The 5 Most Common Small Business Mistakes To Avoid

I've long believed that the number one reason so many small businesses fail early in their start-up journey is because they over complicate it.

In his book Atomic Habits, author James Clear puts it perfectly: "We are motivated to do what is easy" as humans, we are wired for easy, but this isn't because we are inherently lazy but more our survival instincts, the easier life was, the longer we'd survive.

This works for developing new eating, fitness, and other lifestyle habits just like it does for building a new business. 

The harder you make it, the less likely you'll succeed, and the more likely you'll quit.

There are many reasons that I believe we make the start-up journey harder than it needs to be; these are my top 5.

  • Comparison. First-time business owners compare their starting place with seasoned entrepreneurs, that likely have teams of people doing the grunt work. They all started where you are now. Allow yourself to be inspired by others but don't try to follow what they do. 

  •  Information overload. We are in a world where you can google anything and get hundreds of search results, jump on Facebook, join a few 'specialist' groups, follow some gurus on Insta and download more freebies that you know what to do with. None of this will give you the answers that you need. My advice to all my mentees is to find 1 or 2 people who have achieved what you want to achieve, have a proven roadmap, and follow it. Don't deviate or get lured in by the glitz and glam. 
  • No clear why. Owning, operating, and scaling a business is an emotional journey as much as learning one. You want to have a compelling reason for doing this and making the sacrifices you are. This is what keeps you going when times get tough. If your why doesn't motivate and drive you, you'll quit, like so many disillusioned start-up founders.

  • Underestimate time. Building a business takes consistency, and for a lot of start-ups, that consistency comes day after day, week after week and often month after month without the return of consistent income. If you don't have yourself set up for that financially, you'll end up being another statistic. 

  • Over complicate the process. My favourite subject. Business is quite simple, it's not always easy, but the process itself is simple. You just have to know what you need to be doing at what point. Which levers to pull when and what your next best step is. I can almost guarantee that if you are a first-time business owner and are going through this process alone or following the advice of someone who hasn't achieved your goal, you are over complicating your business. 80% of your results will come from just 20% of your work. Simplify Simplify Simplify. 

We've all been there and can say yep, done that, been there. So it's nothing to be ashamed of. On the contrary, be proud of giving it a shot rather than sitting and planning to do something. The next best step for you is to work out now; what will you stop doing?! 

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