Over half of small businesses and start-ups do not exist past their fifth year.  The reason for this is because many entrepreneurs make the same mistakes that end up damaging the business in the long run.  Your ability to overcome challenges and see growth beyond the first few years depends on how well you can avoid common mistakes early on.  Here are several mistakes to avoid making when managing your small business.

Skipping the Business Plan

Many, if not all, failed businesses start without having a business plan at all.  Without a business plan, your start-up is bound to stumble because you have not given your business a good blueprint to follow and draw guidance upon.  A basic plan will have the main costs of the operations detailed, what it would be selling, the market location, and the target audience.

Misidentifying the Audience

When it comes to target audience, many successful entrepreneurs will state the target market is everything.  You have to sell a product that you know your prospective customers would love to get their hands on.  You have to recognize the market and the consumers that have the buying power to consume your product or services.  Recognizing your market can further guide you in tailor your promotions and products to fill their needs.


Being confident is a good trait for an entrepreneur, but being overconfident is where mistakes can happen.  Some entrepreneurs may sell their products at a high price and believe that consumers will buy them anyway.  Going into business with naïve expectations can lead to unexpected and detrimental outcomes.  It is important to have a realistic mindset of where you are in the market and the necessary work required to get to the level you want to be.


Most business owners would purposely give the wrong idea to prospective customers and clients by misrepresenting the actual data, such as covering up an issue with the product or exaggerating the numbers.  Falsely representing facts about your products can cause legal problems as well.  Honest and valid marketing is better than outright deception.  Your business can benefit in the long-term by sticking with honest and straightforward marketing messages.


Starting a business is tricky and comes with a set of challenges to overcome, but making early mistakes can further derail you in the process.  It is important to give your business a valuable start by establishing a formal business plan, researching the market, understanding the product, and recognizing the needs you can fulfill.  By adhering to these core components, you can reduce the chances of making the aforementioned mistakes early on and get your business off a strong start.