Starting a new business is both exciting and nerve-wracking. On one hand, you’re so eager to begin this new chapter that enthusiasm is pouring out of you…
…And on the other hand, there are so many decisions to make and boxes to check that you don’t even know where to begin.
Whatever you may be feeling about starting your own business, you can rest assured that your feelings are completely normal and to be expected.
There is no such thing as a fool-proof plan for starting a business and ensuring its success. Learning from what doesn’t work is part of becoming an expert.
That said, there are a few common mistakes new business owners make that can negatively impact your business before you even have a chance to get it started.
Here are 8 common entrepreneurial pitfalls to avoid when starting a business.
Perfectionism can be your greatest obstacle to productivity. In today’s fast-paced business world, you don’t have time to wait for things to be perfect—you just have to make your move.
LinkedIn’s founder, Reed Hoffman, said it perfectly:
If you are not embarrassed by the first version of your product, you’ve launched too late.
You can’t wait around for things to be “just right.” There’s no such thing as perfection, so waiting to get started may just cause you to miss out on opportunities or allow your competition to beat you before you even get out of the gate.
While we certainly don’t endorse hastily making decisions and launching sloppy products or services, we do encourage entrepreneurs to bite the bullet and make the first move, even when there’s room for improvement. Just get started, and you’ll figure the rest out as you go!
You can’t start a new business (and be successful) if you’re unorganized. It just isn’t efficient and it’s not sustainable in the long-term.
Being organized as you start your business means having a plan and a roadmap for success. Without one, you’ll quickly feel lost, overwhelmed, and ready to throw in the towel.
If you’re someone who has a natural knack for organization, you can even turn that skill into a business of its own. You can become a professional organizer and use your skills to help other entrepreneurs streamline and simplify their lives and businesses.
On the other hand, if you’re not great at being organized, you may consider hiring a pro! As a professional organizing industry expert, I can tell you that you’re certainly not alone. Hiring someone who can get you organized may be one of the best decisions you make for your business.
Getting organized will help to clarify your vision and set you up for ultimate business success while avoiding the pitfalls that are common with clutter and disorganization.
3. Limiting beliefs
Your thoughts control everything, and your thoughts become your beliefs. If you’re thinking negative thoughts, you’re contributing to a negative belief system that will hold you back in business.
It’s easy to look around at what seems like a saturated market and think “I can’t do that, I’m not good enough.” Or, “I haven’t been in business long enough to achieve THAT kind of success.”
When it comes to limiting beliefs, you have to learn to shut out the noise. Silence your negative thoughts and replace them with positive, uplifting affirmations that fuel and drive you to keep moving forward, regardless of what’s going on around you.
4. Keeping quiet about your new venture
News flash: you can’t sell it if it’s a secret! If you’re not out there shouting your new business from the rooftops, how are you ever going to be successful?
It’s easy to feel embarrassed or intimidated when starting a new business. What will your friends and family think, after all? To that, we say: You’re paying attention to the wrong people.
The people who are actually going to buy your products and services are the only ones worth focusing on. What matters the most is chasing your dreams and going after your goals with an unshakeable belief that the right people will recognize the value of your offer.
So, spread the word every chance you get and be proud to do so.
5. Staying behind your computer
Sure, you can build a business completely online these days. Heck, some people have built influential brands from their smartphones. But, if you never leave the safety and security of your home, choosing to hide behind your computer all day, you’re doing yourself and your community a disservice.
Get out there and network. Go to business events, trade shows, conferences, have coffee with a fellow entrepreneur. It’s important that you share your story and knowledge with others and that you absorb the same from other people.
Although we all seem to live online these days, face to face, in-person networking is still the reigning king of connection.
6. Trying to do it all on your own
As a new entrepreneur, your budget is probably pretty limited, and you may be tempted to become a jack of all trades and DIY everything. You do what you have to do to launch!
After that? The problem is that trying to do all the things yourself means you aren’t focusing on your unique zone of genius, which ultimately hurts your business.
By delegating the tasks that you’re not good at or don’t enjoy doing to others who are experts in that field, you’re freeing up your time to focus on the areas of your business that require your expertise and passion.
You’ll soon see that things flow much easier and your entire business is more efficient when you have a team of experts, all working within their own capabilities.
7. Trying to do too much too soon
It’s easy to want to take on a lot of cool ideas all at once when you first launch your business, but this can lead to some pretty negative side effects. If you want your business to last for years and years to come, then it’s important to remember that it will take time.
As they say, it’s a marathon, not a sprint. Pace yourself so you don’t burn out or break the bank. This is where organizational skills can come in handy, too. Determine what tasks need to be completed in what order, and start ticking things off your list as you go.
8. Undervaluing your products or services
Lastly, don’t undervalue your products or services. For many entrepreneurs, it’s easy to underprice their services because they lack the confidence that they need to charge what they deserve. This is where those limiting beliefs and fears creep in and tell us to charge less because we’re afraid that we’ll miss out on business if we’re “overpriced”.
Charge what you’re worth and what the market says your services are worth. The right customers or clients will find you, and when they do, they’ll be happy to compensate you for your work.
The most important thing to remember is that for most of you, the reason you are starting a business is to create a life that you absolutely love! So, make sure you are having fun, enjoying the journey and leaving time to actually LIVE that dream life!
Jen Obermeier is the entrepreneur behind Pro Organizer Studio. She has helped thousands of students around the world grow their own successful professional organizing businesses by coaching them through her unique Inspired Organizer ® program.
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