101 Mistakes to Avoid When Starting a Business

I met hundreds of entrepreneurs and everyone had a different story when asked about the mistakes they committed when starting a new business. Depending on the type of business, prevailing market situations, entrepreneurs’ aptitude and abilities, country laws and many other factors, small business success require different levels of effort.  Although you cannot generalize the mistakes, but still there are some common situations that may occur to anyone while setting up a new business.

Below is the list of mistakes that entrepreneurs whom I met, committed. Go through the extensive list before starting a new business and I am sure, you will avoid these mistakes at least!

1.       Not researching your target market

2.       Sketchy business plan (do not confuse this with a one page business plan which is good only in urgent situations.

3.       Getting loans from friends and family the wrong way.

4.       Expecting immediate profit

5.       Not focusing on the customer

6.       Disregarding controlled testing

7.       Relying on your own legal and accounting skills

8.       Trusting verbal agreements

9.       Trying to do everything alone

10.   Sacrificing personal relationships for the business

11.   Doing what you love just because you love it

12.   Ignoring the competition

13.   Not taking into account your own strengths and weaknesses.

14.   Not understanding what you’re actually selling

15.   Not making sure you have enough money

16.   Not investing in marketing

17.   Not understanding technology

18.   Keeping a 24-7 working schedule

19.   Too many calls to and from family and friends

20.   Getting too busy to stay organized

21.   Starting a day without a plan.

22.   Weak financial planning

23.   Setting non-realistic, nonmeasurable goals

24.   Hiring wrong people

25.   Not planning ahead

26.   Waiting long to sell

27.   Selling to the wrong person

28.   Not having enough emergency funds

29.   Not having a backup plan

30.   Focusing too much on results

31.   Lack of strategy

32.   Not executing the strategy as required

33.   No space for criticism

34.   Led by too many opinions

35.   Losing /diverting focus

36.   Working on assumptions

37.   Underestimating manpower needs

38.   Bad pricing

39.   Concentrating exclusively on sales

40.   Extending credit too early

41.   Not thinking about the taxes

42.   Not having a plan of attack

43.   Ignoring customer services

44.   Letting emotions get in the way of business

45.   Failing to develop a team

46.   Failing to develop leaders

47.   Focusing a small group of customers

48.   Setting too many goals

49.   Complicating thing too much with extensive documentation

50.   Not accepting agility

51.   Wasting time on thinking about every new idea that comes every day in the mind

52.   Assuming virility

53.   Obsessing over funds

54.   Running after too many investors

55.   Getting distracted with negative feedback

56.   Not having the right team

57.   Not having the right co-founder

58.   Not listening to customers

59.   Lacking uniqueness

60.   Lacking competitive edge

61.   Having too many unnecessary expenses

62.   Aggressive advertising without market research

63.   Advertising in wrong direction/places

64.   Giving up too early

65.   Not having online presence

66.   Ignoring the power of social media

67.   Not understanding the importance of word of mouth

68.   Believing the myth of flexible hours

69.   Having fear of failure

70.   Not setting timeline for goals

71.   Entering into a market with no distribution partner

72.   Having partnerships without documentation

73.   Wasting time on doing small things yourself (Follow these productivity hacks for entrepreneurs to avoid most of the mistakes.)

74.   Ignoring outsourcing for cost and time optimization

75.   Marketing too early

76.   Marketing too late

77.   Not attending relevant meet-ups and conferences

78.   Being not able to say no

79.   Losing speed

80.   Not thinking about the survival

81.   Not seeking mentors

82.   Doing it just for the money

83.   Ignoring laws

84.   Falling in love with the wrong idea

85.   Falling for the get rich quickly scheme

86.   Being a copy-cat

87.   Thinking short term

88.   Ignoring appearance

89.   Ignoring packaging

90.   Having no exit strategy

91.   Not focusing on ROI

92.   Trying to be superman (trying to do what you cannot do yourself)

93.   Changing goals without measuring results

94.   Ignoring overhead costs

95.   Over-optimistic forecasts

96.   Focusing on sales rather than profit

97.   Underestimating the power of public relations

98.   Poor supply chain

99.   Failing to protect your idea, product or service

100.                        Ignoring business model innovation

101.                        Stopping yourself from learning new trends and technologies

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