5 Small Business Mistakes You Can Learn From

Missteps are all part of being a small business owner. And every successful entrepreneur seems to have experienced a mistake they learned from – a misinformed decision or action that ended up teaching them something.

“The key is finding a way to turn these downturns into positive, practical learning experiences,” writes Andrew DePietro in a blog for Seek Business Capital, an L.A.-based consulting firm that provides advisory services and funding procurement to small business owners across the U.S. through a blog on the company’s website.

See what you and your company can learn from these 5 mistakes shared by other entrepreneurs and small business owners.


Robert Choi, founder of RJC & Company Transformation Engineers, says one of his biggest mistakes was overthinking how much business and goodwill he needed to build up when it came to setting the prices of his company’s services.

He says what he should have been doing was looking closer at what competitors were charging for the same services.

“Because of this bad assumption, I undervalued my services for years,” says Choi, a member of Young Entrepreneurs Council, in a blog posted by YEC on the Forbes website. “It's never too soon to gauge what your business is meaningfully worth.”

Hiring Key Roles Early On

Floyd DePalma, founder and CEO of DePalma Studios, a UX/UI design and software development shop based in Nashville, Tenn., says he made a mistake when he didn’t hire the right people in key leadership roles early on.

“Building a leadership team of smart, dedicated people is the most important part of launching and scaling a successful business,” DePalma says in a blog by The Entrepreneurs Organization posted on Inc.

“You need A-players who are self-starters and feel a sense of ownership in growing the business."

Waiting Too Long To Get Help

Another common small business mistake is waiting too long to get help. You might be holding off because of money or because you have a difficult time delegating. But, waiting too long to get help will be a mistake.

“If you don’t hire the help when you need it, or hire the first candidate you meet because you’re swamped, you’ll end up with more work instead of the assistance your business needs,” writes Rieva Lesonsky, CEO of GrowBiz Media, in a blog for Fundera, an online marketplace for small business financing.

Clients that Are a Bad Fit

Another mistake cited by small business owners is taking on clients that are not a good fit for your company and work style.

“One time, I decided to chase the money on a deal even though I knew that it was going to be a rough project,” says John Hill, founder of Adapted Growth, in the Seek Business Capital blog.

“I charged a little bit extra to cover for the roughness and it turned out to be worse than I ever expected it to be,” he says. “Now I am a qualifying wizard, and really focus on bringing in clients who are a great fit and refuse to chase a deal that seems like it will be difficult.”

Hiring Too Soon

Kayla Pendleton, owner and founder of Make Her Mark, a co-working space and community for women entrepreneurs, said one of her biggest mistakes was hiring an employee as soon as she opened.

“The mistake wasn’t her — she was great,” Pendleton shares in the Seek Business Capital blog. “The problem was that revenue couldn’t support her and me.”

Instead, Pendleton said, she learned to use contract workers or freelancers for very specific projects for a while, before bringing on any full-time employees.

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