5 Mistakes Startup Owners Make

startup mistakes

1. Growing too quickly

Any entrepreneur wants to see their ideas take off, but when things move too quickly, it’s easy to find yourself in hot water. Growing too quickly has many faces—having too many employees and not enough money to pay fair salaries, spreading employees too thin with work, and hyper-focusing on quantity rather than quality are all red flags. Keep your scale reasonable and realistic by planning out every step of your growth plan.

In the business world, there’s no such thing as overplanning. Take your time on your pathway to success—it’s the little things that will make or break your business, so be sure to careful every step of the way.

2. Not knowing your market

One of the biggest mistakes business owner make is following their vision without surveying the market they intend to enter. Before investing thousands of dollars into building a dispensary, it’s important to know the legality, the people you’re selling to, and the location where you would find most success.

The same applies to the tech, art, automotive, and marketing worlds and more. Think of it this way: if you don’t know who your ideal customer would be, you will likely have a difficult time figuring out an effective marketing campaign. Before diving in, do your share of market research to ensure this business model is profitable and sustainable.

3. Hiring the wrong people

The hiring process is one that is equal parts exciting and stressful. Having built your business from the ground up, hiring people to join in and contribute to the future of your vision can be daunting. You want to trust your employees to add fuel to the fire rather than extinguish it. Hiring the wrong people can have the latter effect. Do some extensive research on how to build your business entourage and how to do it effectively.

Take your job listing to sites like LinkedIn and ZipRecruiter to attract top talent. Go over resumes meticulously and nail down a foolproof interview system that makes weeding out the potentials from the definites.

4. Botching tax season

No matter how many tax seasons you’ve lived through, each and every time it rolls around, you’re always a little panicked about having proper finances and documentation in order. The first mistake new startup owners make is forgetting about tax season until deadlines are just weeks away. Tax season should always be in the back of your mind as a business owner. In order to stay on top of your federal obligations, avoid these four common tax mistakes.

  • Not paying quarterly taxes
  • Combining personal and business finances
  • Putting off unfiled tax returns
  • Filing under the wrong legal entity

5. Overspending and underspending

As grand a quest as starting a business may be, it doesn’t necessarily require huge financial investments to get off on the right foot. It’s easy to get caught up in the desire to buy the best of the best the market has to offer when basic materials, equipment, and services might do the trick just as nicely. On the other end of the spectrum, business owners who don’t invest enough into their venture and purchase cheap materials, equipment, and services may find that their success potential stunted. Finding a middle ground takes a lot of research and plenty of budget consideration. It’s okay to splurge on certain equipment and it’s okay to save on certain equipment. It’s the process of figuring out what is worth shelling out for and what is not that many startup owners don’t evaluate.

Creating a budget is a surefire way to avoid making a grave spending mistake. Being able to find that balance is crucial in determining how to optimize your business capital. Though the best business people always say that you shouldn’t be afraid to fail, that doesn’t mean you should be unphased by it. Plan smarter for more calculated results. Spending adequately is the first step.

Sadaqat Ghafoor

Sadaqat Ghafoor

CEO & Founder @Remindax