A Firm Foundation: 3 Rookie Mistakes That Crumble New Businesses

The thought of starting your own business is exciting, but it should make you clench just a little. New businesses often fail, especially when there is an inexperienced entrepreneur at the helm. You can absolutely succeed where others have failed, but you’ll need to avoid these three common rookie mistakes.

Doing What You Love

Passion does not equal talent. You may love baking chocolate chip cookies, but that doesn’t mean others enjoy eating them. If you’re going to turn your cookies into a profitable business, they need to taste like a little slice of heaven and stand out in a crowd. Successful businesses focus on what they’re good at, not necessarily what they enjoy.

Turning what you love into your job can also lead to burnout. Let’s say, for example, you enjoy making your own fishing flies and find doing so relaxing after a stressful day. If you turn your flies into your business, you’ll need to find a new outlet, since making flies will become the thing that stresses you. Startups require a lot of time and energy. You’ll never make it to the long game if you burn yourself out.

Setup and Compliance

Creating a business can also create liabilities. Different business structures have different tax and legal consequences, and the law may dictate the practices you must follow when completing business transactions or storing certain types of chemicals. Ignorance of a law won’t save you from the consequences of breaking it, so enlist professional business transaction law services to help you dot your I’s and cross your T’s. You want to make sure your taxes and licenses, permits are all set up in your favor. Not only will this keep you from unconsciously breaking any laws, but you may have incentives you’ll miss out on if set up incorrectly.

Improper Spending

When starting a business, seed money is both crucial and in short supply. It’s true that a penny saved is a penny earned. It’s equally true that you must spend money to make money. To succeed, you’ll need to find the right balance between these two philosophies. Skimp where you can, but don’t do so when it means sacrificing quality or the customer experience. When you do spend, use the money where it counts. Fresh entrepreneurs often skimp on things they shouldn’t. Don’t cut corners when it comes to marketing, mission-critical equipment or smart hires. Instead, save money by buying used office furniture or painting your new office yourself.

Every single business, large or small, began life as a plucky startup. These businesses all succeeded, and with proper planning, so can yours. The key is to do what you’re good at, do it well, do it legally and put your money in the right places so you can sustain yourself long-term.