One of the most exciting things you can do is start a business. The rewards of working on your own terms by starting a business can be huge. However, you do need to be careful. There are also plenty of mistakes that can be made as well.

As you work to get your startup off the ground, here are five business mistakes to avoid:

1. Choosing the Wrong Name

Choosing a name for your business is trickier than you might think. Not only does it need to be something others can remember, but it also needs to be something that describes, in some way, what you do. You want your business name to be understandable.

Another consideration is how the name fits into your web strategy. I once heard Mike Shinoda from Linkin Park talk about part of the reason they spell their name as they do. The web address for LincolnPark.com wasn’t available, and they wanted something they could claim easily.

Figure out your business name, and make sure it works on the web as well.

2. No Marketing Strategy

One of the biggest business mistakes you can make as a startup is to be without a marketing strategy. Your marketing strategy is how you will get out there and raise your visibility. Without a marketing strategy, your business is likely to fail. Put together a marketing strategy with the help of research so you know where your target demographic is, and how they get their information.

3. Underpricing Your Product or Service

I still struggle with underpricing my services. Sometimes I am afraid to ask for more, or I worry that I’m overvaluing myself. The truth, however, is that I probably underprice my services more than anything else. Setting a low expectation at the start is one of the major business mistakes because once you set that lower expectation, you can find yourself stuck in that lower tier for a long time, and you might be less profitable over time.

4. Reluctance to Network

You might hold back from networking and working with others because you are worries about others taking your ideas, or you might be concerned that you don’t have the time. However, networking is one of the most important aspects of getting your business startup off the ground. You can learn from others, get acess to new audiences, and even form long-lasting friendships and partnerships. Don’t make the mistake of neglecting your network.

5. Spending Too Much Money Up Front

It’s tempting to buy everything you think you need for your startup early on. Yes, eventually you will need office equipment, and inventory, and maybe even office space. However, you don’t always need everything at once. Be realistic about your true needs and only spend on those items. You can begin buying other things for your startup as the money starts coming in. You don’t want one of your business mistakes to be running out of money because you used it all to get a high-priced office space before you were ready, or because you bought a bunch of new, but not strictly necessary, computers.

I'm Miranda and I'm a freelance financial journalist and money expert. My specialties are investing, small business/entrepreneurship and personal finance. The journey to business success and financial freedom is best undertaken with fellow travelers.

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