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:
There’s no age limit when it comes to being a millionaire these days, and a handful of kids have struck it rich well before they can legally vote. They’re small business owners, inventors and entrepreneurs. I started as an entrepreneur when I was around 11 years old with my first candy stand, which grew to four candy stands, but that was nothing compared to some of these kids!
There’s is no age limit, either, when it comes to learning from others. These impressive kids learned from their own failures early in life but determined to keep going and to do it better the next time around. If you haven’t made your first million yet, the teen next door might actually be able to teach you something.
Check out these eight kids who made a million, or more, and what you can learn from their success:
Staying up to date in today’s constantly shifting business world is not easy, but being aware of SME trends as they are happening can put small business owners ahead of the curve. Spotcap, the fastest online credit platform, reveals the six most important global trends which entrepreneurs need to follow to stay on the ball with industry challenges.
- The bigger, the better
Big data is not just for big businesses anymore and will have a significant impact on the pace-setters of the small business sector. Entrepreneurs can seek to leverage large amounts of data across multiple delivery channels to uncover patterns in consumer behavior. Analyzing big data can help organizations to change the way they make decisions. According to a survey from IBM, 75 percent of all small business owners are increasing their investments in data analysis tools. These shrewd investors will reap the benefits of news features that allow them to sift easily through masses of valuable data and plan their next move accordingly.
In the challenging cut and thrust world of the entrepreneur, it’s all too easy to let the mundane aspects of life slip by. Making a Will is one of those things. We all think we have plenty of time, with more important or pressing things to do right now in launching or growing the business.
Given the uncertainty of the future, this can prove a costly mistake should the worst happen. Are you sure your hard-won business assets will land in the right hands when you’re gone? Entrepreneurs work long, hard hours to build their businesses, yet it can vanish in a flash if you don’t make your wishes plain by writing a Will.
We asked members of the Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO) to share their thoughts on what it takes to be a great entrepreneur. Here’s what they had to say.
“One characteristic which separates good entrepreneurs from great ones is grit. Being an entrepreneur isn’t easy and you won’t always make perfect decisions. However, the leaders who can persevere through both the good and bad times have what it takes to be a great entrepreneur.”
Jeff Martin, EO Minnesota
CEO and Founder, Collective Genius