It’s that time of year when ghosts, ghouls and goblins make their appearance. And while I like a good haunted house as much as the next witch, I have to say: you don’t have to look for the undead to find something scary. Take small business owners. They make some pretty scary mistakes year ’round. Make sure you don’t fall victim to these.

1. Starting a Business Before They’re Ready

We all get excited when thinking about how we can change the world with our business idea. But launching too soon can mean shortened life for a business (and I’m not talking zombies). Without proper planning, research and strategy ahead of time, a great business idea could turn into a terrible execution (pun intended).

2. Remaining Unprotected from the Undead…and Lawsuits

All jokes aside, we talk a lot about protecting your personal assets in business. But so many business owners still don’t take the time to register as a corporation or LLC. It takes so little effort, and goes such a long way to protecting your assets in the event of legal filings, so why wouldn’t you do it?

3. Assuming They Don’t Need Marketing

I know, I know: the world loves your product. You don’t need marketing. But you do: you need it like a witch needs eye of newt for her spell. You don’t have to spend an arm and a shrunken head on marketing; start with the freebies you can do yourself, like write a blog or manage social media, then as funds permit, hire others to do these tasks and more.

4. Working in a Bubble

It’s easy to get bogged down in your work and not see the world outside of your business, but that’s to your detriment. In order to be and remain successful, you must learn everything you can about your industry, your customers and technology that can help you be a more efficient business. If you have to, schedule time each day to read blogs, books and magazines. Attend conferences and workshops to stay on top of your game. Never stop learning.

5. Trying to Do It All

As entrepreneurs, we tend to feel invincible. At first, it’s out of necessity. After all, with zero budget, we can’t afford to hire even an intern. But if you stay in this habit, you’ll quickly wear yourself out. It’s time to admit to yourself that you can’t do everything well. Instead, find people better qualified than you for the areas you’re weak in or don’t have time to take care of. They’ll help your business succeed better than you could.

6. Finding Something and Sticking To It

Nobody likes change. We’re creatures of habit. So when something seems to work, be it marketing, technology or customer relations, we tend to not try new things. But as you know, competition is fierce, and if your competitors are on the cutting edge, you’ll get left behind. Branch out. Try something new and see how it works. You can always tweak it.


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