30 Common Mistakes Entrepreneurs Must Avoid When Starting A Business


By: Site Engineer, Staff

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There are many reasons why people go into business. Many go into business for the love of it, while others do so ignorantly, committing mistakes never thought of but which have unfortunately ended their dreams. However, what are those mistakes? Listen to those who have passed through this business journey as they speak from their experience.

1. Wrong Bearing

Many people are in business because others are or because they have just lost, their present jobs and feel that the only solution to their joblessness is to be in business.

These are wrong motives because as a beginner, you suppose to evaluating your abilities, capabilities, and most all convincing yourself that your goals are achievable.

2. Not Getting Registered

Not being on the register of your professional body will mean not benefiting from any of their supportive services, while you stand the risk of losing all you have worked for, should government agencies discover that you are operating an illegal enterprise.

3. Big Bites

It is always an exciting experience to see one’s dream come true. However, many beginners in this euphoria had made the mistake of taking jobs they cannot professionally and competently be handled.

4. Mortgaging Your Ethics

Another common mistake beginners must avoid is capitalizing on their newness in business to do things that are against their business ethics. Beginners maintain standard as well as be principled.

5. Credit Sales

Credit sales are a good thing that has happened to the business world. However, as a beginner you must watch against credit sales, as you need the money most at this stage, to keep the business running. You should know that customers are as willing to pay, as they are to buy. So while buying may be rapid, payment may be at snail speed; thus crumbling your business. Therefore, watch out.

6. Diversification

Depending on the nature of your business, it is often dangerous to diversify from the beginning of the operation. If, for instance, your product is seasonal, not diversifying will only tie your fortune to seasons only, while you are dry for the rest of the year. On the other hand, diversification from inception might mean having too much to chew. This may spell doom for your business. Beginners, therefore, must not make the mistake of diversifying when the need for it has not arisen.

7. Profit First

One of the most common mistakes business beginners make is their early emphasis on profit. As a beginner, you should sell your profit to buy confidence and trust, which you will later rip in the much-desired profit.

8. Not Having a Business Plan

Inability to make a business plan is another trap beginners fall into. The absence of a business plan can deny you many opportunities that exist, and deny you of financial support as well as business partners. Never start a business without a proper business plan.

9. Taking the Market for Granted

The absence of adequate market research of the business can also lead to a big problem. Conduct market research before embarking on your business. Knowing what your consumers want and what they are ready to part with can be the sustaining factor in your business.

10. Underpricing

Many new entrepreneurs use underpricing of their products and services for the simple reason that they are just beginning and as such will use lower price tag to fetch in very many customers. While this might be true, normalization of your price with others in the market may see all your customers returning to their old buying spots.

Experts advise that you charge the on-going market price, while at the same creating differences with the quality product; even at reduced prices, the poor quality product will not command buyers.

11. Ignore Your Competitors

An in-depth knowledge of those in the same line of business is important in business. Most starters often ignore this. Never consider your competitors as being obstructive factors with nothing good to offer. However, see them as partners in progress and do not hesitate to seek advice from them when such a need arises.

12. Convert Your Employees into Sex Toys

Some have that this in their head “this is my business, I am in charge of everything, I can do whatever I likes” have seriously driven some business owners into seeing their staff of the opposite sex as objects for satisfying their lecherous desires, with the last thought on the implications of such behaviors on the business. This has sent many business enterprises to their early graves.

13. Not Advertising

If a product is manufactured today, and there is no advertisement to bring it to the notice of its intending consumers, it will not be noticed.

14. Ignoring Your Responsibility to Your Staff

A business organization needs human resources as part of its inputs. Individuals joining the company have their own objectives and this is an important element, any business owner must accept first. If you want to kill your company in the fastest possible way, you should ignore the fact that all your employees take up jobs because they believe that the company can help them achieve their needs.

15. Lack of Investing in Your Staff

One mistake most business owners make is to see the human elements in their organization as temporary assets, in which nothing should be invested. They take for granted the fact that human development programmes are aimed at increasing productivity and boasting business profitability.

When you do not invest on staff development, your organization would not be in a position to know new developments and changing trends in the industry and would sooner or later find itself caught in the web of obsolescent in its service or product delivery.

16. Not Being Interested in Your Cash Flow

Many business owners do not care or pay adequate attention to cash flow management in their organization. That is incoming and outflow of funding in the company.

As this happens, the entrepreneur would not be able to ascertain the cash position of the company and therefore cannot identify the movements of assets, liabilities, and capital and of course, the effects these have on net liquid funds.

17. Accepting Partial Loan

Most people venturing into business on their own, and in a desperate to raise cash, often commit the mistake of under borrowing.

Some business owners would rather accept part of the loan requested from their banks with the hope that they will be able to source the balance from other sources. When you allow this, and there is none elsewhere to source the balance, as to get the project going, you, no sooner than later, realize that the economic essence of the loan is lost, and paying back the part-loan becomes difficult.

18. Dishonesty

Starting your business on the dishonest note is one practice most emerging entrepreneurs find difficult to avoid in spite of its devastating consequences on the business future. A real business growth should be propelled by the sincerity of purpose, fueled by a commitment to customer’s satisfaction.

19. Don’t Care About Your Image

It is the public perception of your image that determines the realization of your business mission. Because of the reaction of people, the progress, and the survival of the company depend on what they say you are.

20. Not Learning

As an entrepreneur seeing yourself as the sole performer and hero, with an answer to all questions and when business is run this way, you isolate yourself from your employees, clients and most importantly, your operating environment not healthy enough for business success.

21. Ignoring the Lonely Voice

Many beginners are often being lured into believing the critics are enemies of their progress. As you launch your business, there is every possibility that both consumers and non-consumers alike will have one thing or the other to complain of. Rather than turning a deaf ear on these useful consumers, beginners are advised to avoid their failure by accepting criticisms in good faith. Ignoring the lonely voices may mean the premature death of your business.

22. Biting the Finger that Fed You

Every business owner, especially at the early stage of operation, received assistance from one source or the other. Many beginners often make the mistake of cutting off all relationships with those who had at one time or the other been of help to them. Isolating yourself from those who helped you might not be good for your business health.

If you received a loan from a friend or an institution, that you are unable to pay, does not mean you should discontinue seeing your financier again. Continue going there, for your presence alone can even grant you additional support from them.

23. Putting the Cart Before the Horse

Over anxiousness can lead inexperienced business owners to serious frustration. Sometimes, just because they have just struck a new idea that offers them a bright and exciting future, most beginners careless to put the first things first before embarking on their business ventures.

24. No Secrets About Your Plans

The danger of not being secretive about your plans, before you launch your business is that you will already have made so many competitors, people who shared from your ideas, and, of course, added something extra to it. To every business, irrespective of its nature, have secrets not to be shared by others.

25. One Way

You may have the right idea, but the approach may be wrong. So sticking to only one approach may mean killing the idea. Open up to many alternatives and country your failures as learning processes and not mistakes.

26. What is Failure?

A lack of proper understanding of this term has sent so many promising and viable businesses to the cooler. As a beginner, you must have a proper understanding of what failure is. That is, that you are experiencing setbacks or disappointment does not mean you have failed perse; rather it is a pointer that you have not hit the right way of doing it yet.

27. Inefficient Service or Product

There is this wrong notion that in our community anything sells. Hence, so many people have gone into business to produce any service or product with the vain belief that it will be bought. No matter how needful your service or product may be, they need to be efficiently produced otherwise your warehouse shall ever remain pregnant with goods.

28. Strike a Balance

Yes, you are the boss. You are not answerable to anybody. You can resume and close from work at any time, but for you to be successful; you must be able to strike a balance between your work and your relaxation. Working too much may result in ill health and stress, which might drain all you have been working for. While, on the other hand, too much relaxation and freedom will spell doom for your business, spending wantonly what would have been invested back into the business. The choice is yours. But be advised to strike a balance.

29. Ignoring Your Competitive Edge

A competitive edge is that feature that is unique in your product or services that make you stand out or different from your competitors. It is your advantage over others and it is what makes your customers look out for you. Among the crowd, playing down on this advantage will mean retreating backward to join the pack.

30. Not Having Accounting Books

One other unwholesome attitude which beginners of business have found difficult to slough off is the habit of not keeping records of their business transaction. They regard themselves and the business as being one; hence, business monies can be withdrawn anyhow, anytime.

Most of them keep no records of daily dealings; hence making it extremely difficult for them to determine whether they are growing or not. Record keeping is important for evaluation and assessment, as well as measurement of enterprise performance. Not having records will make you not to be able to determine your debtors’ and creditors’ position. Records are reference points; have them.


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