of the entrepreneurship puzzle. There’s no law against using savings left over from the household budget to support a business venture. In fact, most new business owners use savings, credit, and personal borrowing to get small companies off the ground. That’s just one reason a student loan refinance agreement can contribute to a company’s success. 

Putting one or more old education loans into a brand new one can give borrowers access to all sorts of positive results, including better interest rates, more favorable terms, more flexible repayment periods, and lower monthly payments. If you get your education debt under control, it’s possible to have more cash available for operating a new business. Don’t make the mistake of ignoring your chance to reorganize your education debt and slash monthly expenses at the same time.

Making Sloppy Budgets

When creating business plans and prospective operating budgets, don’t use loose estimates. Instead, be as precise and detailed as possible. Inaccurate, imprecise budgeting is one of the most frequent causes of early failure for entrepreneurs. Particularly those who are attempting to operate a company for the first time.

Trying to Do Everything

It’s human nature to want to control every aspect of a fresh enterprise. Instead of giving in to the temptation to micromanage every activity, look for at least a few tasks you can outsource to a competent service provider. Unless you’re an accounting or IT pro, hire a local CPA or computer outsourcing firm to take care of chores like payroll, monthly bookkeeping, website creation, and more. Overcome the initial phobias associated with outsourcing, and identify the jobs that it makes more sense to hire others to do.

Paying Too Much for Advertising

One of the benefits of living in the digital age is that there are numerous ways to create an effective ad campaign using forms of free advertising and promotion. Plus, placing pay-per-click ads on major search engines is a low-cost way to get a marketing campaign off the ground for a very low initial investment. But, as for the free options, there are discussion forums, social media platforms, local posting boards for goods and services, podcasts, and many others.

Ignoring Personal Finances

Of course, it makes great sense to keep personal and business accounts completely separate. There are several reasons for doing so, but one exception to the rule is essential. It’s okay to use personal funds to support a business. That’s why so many entrepreneurs minimize all their personal expenses in order to free up cash for their professional pursuits. 

Before starting a company of any size, take time to do a thorough review of your regular monthly budget. Try to spot places where you can either reduce spending or increase income. Cutting expenses is usually the easier of the two. But, there are some effective ways to boost income without taking on additional hours. 

Reduce fuel expenses by driving less and using a wholesale club membership to save on gasoline purchases. Also, eat more meals at home, and avoid fast-food and convenience store visits. Explore the possibility of selling excess belongings from attics, basements, storage units, and garages via an online auction or direct sale.

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