10 Critical Business Mistakes That Might Sabotage Your Future Success

5 minute read

written by Forbes Yec Expert Council

Feb 16, 2022

When you're starting a new business, it can be easy to get lost in the excitement. Instead of carefully planning next steps, you may end up taking shortcuts or rushing to advance, which can ultimately have a lasting negative impact.

It's important for new business owners to take things slowly and have a well-developed, organized plan for growth. But it can be difficult to know what mistakes you might make if you've never been an entrepreneur before.

To help you, 10 Young Entrepreneur Council members share some mistakes that may sabotage your future business success and explain why each action has such negative effects.   

1. Giving Up Equity Too Early

One mistake that new entrepreneurs can make is giving up equity too early. Of course, this all depends on your goals and the type of business you have. But generally, avoid handing it over in lieu of money. Instead, develop a business plan, find another way to finance your business and be confident that you can make your new business a tremendous success. If you give up a portion of your business early, you’ll soon find yourself asking for more. You could be giving up 40% at the start, but then end up turning it into 60% or more. - Kyle Goguen, Pawstruck

2. Not Listening To Those Around You

Entrepreneurs are brilliant, creative, innovative individuals who also typically suffer from having a big ego. Thinking they can build and solve everything on their own without having to share the credit with someone else can make them miss out on the opportunity to learn from others—not only from their successes but also their failures. This can cost them time, money and a lot of effort in the long run. When you start a company, a great growth hack is to look for individuals whom you admire (business-wise) and learn as much as you can. This doesn't necessarily mean you will follow a specific road, but it will alert you about things you might not have visualized. - Adrian Romero, Cápita Works

3. Venturing Into Business Without Enough Capital

If you're looking to start a new business, it's important to ensure you have enough capital to sustain the business in the early days. This is true even if you have an excellent business idea. Many business startups fail due to inadequate capital as they’re not able to keep up with emerging expenses. Having sufficient capital in the early stages of your business not only gives you the freedom to implement useful business ideas, but it also equips you for the risks that might come along the way. - Candice Georgiadis, Digital Day

4. Not Delegating Tasks To Team Members

It's often the first inclination of a new entrepreneur to fully control their business. Even when expanding the team, it can be difficult to delegate tasks and really trust others to do the right job. The key issue with this is that an entrepreneur who doesn't believe they can truly delegate and trust efficiently often hires people who won't be able to take over a role as well or ideally better than the entrepreneur. This mistake compounds with every hire, as the entrepreneur still has most functions consolidated within themselves, limiting the growth and ultimate potential of the business. In addition, the team is often the wrong team. The longer this continues, the more difficult it becomes to both see the problem and fix it. - Fehzan Ali, Adscend Media LLC

5. Isolating Yourself From Your Community

Many new entrepreneurs are so focused on growing their businesses that they end up isolating themselves. This is bad for a number of reasons—the biggest one being that having a community around you helps you grow. As you grow your company, make sure you also grow your community by connecting with other like-minded professionals. This creates opportunities for networking, learning new skills and possibly even nurturing new partnerships or business opportunities. Having a supportive community around you also helps in overcoming the initial hardships and frustrations of starting a new business. - Brian David Crane, Spread Great Ideas

6. Tackling Legal And Accounting Work Yourself

A huge mistake new entrepreneurs can make is trying to save money by doing legal and accounting work themselves. It's true that there are fantastic resources out there that can show you how to maintain your books of accounts, draft a contract and more. But you will miss out on savings or make tiny mistakes that cost you more to fix later. Always pay experts to handle your business's finances and legal matters. In that way, you'll save money in the long run and also comply with industry and legal requirements. - Syed Balkhi, WPBeginner

7. Pricing Yourself Lower Than Your Actual Value

Beginner entrepreneurs who provide a service, or who build their business around providing a service, often make the mistake of undervaluing their work. This may be because they want to undercut competitors in the market, or it could have to do with a lack of confidence due to inexperience. These are both bad reasons to price yourself lower than your actual value; you're far better off matching others in your industry. Having thin margins at the very beginning of your business will make it much more difficult to build once you achieve success since many of your clients will likely balk at price increases if you build a reputation for providing cheap services. - Bryce Welker, Real Estate Schooler

8. Lacking A Solid Content Marketing Strategy

New business owners often don't fully understand the value of a robust content marketing strategy. If you want people to visit your website and buy something, you have to show them more than a sales page. If you're getting ready to launch your first business, make sure you have a blog in place with a few pillar posts. The key is to add value to your visitors' lives. If you offer helpful advice or provide in-depth analysis on a hot topic, you can bet that some of your readers will come back to read future content and potentially become customers. - John Turner, SeedProd LLC

9. Failing To Build An Audience First

New entrepreneurs often jump the gun and go from zero to 100 in no time flat. They seldom take the time to nurture their audience, believing that if they make a great product, the world will come to their door seeking it. You need to have an audience before launching your products. Use different ways to do this. For example, create and share an e-book for free and ask readers to join a group to discuss it. Participate in forums and help your audience solve their problems easily. Build groups on social media. Create helpful blog posts regularly. When you build your community in this way, they'll show up when you need them. They'll also help you spread the word about your new business too. - Blair Williams, MemberPress

10. Not Conducting Market Research

One mistake many new entrepreneurs make that hinders their short-term and long-term success is not conducting the right market research to ensure that a market exists for their offerings. Many times, new entrepreneurs will launch a product or service before they research target audiences and ensure consistent demand, leading to launch failure. - Kristin Kimberly Marquet, Marquet Media, LLC

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