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Want to be a Business Owner? Stop making these 10 common mistakes

There are 10 common mistakes that people make when they set out to become a business owner and this is how you can avoid them.

1. Procrastination

“I don’t have the time at the moment but I’ll get around to it at some point.”

Whether or not it is time, money or another factor that is holding you back

to starting a new business, it is important to weigh up the reasons that are delaying you to go out on your own.

There aren’t 25 hours in the day but once your mindset is set and you want to be a business owner, disciplining yourself to turf the procrastination out will put you in good stead.

Small sized chunks of planning that needs to be completed will help you to achieve your objectives and goals.

2. Lack of planning

Without planning, you have nothing.

Planning everything in your head is one thing, but having a visual to refer to, review and improve upon in future weeks, months and years will allow you, if you want to be a business owner, to create an effective strategy for your business.

Amongst other documentation, a business plan that includes a marketing plan, will allow this planning to take place with a credible and professional document that can be used for future partners and investors, if required.

Planning should also take account of the financial planning and appropriate business entity. It might be easier to set up as a sole trader, however, if you prefer to keep the finances of your business separate, a limited company might suit you better.

Any trademarks and Intellectual Property should be planned for and registered before or at the time the business is launched.

3. Impulsivity

You want to be a business owner and, whilst going with your gut or intuition is one thing, it is essential that you consider every concept, plan and decision carefully before making a final decision.

You are the boss so you have the final say so it is always worth questioning whatever needs to be pushed forward from an external perspective and, if you can, look from outside in to see whether what you are planning is logical or something that might be more impulsive.

4. Imposter Syndrome

This might be old news for you.

Imposter syndrome is likely to creep up on you at the most inopportune moment and when considering if you want to be a business owner, it is important that you know how to manage this gremlin when it rears its ugly head.

  • You are doing this because you can. You decide what you are doing and when.

  • You are good at what you do. You have probably been told this so you need to believe in yourself.

  • You instinctively know this will work. Going back to impulsivity, you may feel that it might work but in reality, you have done your research and planning so this can and will work.

5. Comparing yourself to others

Linked with imposter syndrome, if you want to be a business owner, just stop comparing yourself with anybody else!

You are unlikely to be the first person who thinks of something, does something or plans something that your offering includes.

The difference is, of course, that everyone else is not you and you are not them.

Your marketing strategy and plan has identified there is plenty of room for you both.

You offer different things, even if it is you, your personality and values, and this is the reason that you will attract the people you do from a similar but diverse audience that you are both targeting.

6. Striving for perfection

It is going to be a slippery and challenging journey if you want to be a business owner and won’t accept that mistakes will be made and lessons learnt.

The risk of failure is something that any business owner needs to accept. It is a business owner’s mindset that sets them apart in knowing that something that is not tried and tested is worse than not trying it at all.

Whilst there is a perception of business ownership being ultra-competitive, there is an undeniable sense of support from fellow business owners who will others to do well and achieve success.

Networking helps in finding the people that you want to remain close to you in your circle and learn from others that might have made the same mistakes.

7. Realistic Expectations

You want to be a business owner because you want a change in lifestyle, you want to earn money for yourself and not others and you want to have a flexible working life.

A common mistake that can be made is that some expectations may not be realistic.

When starting out everything is new. It will take a new business owner longer to do certain tasks, there are likely to be financial constraints to someone starting out in business and the whole notion of business ownership being liberating is often underestimated.

Many experts will tell you to ‘niche, niche, niche!’

You may question this and my point is that if you are a service provider that wants to offer much experience and expertise, it may be that it is your core values and work ethic that is effectively your niche.

Adaptability is paramount.

Life changes, people change and the market is constantly changing so if you want to be a business owner, it is careful consideration of the realistic expectations that might change rapidly and often, and it is the adaptability and flexibility to these factors that can avoid common mistakes.

8. Doing everything yourself

Financial prudence when you want to be a business owner is key, however, spending money in the right places is key.

There is no point in spending three days doing something that a professional with that expertise can do in half the time.

Your time is valuable and if it can be spent better elsewhere, it is false economy to flog yourself trying to do something yourself when you are, in fact, wasting valuable time in which you could earn money doing something that you are better at.

9. Cutting corners

The mistake of cutting corners is going to catch up with you. If you want to be a business owner, do not be lured into ‘it might never happen’ conundrum. If it could, expect that it will!

Ensuring that you have the correct level of insurance cover, registrations with appropriate authorities (ICO) or governing bodies (AMLR) and all the other elements that will keep your business protected and running smoothly should not be ignored.

10. Agreements

If you want to be a business owner and have planned ‘to go in’ with someone else, you have likely planned how it will work.

You are great friends so nothing could go wrong...

None of us know what will happen in future and there is nothing to say that you won’t mutually agree the end when that happens.

However, for peace of mind for all parties, to have a clear understanding of what is expected of each other and to ensure that everyone is protected fully, a partnership agreement, joint venture agreement, or any other necessary documentation should be drawn up and fully executed before business of that nature commences.


If you want to be a business owner and avoid the common mistakes but pick up things that can make your life easier, please let me know.




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