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The Eight Mistakes Made By Startup Business Owners

Aug 17, 2007
Many people see the idea of starting a small business as their ticket to freedom, both financially and otherwise, but there are some basic reasons why most startup businesses fail to reach their full potential.

1. Lack of Action- Starting a business is great, it can be the most empowering step a person can take in life, but so many businesses fail due to their owner's failure-failure to take massive action to get the business up and running. When you start a business, YOU have to be the engine that powers it! That means no taking time off just because you can, no procrastination, and worst of all, no resting on your laurels! Do you think Bill Gates got where he is by registering the Microsoft name and then putting the real work off until the next weekend?

2. Lack of time management skill- It can be very tricky to master time management, especially if it's something that's new to you. Time is the most valuable weapon we have, and how we wield it will have a direct effect on the success of our business. How guilty are you of sifting through the day's emails a few times before deciding what to apply your time to? Not exactly efficient huh? Try thinking of things in the following way to hone your efficiency: Make contact with each item once, and on that contact, decide whether you will carry out the task yourself, delegate the task (if you have the means) or disregard it as unimportant and needing no action. If you decide that you need to perform the task yourself, do it there and then, same with delegation. Once you get into habits like this you will find yourself getting further in each work day.

3. The Ostrich Syndrome- For some reason many of us bury our head in the sand when a potentially serious problem arises. I have seen people place red reminder letters from their bank under their computer keyboard and just carry on regardless, as if placing it out of sight removes the problem for good. No business can flourish with this kind of management. Problems rarely get smaller as time goes on; hiding from them will only make it worse in the long run!

4. Lack of Planning- This is especially true of internet businesses. A little planning/research goes a long way. There are thousands of sources of information on starting a business, from the internet itself to your local library. People sometimes think of a great idea and just jump at it with both feet, or worse see an existing idea which performs well and try to imitate it. If you are very very lucky you may see some success with your business, but someone who takes even just a week or two to plan and research will be seeing the rewards on a much greater scale.

5. Lack of Motivation- Starting a new business can be great fun in the ideas stage, but many people's efforts will fade away when it comes to putting in some hard work. Motivation is the key to this, and a great way to combat this is to keep your eventual goal fixed firmly in your mind. If you want to make enough money to quit your day job, visualize it, if you want to make enough money to buy a sports team, visualize that too. Motivation is a tricky variable, but a neat way to keep your levels high is to break things down into segments, so you can see the progress you make every day and every single week. It's hard to argue that you aren't getting anywhere when you can see the results in black and white!

6. Overspending- People sometimes assume that their business is going to be an overnight success, and so justify huge expense by assuming they will be reaping huge rewards. In one of my own early ventures I once put almost everything into some magazine advertising, only to find that the magazine made some errors which put my ads out a month after they were expected. I had overstretched myself to afford the ads to begin with, which left me with very lean month while I waited for the publishing date!

7. Lack of promotion- Life isn't like the movies - "If you build it they will come" is seldom true! You may have the greatest invention/idea/website/business that mankind has ever seen, but how can anyone use it/visit it/buy it if no one knows about it? Some simple promotion will work wonders for just about any business.

8. Not knowing when to outsource- Working with a small business as a one man show can grind you into the mindset that you absolutely have to complete all the work yourself, and this is especially true for those with online businesses. It doesn't have to be this way! Outsourcing is the key. Now outsourcing everything would be great if we could afford it, but most people can't so the trick is to outsource everything which stops you doing what you are great at. Are you great at writing but your coding skills suck? Hire a cheap web designer to do what you can't while you put your time into something you can do well. Your site will be better for it and so will your bottom line!

Hopefully those guidelines will help you in your own startup endeavours! Remember, take all the action you can and YOU WILL BE SUCCESSFUL.
About the Author
David is one of The Fabulous Five - A group of trainees working with Dave "The Millionaire Maker" Origano in the experiment to build a multi-million dollar business from scratch in a few short months.
Watch over their shoulders and see for yourself how to build a real business at http://www.MrOrigano.com
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