10 Mistakes New Business Owners Make

10 Mistakes New Business Owners Make


Image of printed out graphs and statistics alongside a tablet

It’s so easy to tell somebody to start their own business. Some will take this advice and set up a company, finding themselves questioning why they started in the first place as they bump into hurdles on their business journey. As a new entrepreneur, you can get a good head start by learning from the mistakes of those who came before you.

We've compiled a list of 10 of the most common mistakes business owners make when starting:

1) Quitting

Don't do it. The most difficult part of building a business is giving up all that hard work, time, and money you've put in. So, if you decide to not quit, you’ve won one of the biggest challenges. Many might be tempted to quit when they don't immediately see growth and success, but this is common for new businesses. Find the motivation to keep going and grow your business.

2) Research

Now is not the time to focus on what title to add to your email signature, it’s way too soon for that. Instead, you need to be able to sell first, that’s what carries a business into either success or failure. To do that you need to be able to know what your target market and potential clients need. Whilst you may already have a product you want to sell, it may not always be a success, all because you’re selling it to the wrong people and in the wrong place. Know your audience, their needs and fill the gaps in the existing market, don’t give the market what already exists.

3) Competitors

You will need to do a complete competitor analysis eventually, but instead know who they are before launching your products and work on being there first, before them. Sometimes timing can be the difference in a successful business because of better service delivery. Look at the existing price points in the market and find your sweet spot in the middle, but make sure the price realistically justifies the cost and usability. How? Just ask yourself, would you buy that product for that price?

4) Timing (waiting too long to launch a business/ launching too soon)

So far, you’re on the right track, but don’t sit in one place too long looking for perfection. Staying stuck in one process can be the end before you even begin. Ever came across some genius invention/product and asked yourself “how do people not know about this and why isn't it doing better than it is?” It could be because of timing- it’s everything. If you miss the right window period, a perfect product can fail in the right market because somebody else may have beaten you to it or you simply missed the bus, so don’t wait too long or launch too soon.

5) Marketing

The first thing that comes to mind is the packaging. Consumers do tend to buy with their eyes first before the credit card. Make sure your product and its packaging are catchy, user friendly and simple (less is more). The same tools can be used for your social media accounts- logo, posts, photographs, videos, ads, etc. They all need to be on the same quality level, building towards your brand.

View of a desk with laptop, marketing strategy book and person taking notes.

6) Location

Already that’s a monthly expense you’re not even sure you can make as a new business owner, so Instead of signing long term rental agreements, think of pop-ups to save you money. Making yourself mobile creates a vibe, excitement and makes you look on-trend, not forgetting it does help to spread the word within multiple neighbourhoods and create a buzz around your branding.

7) Stress spending

How do you not spend too much in the beginning? Use your existing resources and staff efficiently. Don’t overspend and expand before bringing in profits. Know the strengths of the people you’re already working with and maximise their skills, instead of making people do jobs in fields that aren’t their shining areas. 

8) Employing Staff

Hire fresh graduates for skills. They need experience and most aren’t expecting a huge salary at first, as they know this comes with experience. How would you know who fits the shoe, well hire people who mix and gel with your team by enforcing trial shifts? You may have great employees who shine on their own, but it can all work against you if they do not work well with each other, creating their synergy.

9) Scale your business appropriately

Feeling a flow here? Good. Just because you are providing the right product and it has gained momentum, you now need to know how big to go and when to stop. Getting the right investors on board and at the right time is key to long term growth and sustainability. So, in short, your market research never ends because the market is always growing.

10) Living the dream too soon.

When you start seeing success in your business don’t spend more than what you have. Just because a huge contract is coming, doesn't mean it’s permission to start living large. Investing back into your business and managing its finances responsibly will ensure you have a business to run tomorrow, then you can enjoy the fruits of your labour.


Bonus tip: When it comes to shipping and couriers often the wrong size box is used, and the incorrect weight is then charged which could cost new businesses a lot of money. Too small/too big, use the right box size for the correct Volume and Packaging to make sure you are charged for the correct volume and not all the peanuts inside which goes to waste. I know this seems like a lot but if you stick to step 1, you’re already on your way to success.