Think back to when you started your most recent company. What were the biggest mistakes you made at the time?
Or, if you’re in the process of starting a business today, what mistake are you most concerned about making?
Expert Market has come up with this infographic listing 15 startup mistakes small business owners and entrepreneurs need to consider.
They run the gamut from underestimating the financial requirements of your startup to spending too much time on product development — and not enough on sales.
But of all the startup mistakes, perhaps the most critical involve your business plan, your hiring process and the building of your core team.
Business Plan Mistakes
One of the biggest problems with a business plan can be that it’s either too big or too small to be much use, says veteran entrepreneur, small business coach and social media strategist Melinda Emerson.
In the first example, Emerson says, unless you are seeking money from investors, your business plan seldom needs to be the 40 plus document you’ve probably read about in business books or maybe heard about in business school. Such a plan would probably be too complicated to be useful anyway.
In the other extreme, entrepreneurs might have been too busy in the startup phases of their business or too intimidated by the whole business plan writing process to ever bother. In this case, Emerson says, it’s never too late to get started.
Another problem is that some entrepreneurs never look at their business plan after creating it. In some cases, this may be because it is not very actionable — filled with “fluff” and $10 words but without clear steps about how to proceed.
When it comes to hiring, some of the biggest mistakes have to do with not thinking about how potential employees will fit into your plan and your vision, says Small Business Trends founder and CEO Anita Campbell.
Hiring mistakes may include hiring for aptitude only rather than for attitude. Aptitude is important. But it’s only the first step to identify viable candidates. It’s after this that entrepreneurs and small business owners should use the interview process to figure out whether a candidate has the proper attitude to make him or her the right fit for your company.
Another mistake is failing to write a detailed description of the position you are trying to fill. Without a proper description you run the risk of hiring someone who is not a good fit for the role you had envisions. In the end, the person is likely to leave or be let go, leaving other employees overburdened and the work your new employee was supposed to address undone.
Team Building Mistakes
Team building is an important part of the startup process. Building the proper team can help you accomplish tasks more efficiently and draw on the creativity and energy of others to help you accomplish your goals.
But ignoring the well-being and the needs of your team can lead you to mistakes in the team building process, warns entrepreneur Valentine Belonwu.
These mistakes can include things like failing to communicate clear cut goals with your team thus making it more difficult for you and them to succeed.
But it can also include failure to show faith in your team members by insisting on doing everything yourself instead of letting others contribute to the process.
For important startup errors to avoid, see the full infographic below. It may help you avoid some of the major pitfalls while starting a growing your business:
[Click for larger version]
Image: Expert Market