59° F

Life Lessons: 7 mistakes that will kill your new company

Published On: Jun 12 2013 05:00:00 AM EDT

Life Lessons 7 mistakes that will kill your new company

According to a new study from the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, about half of all new businesses fail within their first five years.

But experts say avoiding seven common mistakes can put anyone on the road to business-starting success.

The same study says just 47 percent of women believe they are capable of starting and running a business, but about 62 percent of men feel they can do it.


Many women are afraid of failure but successful women say they have to be.

Pamela Prince-Eason, president and CEO of Women's Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) says being a successful business owner takes hard work and smarts.

She says one big mistake women make when trying to start a business: not being prepared when confronting clients.

"Don’t walk up and say, ‘What does your company do? What can I do for you?”

Experts say visit websites, learn about their products or services, and have a clear plan for how you can benefit the clients before meeting with them.

Mistake number two: not having a dedicated sales professional.

Another mistake: not enough networking.

Tara Abraham, chairwoman and Co-CEO of Accel, Inc., says, “People do business with people who they like. Period.”

Not following up with your contacts is mistake number four!

Abraham says, “You always have to make sure that you set yourself apart, so it’s about the follow-up after the conference.”

Another no-no: not taking advantage of professional organizations.

Groups like WBENC offer education, networking, and support opportunities for women in business.

Mistake number six: starting your business in a saturated market.

“Look at other areas that have really been underdeveloped or not even tapped yet,” says Abraham.

Another common mistake is spending too much on business cards and brochures right away. Experts say most start-up businesses change too quickly for these materials to be effective.

A good rule of thumb: wait until you can keep your typical sales presentation the same for at least six months before you invest in them.

The last mistake: not enough cash. Many experts recommend having about three times what you think you’ll need to start your business.