Top 9 Mistakes by Small Business Owners by Artur Kurasiński


The post was originally published in Polish on Artur’s LinkedIn profile. Artur kindly agreed that we repost what we think is of great value to our readers.

Artur Kurasiński, Serial Enrepreneur, Author, Creator

Here are nine most common mistakes that small business owners make:

  1. You assume that your business idea is self-explanatory. You may think your business concept is as clear as day, but others don’t see it that way. Explain your value in a way that makes it clear why people should do something.
  2. Excessive focus on small details. Delivering quality is a no-brainer, but endlessly tweaking graphics or rewriting content can distract you from more important tasks, such as gathering feedback or making new contacts that can facilitate and accelerate your business.
  3. You don’t say ‘No’. Do you let your clients or team manipulate you? At the end of the day, you are the one who suffers. Make sure you maintain both your high standard and set boundaries between the client and your team.
  4. You mix personal and business matters. We often try to solve issues that bother us in our private life, which doesn’t work best for the business. Example: You love creativity and learning, which makes you play with your business offer. Your company sometimes needs peace of mind and repetitive work.
  5. You wait to be discovered. You hope that your work will suddenly be noticed by clients, they subscribe, and then you build momentum. Focus on what you can control: deliver results and don’t be afraid to talk about them. Luck must be helped.
  6. ‘No decision is also a decision’. In business, you have to struggle with many decisions, and this drains energy. It’s not uncommon to feel like you’ve run out of energy to make decisions and instead sit on the decision for ages. If you just make a decision, even an imperfect one, you will give yourself a chance to learn. You can’t go wrong if you trust yourself and get it right in the long run.
  7. Other people’s opinions substitute your intuition. Do you know what kills your dreams? Prejudice and negativity of other people. Others don’t always see your potential or understand your vision, so they may accidentally trample on it. They may try to ‘protect’ you with their advice, but ultimately that advice may discourage you from action. Sometimes it’s best to keep your plans to yourself.
  8. You accept the difficult path. Business is not a piece of cake. However, if you come across hardships all the time, maybe you are on the wrong track? Think about your goal and your customer. The work of Sisyphus will exhaust you one day. When you follow your true path, the approach to problems is different.
  9. Everything has to be PERFECT from the start. In business, things always take longer than you think. Waiting for everything to work out the way you want it to be, you will lose time that you could spend taking small steps or getting feedback from the market. If you’re waiting for ‘that day’ to take the next important step, it means that perfectionism is standing in your way.

The comment section had some amendments to offer:

I put it a little differently:

  • ‘I am the company!’ – if someone has a problem with the company, they have a problem with me. 
  • ‘I already know everything about the market!’ – short-sightedness, I can’t see anything farther than my nose, but I consider myself as wise as analysts, experts, and CEOs of much larger corporations who see things on a larger scale.
  • ‘Advertising is a lever of trade!’ – they don’t buy because you didn’t convince them enough. The problem is not in the offer or the business model, but in the fact that you are not trying hard enough.
  • Management by fear (my favorite) – if you don’t scare them, they won’t understand or care.
  • ‘Human resources’ – that is, treating people as part of the company’s equipment, like material resources: furniture, transport, etc. They can be replaced, improved (e.g. by ‘motivating’ them, see p. 4).
  • Instinct over knowledge – ‘I have always followed my intuition’, ‘There’s nothing to learn here’ (the exception is ‘how to sell better’, see p.3), ‘Studying is to prevent people from going forward’ (my other favorite).

Piotr Kaczmarek-Kurczak, Board Member at Space Entrepreneurship Institute

To p. 7: Use the opinions of even the widest possible environment, also from outside the industry, and squeeze all the possible inspiration from it. Take out the treats, develop an allergy to weak signals. But keep in mind that others will ALWAYS step on your potential and vision to some extent.

Marcin Dudek, CEO at Inssue Technologies


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