Fortunately, as the former U.S. Small Business Administration’s Entrepreneur of the Year (and recovering jackass), I get asked to help grow businesses in nearly every industry. Unfortunately, and sadly as a business owner who once practiced the dark art of “Jackassery,” I can empathize with nearly every poor decision they are making because I used to make the same poor decisions as well. My friend, when banks refer me to a business to help them grow or to “turn the ship around” I often see businesses that are crashing and burning firsthand.
Because I’ve personally witnessed these implosions and explosions so many times, I’ve identified five reasons that can account for every failure I’ve witnessed. In the spirit of full disclosure, I must say that I haven’t had the chance to work with an entrepreneur in the clay pigeon or petting zoo industries, so I cannot speak to these industries from experience. Thus, if you are in those two industries, these five habits that cause entrepreneurs to fail, don’t apply to you. However, for everybody else, as you read these habits and false beliefs, ask yourself which one sounds most like you. What are you going to do to begin improving upon yourself and your mindset today?
Now that you have finally set up your company and are ready to operate, don’t make the mistakes that tens, if not hundreds, of eager entrepreneurs have made before you.
Whether it is a lawsuit for copyright infringement, enmity with investors or disagreements with co-founders, many things can derail a startup – even before…it starts.
At the end of the day, you, as an entrepreneur or startup founder, have to negotiate with many business partners. These people are your partners, not your enemies, so try your best to negotiate operational terms that are fair to all parties.
Here are our top 10 negotiation tips for entrepreneurs, and we have categorised them to make it easier to apply.
Whatever you do – and we’ll never repeat this enough – make sure you have the right counsel and enlist help from a finance expert and tax connoisseur.
I wholeheartedly agree and believe this to be true whether your product is digital or physical. The drive for immediacy and minimalism can paralyse creativity, this is especially true to products driven by art such as clothing. When a woman buys a £2,000 dress from Mary Katrantzou, she is not just buying a piece of clothing, she is buying into the artistic vision of the designer.
When first starting out, it often seems that simple things like monthly subscriptions will only help your business. But after the first few months—then years—the small costs can really add up. That’s why we asked 11 entrepreneurs from Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) the following question.
Q. What is one major spending mistake entrepreneurs make unintentionally?
1. Paying Too Much in Merchant Account Fees
One critical component in your business is how you collect money from your customers. A large piece of that for many companies is credit card processing. As someone in the industry, I know how costly it can be to make a knee-jerk decision to set up what is quick and has a simple pricing model, rather than finding a reputable rep to save you on fees.
Sometimes I see people on LinkedIn who stayed in their corporate careers. A lot of them are doing really well, but most stayed pretty much in the same job. Eleven years on, I sometimes have moments when I wonder what would have happened if I’d stayed with the corporation, kept battling up the ladder. Would things have been different?
The ’08 crash wiped us out, financially and emotionally. Had we not had each other to hold onto, it could have done us in spiritually too. There’s no guarantee I would have ridden out that hurricane from the safety of a corporate shelter, but I thought several times, as I traded my house for an apartment and continued to push my ancient Camrys to the breaking point, did I do the right thing striking out on my own?
Politicians, entrepreneurs, and leaders of all types get burned out. The problem is that because they are on center stage, the little subtleties that indicate that they aren’t at the top of their game are missed. Agendas get stuck. Leaders who have been previously energetic, focused, and a bit ahead of everyone else can get behind, and inertia sets in.
Those around them begin to whisper, get nostalgic for what was, and hope that the leader can turn it around. The signs of leadership burnout aren’t as simple as noting when someone locks him- or herself away. Burned out leaders stay active, but there is a sense that they’ve lost their edge.
The problem of leadership burnout is that no one is going to tell you. You are the person in charge. You are the entrepreneur with the great ideas. You are the CEO with ultimate authority. No one is going to come into your office and tell you that you’re losing your edge. You’re going to have to monitor yourself to make sure that you are on top of your game. It is crucial that you learn the symptoms of burnout so you can make a change before it’s too late.
Here are five signs to watch out for: