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The Most Common Mistakes That Entrepreneurs Make (And What To Do Instead)

Do you want to achieve success as an entrepreneur? Then make sure you avoid these common mistakes.

It is every entrepreneur's dream — to make it big. However, having a humming business that generates a healthy profit takes a lot of hard work and dedication. If you’re not careful, you might find yourself making a mistake that can lead to the death of your dream. Fortunately, knowing common entrepreneurship mistakes can help you build and maintain a thriving business. Here are some common pitfalls to avoid and what to do instead.

#1 Ignoring New Marketing Channels   

The digital world is continually changing and evolving. The most successful entrepreneurs are knowledgeable about new marketing strategies and channels. They don't just stick to old-fashioned ways of marketing. They understand what social media platforms their core customers use and know how to leverage marketing to reach those customers. Need some marketing ideas? Then check out this blog post that provides marketing ideas for a barbershop. Although it is geared towards barbers, many of the tips in the blog post apply to almost every service business.

#2 Not Taking Taxes Seriously

This is a big mistake that entrepreneurs make all the time and one that comes back to haunt them. Taxes are complicated enough as it is for individuals. When you are a business, they are even confusing. Determining what can be deducted can be quite hard. Taking deductions that you are not entitled to could be the end of your business. On the other hand, not taking deductions that you have earned can also cost you big time. It could tie up your cash flow and make it hard to keep your doors open. One of the first things that you should do as an entrepreneur is to hire a tax professional. Forget about doing your business taxes yourself. Nearly all tax mistakes can be avoided with the help of an expert. Not sure what kind of tax expert to hire? Several different professionals can help, including enrolled agents and certified public accountants (CPA). Here is a blog post to help you tell the difference between an enrolled agent vs. CPA.

#3 Refusing To Consider The One Option That Could Keep You Afloat

If you get to the point where your business is in financial distress, you might be tempted to give up especially if you are getting threatening letters and robocalls from debt collectors. However, chapter 11 bankruptcy might be the life preserver that you need to stay in business. If you want to reorganize your debts and give entrepreneurship one more try, chapter 11 bankruptcy can help you do just that. Los Angeles chapter 11 bankruptcy attorneys JLG Lawyers say that “if you are a profitable company that is facing times due to the economy or other issues, then it might make sense to file chapter 11 bankruptcy.” A chapter 11 bankruptcy can give you the room that you need to breathe and run your business. It also stops robocalls and other annoying collection efforts, which can help reduce stress and let you focus on making money.

#4 Trying To Do Everything By Yourself

Entrepreneurs tend to do too much. They tend to overestimate their abilities. When you are in the process of launching your business, you need help. You cannot be an expert at everything. You must be willing to outsource specific tasks to other professionals. Your energy and time should be devoted to only a narrow range of functions. It might be tempting to try to save money by doing everything yourself, but this is not sustainable. Investing in the right people and services can help you significantly down the line. It will also save you from making expensive mistakes that must be fixed later anyway.

#5 Neglecting Your Mental or Physical Health

One of the biggest mistakes that entrepreneurs make is not practicing self-care. It can be tempting to ignore your own needs while getting your business started. However, if you do not take care of your physical and mental health, it can be impossible to have the energy to put in the long hours and hard work that is involved in running a business. If you have a chronic health problem, then treat it so that it will not prevent you from working. Follow your doctor's orders. Keep up with exercise and eating healthy. If you are under chronic stress, then talk to a therapist to help you find ways to manage stress better.

#6 Not Having a Clear Focus

Many entrepreneurs start up a business with a new, flashy idea. However, they don’t fully develop the idea. There is no business or marketing plan. They lack a clear plan to succeed. If you want to be profitable, then you must have a solid business plan. You must narrow your focus. What is the focus of your company? Who is your customer? How can you reach them? What are they looking for? How does your product meet their needs? You should be able to answer all of these questions before even getting started. Not knowing exactly what you are doing is a recipe for disaster.

#7 Not Being Flexible

Nothing ever goes as planned. You'll quickly learn that things need to change when starting a business. If you are not flexible and able to adept, then your business will soon go under. When things are not working, then you must be able to pivot. Entrepreneur Evan Williams developed a startup called Odeo. Odeo was initially a podcasting platform. However, Apple soon launched its podcasting platform, which Odeo could not compete with. Williams and another employee decided to transform Odeo into something called Twitter instead. You probably know the rest of the story. When something isn't working, you must be able to transform your business if needed just as Williams did with Twitter.

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