Timothy Stange

10 Mistakes Small Business Owners Make:

  1. Assume employees share your passion – They don’t. But if you want them to care a little more let them in on your vision. Also, let them know how they can be a part of that plan.
  2. Expect customers to know what they want – You are the expert not them. Offer simple solutions their problems. Explain proposals with easy to understand options. Educate, don’t confuse.
  3. Create family partnerships – You like your family and think that family gatherings are fun. Don’t ruin that with the stress of your new business. If your business fails how will your next Christmas gathering be? Especially if you owe family members $1000’s!
  4. Go into debt – If you can’t afford it… Then you can’t afford it! Yes, I understand that you might need to borrow money at times, but be sure that the pressure of repayment is not going to ruin business for you. Don’t borrow for wants and conveniences.
  5. Over promise & under deliver – Do the opposite. Under promise and over deliver. Nothing is more disappointing than being told something will happen and then being let down. Often people will not expect something until you promise it. If you have to lie to get the job you shouldn’t take the job. Your reputation will pay more than your bank account earns.
  6. Market to everyone – There are about 7 billion people in the world. You can’t serve them all. Find out who your ideal customer is and only target them. You will save energy, advertising dollars, and time.
  7. Make transactions complicated – Make making money easy. Find out how people like to pay and do that. Automatic payment and credit cards are a common option for many merchants, why not you?
  8. Hire help too soon – You may want help but do you need help? Don’t get employees unless you have more than enough work for them full time. Sub-contractors often do better work and don’t expect benefits or full time employment
  9. Don’t map out a plan – Feel like you are spinning your wheels or going in circles? Do you go back and forth from “Feast” to “Famine”? It could be because you don’t have a plan for your business. Yes, a plan is different than a dream or a wish. Even a simple, well written, one page business plan can make a huge difference in your business’s progress.
  10. Under charge – Stop giving away your work! It is common for new business owners to be overly humble when it comes to putting a dollar value on their services. Often this is done too grow a list of clients. That may not be the best way! Remember that many people associate low prices with poor quality. Don’t rip people off, but also don’t forget that you are in the business of making money.

I hope this list was helpful to you. Many of these things are things that I struggled with in my own business. All of them are thing that I have seen in companies that I have worked with. There may be exceptions but I encourage you to look out for these things in your company and weed them out!

Are there any other bad things you notice in small businesses? Comment below with your thoughts.


Timothy Stange

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