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How to Avoid the Pitfalls of Starting and Managing a Business

Fri, 11/09/2012 - 4:26pm | by mariapalma

This is a guest post by Maria Palma, author at Online Business Resources and The Good Life (originally posted February 28, 2008)

Starting a business is an exciting time for any entrepreneur. It’s something new and it’s certainly another way to produce an income. However, how do you know that this is something you should be doing? If it is you want to do, then how do you stay motivated? What can you do to make sure you don’t make the same mistakes other business owners make?

Is This the Right Business For You?
I’ve seen many people start businesses, but decide to quit only a few months later because they weren’t making their expected sales goals. I’ve also witnessed people get into a business because they thought it was a business that was going to bring in the “big bucks”. They soon realized that they really had no interest in what they were selling. All they saw was the money. Money shouldn’t be the reason you start a business. You start a business because you have a vision of helping people and a passion for what you’re doing.

When the housing market was on the rise in San Diego, I wanted to become a real estate agent because I saw that it was a lucrative business. Real estate agents were making six figures a year and I wanted a piece of that pie! Well, about a year into the business I discovered that I really had no interest in helping people buy or sell a home. In fact, sometimes I wouldn’t pick up the phone when a client called! That’s when it dawned on me that I started a business for the wrong reasons.

So, before you start any type of business, ask yourself the following questions:

1) Do I have a genuine interest in helping people with this business?
2) Would I still do this even if I didn’t make money?
3) Do I have a strong belief in my abilities to make this business work?

If you answered a resounding “Yes” to all these questions, then that is the business for you!

What Can You Do To Stay Motivated?
Ok, so maybe you’re already convinced that this is the right business for you. What can you do to stay motivated and keep going when business is slow or when you start to experience burnout? There may be times when business is in a slump or you start to lose focus of your business. This has happened to me on many occasions. Here are a few things I have done to keep the energy flowing into my business:

1) Read books by other successful entrepreneurs. You’ll discover that every entrepreneur has experienced setbacks or hurdles in their business.

2) Revisit your “Big Why” – why you started your business in the first place. This will take your mind back to when things were exciting for you and you felt energized about this venture.

3) Take a break. Most entrepreneurs just keep going and going without any days off. Sometimes all you need is some time away just to give your mind some rest and to be able to reorganize your priorities.

In your excitement about building a successful business, sometimes priorities get shuffled around. Friends and family may start to feel alienated because you’ve spend a great deal of time on your business. Reconnect with loved ones and give yourself some time to re-energize so that you come back to your business refreshed and renewed with inspiration.

The main thing to keep in mind is that building a business takes time. Don’t think of it as a means to an end. A business is an ongoing process, not a race to be successful! Remember that you are already successful! Think about all the people who talk about starting a business don’t actually do it. You’ve done it!

Need help, resources, and support for your business? I invite you to join my Online Business Resources group at Yahoo!

photo credit by nikcname

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