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3 Mistakes That Are Easy to Make as an Entrepreneur

by Chris Naff on September 20, 2013

3 Mistakes That Are Easy to Make as an Entrepreneur

If you are a start-up business or an already established company, you probably have a lot running through your mind. Am I spending enough on advertising? Are my prices at a competitive level? Do I have the right team? Those are all important issues we have to address as entrepreneurs. Because of the challenges we have to overcome on a day-to-day basis, it is easy to become overwhelmed and get distracted.

No one ever knowingly makes a bad choice, rather those decisions are made by clouded judgement. When that happens, it is very easy to make simple yet critical mistakes. Here are three mistakes that you must do your best to avoid.

1. Not knowing the language of business

Whether you do your bookkeeping in-house or hire an accountant from outside your company, simply having someone to journalize your transactions for you is not enough. You have to develop an understanding of accounting, the language of business. Profit and Loss statements seem straight forward, but do you recognize what is driving the business? You don’t have to become an expert, professionals devote entire careers to become experts in just one section of the accounting standards. But having a basic understanding of what your financial statements are telling you will be key for your company to grow.

2. Forgetting your higher purpose

As your company grows and financial performance improves, dollar signs can very easily change the way we approach our business. The most successful companies, big and small, never forget why they went into business in the first place. Did you start your company simply to make money? Or did you become an entrepreneur to solve problems? Knowing the difference and deciding which side of the fence you are on can either propel or paralyze your business.

3. Having fancy titles

Establishing your own start-up and seeing it grow is both a challenging and rewarding process. That type of growth takes a good skill set, great decision-making capabilities, and a tremendous amount of determination. What it doesn’t require is having a fancy title on your business card. Particularly for young business owners, a self-appointed title means nothing if you don’t understand how to develop your product and service lines and enhance your brand. The quality of your work will determine your reputation within your industry, regardless of your title. Anyone can order business cards and be the President and CEO of a one person operation, it takes a real entrepreneur to be successful.

Acknowledging these three fundamentals is crucial, yet they are simple to understand. It reminds me of what the character Lou Mannheim said in the movie Wall Street: “Stick to the fundamentals. That’s how IBM and Hilton were built. Good things, sometimes, take time.”

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Chris Naff

Director at FastBlink
With a background in finance and accounting, Chris joined FastBlink in order to offer clients a wider variety of services. Originally from Massachusetts, Chris studied at Florida Atlantic University.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Ryan Biddulph September 26, 2013 at 7:47 am

Hi Chris,

You can never go wrong with a Lou Mannheim reference 😉 Power points all around! Know WHY. Why did you start your business? Successes hold a pure motivator, a pure intent, like helping others by solving problems. We all would like to make money but chasing money leads to problems.

Money does not directly make you money. People hand you money for the problem you solved. So if you are chasing money you are backing the wrong horse. Focus instead of helping people. Hold that why. The irony is that money will flow to you in increasing amount if you create massive value through your content or product or increase the quality and number of your connections daily.

Thanks for sharing Chris!

Ryan

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Chris Naff September 27, 2013 at 7:15 pm

Thanks, Ryan!

Couldn’t agree more, value creation should always remain the focal point. If you take care of that, the money takes care of itself. It comes as no surprise the many years “conscious” companies such as this out-perform the S&P 500 by almost 10-fold.

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