5 Common Mistakes Entrepreneurs Make

June 17, 2014

There are so many common mistakes that entrepreneurs make that it’s possible to write several books on the topic.  In fact, it would be like shooting fish in a barrel to name a bunch of the most commonly made mistakes.  In fact, I’ve made a few of these in my career, and will share them with you, so you can learn from my mistakes. Fortunately, we have recovered from them, and are doing well, but it would have been nice to have not made them in the first place.   So without any more fuss, I’ll show you where people commonly go wrong, and where I’ve made silly mistakes.

Common Mistakes Entrepreneurs Make

  1. Under estimate the amount of money it will take to start up the business.  I’m a believer that you should outline how much you think it will take to start the business, and run it until you make a profit.  Multiply that number by at least 5.  That will give you a better idea of how much things are going to cost before you start actually making money.  Customers take longer to find and acquire.  Everything takes at least twice as long as you think it should.  I know it has for us.  And that’s with me working 16-18 hours per day.
  2. Expand too quickly.  It is awfully easy to hire people.  But each person you bring on brings overhead, and unless you have revenue, and a strong business case for each person, you can be driving yourself into the ground that much faster.
  3. Buy expensive gadgets.  Or don’t buy the right equipment.  It is so easy to cut corners and not buy the necessary equipment.  It’s also equally easy to talk yourself into buying super nice equipment, because “you’ll need it”.  One way will end up costing you in time, and the other will end up costing you in cash.  And Cash is King in business.  We’ve fought for weeks with recalcitrant laptops and equipment before biting the bullet for better hardware.  And that was after spending the money on the cheaper stuff in the first place.  Had we gone for the middle of the road hardware, the first time, we would have saved ourselves time, aggravation, and cash.  Lesson learned.
  4. Go for a place that’s “too nice” for an office space.  In our case, we actually did our research, and discovered that we are not required by law to have an office, so we’ve saved that money.  But I’ve seen so many people who get stuck in super-expensive leases that end up drowning them.
  5. Keep the wrong people.  Letting people can be very, very hard to do, because this is their livelihood too.  We made the mistake of holding onto people who just weren’t the right fit for the culture we want to create, because we didn’t want to let them go.  Lesson learned- fire early!

Like I said before, I could go on for weeks, and weeks on mistakes that entrepreneurs make.  Learn from my mistakes, and don’t make them yours!


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