8 Mistakes to Avoid When Starting a Business

No one - and we mean nobody - starts a business without making some mistakes. Here are some that are easy to avoid.

Andrew Fisher Andrew Fisher
Jun 11 · 5 min read
If only it were this clear when you're making a business mistake...
Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash
Any new idea will necessarily involve a bit of trial and error. But take heart; early mistakes help you learn the ropes and improve your understanding of your business. Don’t take this to mean you should try to make mistakes! Some missteps are preventable and result in nothing more than a waste of time and money. Startomatic is here with a list of eight mistakes you should avoid when starting a business.

1: Overcomplicating Your Name Selection


When choosing what to name your business, we believe the name itself really doesn’t matter all that much. People spend far too much time trying to come up with the “perfect” name. Your product/service, understanding your market, and executing your idea are all so much more critical to your success.

When it comes to a name, what IS important is finding one that doesn’t conflict with someone else’s trademark—or another business in your industry or location. Your name should also have an available web and email domain - although these don’t have to match exactly. A domain that is similar or clearly related to your business name is just fine.

Key Takeaway: Instead of spending a ton of time researching potential names—only to find that they conflict with an existing business or trademark—jump-start your business launch by picking a “good enough” name with a name generator tool, then quickly check for conflicts with trademark and internet search tools. 

2: Hiring a Lawyer


Ok - there are definitely some times when you should probably hire a lawyer to start your business. If you’re taking a big investment from an outside investor, for example, you’ll want a lawyer to review the investment documents. But for most new small businesses with no more than a handful of founders and straightforward ownership, it’s totally cool to go the DIY route with legal formation.

Doing it on your own can save your business $1,500 - $3,000 (or more!) in legal fees, and it’s actually often much faster than waiting for a busy attorney to get back to you. Excellent document templates and filing support are available online for as little as $99. While some lawyers may try to convince you that you can’t do it on your own... well, now you know better.

3: Messy Project Management - or None at All!


When you forget key meetings, miss deadlines, or let tasks slip through the cracks, you could be setting your new business up for trouble. These are easy mistakes to make while you’re just trying to find your footing in your start-up while keeping dozens of different balls in the air - while balancing on a skateboard. Thankfully, there are great project management tools available that offer simple and accessible solutions. These platforms organize your tasks and key dates so you never miss a beat - even when you can’t stop juggling. 

4: Putting Off Proper Branding


Your business will change and grow throughout its lifespan. One thing that tends to stay consistent is branding. Some starters—our name for new entrepreneurs—brush over their branding work at the beginning of their business. Usually, founders think they’ll just rebrand once they have a better cash flow. However, it takes time to build brand recognition and loyalty. Early rebranding can stunt your growth and send you back to square one. When starting a new business, take the time and resources you need to build your brand right the first time. 

5: Not Seeking Help When You Need It


Starters are confident - it kind of goes with the whole “start my own business” thing. So you may expect that you’ll be able to quickly pick up all of the various skills involved in launching your business. However, acclimating yourself to the legal, technical, and marketing hurdles of starting a business is not something anyone is good at right away. Trying to do it all on your own without the right help can leave you feeling discouraged and burnt out. Not to mention, these processes can consume countless hours that would be better spent building your new business’s product, service, and market understanding.

6: Overpaying for Software


Software systems are necessary for most—if not all—businesses. Once you get started, these charges quickly start adding up. Multiple software tools can run your business hundreds or thousands each month, and the costs only continue to grow. Some subscriptions, like email and Slack messaging—are calculated monthly per user, meaning these costs grow with your team. Consolidating your software subscriptions with a single tool that offers comprehensive support can help you avoid overpaying for software - and simplify your bookkeeping (how great is that!?)

7: Not Giving Yourself the Proper Tools


While your new business may have a limited budget, cutting out the tools you really do need will only set you up for failure. It may help your start-up to prioritize the tools you need for success. You can grow your business’s toolbox over the years, but make sure you never go without the essentials—whatever those may be for your particular start-up. 

8: Not Partnering with Startomatic


Before Startomatic, we personally founded more than a half-dozen businesses. And we made mistakes. Lots of them. Startomatic was built to help other starters avoid making those same missteps. 

The twin dangers of overpaying for multiple software solutions and failing to give your business the right-sized tools it needs can create a Catch-22 for start-ups. This is why Startomatic developed a better solution for new businesses. We consolidated all of the tools and support you need to start a business into a single subscription - just $99 a month. Our clearly written, easy-to-use software offers expert guidance and support to save you time and help you avoid costly mistakes. Best of all, you can try it risk-free for two weeks.

So what are you waiting for? You can sign up here online today to get started!
Startomatic makes it radically easier, faster, and less expensive for starters* to launch and run a company. Our Starter Guides, Starter Tools, and Starter Posts answer all your new business questions, automate tons of common tasks, and show you exactly what you need to do to set your company up for success. Learn more
 
* starter | stär-tər | n.
  1. Someone who acts on the opportunity to create profits using knowledge, skills, and tools.
  2. Like "entrepreneur", but less pretentious—and easier to spell.

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