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5 Common Mistakes Entrepreneurs Make

Starting a business is certainly not an easy task. It takes time, energy, resources and more to make a new business work and be successful--especially in your first year. From late nights to early morning meetings, there is certainly a lot that goes into it all! 

While the road may be tough from time to time, there are some common mistakes that are made along the way. In this post, I am going to cover 5 entrepreneur mistakes I see entrepreneurs make and how to avoid them to launch and sustain a successful business. 

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Mistake #1 - You are neglecting your own business

If you are a service based small business or your world revolves around your customers, you may find yourself solely focusing on them and neglecting your own business in the process. You should avoid this habit at all costs. While you are working on client blog work or SEO tasks, don’t forget to include your business to the list of to-dos. 

Ways to avoid this mistake

Create a CEO checklist. This can be completed on a weekly, monthly or even quarterly basis. This checklist can include whatever you tend to skip over in the day to day process of running a business. Use your CEO checklist time to content plan, handle receipts, update processes, evolve your business model, and more. 

Mistake #2 - Your business is not legally sound

No matter your industry or line of work, there are some legal measures you will need to take for the safety of you and your business. Whether it’s a legal contract between you and a client or filing an LLC, you must make sure you are covered in this area. You have to protect all of the hard work you have put into your business. Sure, you may be trusting of your customers and clients, but it is better to do your due diligence and be safe rather than sorry in this area. 

Ways to avoid this mistake

Contact an attorney, talk to a lawyer friend, make sure clients actually sign contracts. You get the idea. This should be a top priority for your business operations. Schedule a meeting with a legal advisor as soon as possible if you do not already have this area covered in your business. 

Mistake #3 - You are radio silent online

How is your online presence? You may have the social media channels or the blog tab on your website, but when was the last time you updated those platforms? Take a few moments to review and complete a self-audit of your online presence. 

Ways to avoid this mistake

Develop a content calendar and determine how frequently you would like to post. While there are tons of articles out there about how frequently to post, but I challenge you to develop your own definition of “posting consistently.” I encourage you to stick with this schedule. 

Quick tip here, I don’t recommend posting on every single platform out there. I certainly recommend finding 2-3 that are hubs for your ideal clients and customers and optimizing your content for those platforms. If you try to keep up with too many platforms, chances are you will not complete any of them well. 

Mistake #4 - You don’t have boundaries in your business

Are you up late at night answering emails? Do you pick up that phone call during date night? It’s time for all of that to come to an end. Your work/life balance seems to be pretty non-existent and if you want your business to go the distance, you have to include boundaries. Having a strong work ethic is important, but without boundaries--burnout is inevitable.  

Ways to avoid this mistake

Determine your boundaries and stick with them. You can also research some apps or plugins to help as well. For example, if you struggle with checking those late night emails, that’s fine, but don’t let your clients or customers know you respond to emails that late. Use a Gmail plugin such as Boomerang to help stick with your boundaries, but allow you to be productive if need be. This Gmail plugin is such a lifesaver. You can write an email at 1am and the client wouldn’t receive it until 9am the next morning. If you have a bad habit of the late night emails, you need to download this immediately. 

Mistake #5 - You are not taking advantage of free/cheap resources

There are countless blogs, books, and podcasts out there with so much available information. The sad thing is, most business owners are not taking advantage of these materials. You may have the excuse that you are “too busy” or “don’t have time,” but you must continue to be educated in your industry and the latest in business. 

Ways to avoid this mistake

Download that podcast, borrow that book from the library or queue up a YouTube video or two. You can take time during your lunch break or on the commute to and from work to take in this material. You don’t have to spend hours at a time or anything crazy like that, but incorporate some educational period into your schedule on a regular basis. 

How do you add up against these common mistakes? Use these tips and resources to evaluate your business’s current state. Take time to review these and adjust as needed to better your business and join the ranks of other successful entrepreneurs. 

Carolyn Lyden