Like a butterfly, small businesses tend to have short lifespans.
That's partly because small businesses, by their very nature, have fewer resources to draw on when times get tough — or even when they are too good.
With the odds stacked against them from day one, there are at least as many ways for small businesses to fail as to succeed. Here are 10 common mistakes for entrepreneurs to avoid, drawn from 20 years of experience from CPG Executive Consulting & Entrepreneurs Worldwide founder Helen Roberts and Start Up Britain Champion for Richmond, London.
1. Getting married to your idea. Not every idea is a good business idea. We encourage our small-business owners to go through a process of testing their idea by doing research, by speaking to other business owners and really testing to see if it is a viable business.
2. Not doing enough research. Similar to the first mistake, entrepreneurs often fall in love with their latest ideas of products or services without doing the necessary groundwork.
3. Not worrying enough about the owner/CEO. “By taking care of yourself, you can help ensure that you maintain that enthusiasm and positive attitude, which is so much a part of a small-business owner.
4. Failing to create and stick to a plan. Small-business owners hate to hear that advice. But a business plan helps you think through all the strategic elements and discover where you might need a Plan B.
5. Making yourself irreplaceable. (Entrepreneurs) don't develop systems and processes, so the business relies too much on them.
6. Lack of money. Small businesses often run into trouble because they run out of capital to grow the business or survive a slowdown.
7. Losing touch with your customer. Sometimes in the day-to-day, crisis-to-crisis environment, there is the potential to miss an opportunity, identify a fatal flaw or see what your customer is doing.
8. Undercutting the market, and your business. Too often, small businesses undercharge for their products and services.
9. Going it alone. Small-business owners often tend to be islands unto themselves. That independence can be positive, but the risk is missing out on a “wealth of information and wisdom” from those around him or her.
10. No marketing or sales focus. You may have the greatest product or service in the world, but it rarely sells itself. Getting caught up in the day-to-day minutiae, and not getting the word out or contacting sales leads, can mean slow growth or even a slow death for your business.

Author's Bio: 

Helen Roberts is a gifted leader, a popular trainer at live events, a coach and a mentor. Her fast-paced, authentic style, her incredible energy and passion will not only inspire you, you will be empowered knowing you can overcome your personal obstacles to be the best that you can be and live an incredible life!

Helen has a track record of success as a Career Development expert and Business Coach with over 15 years experience. She is one of the most respected leaders in her industry. She has assisted companies and individuals worldwide and has worked out of the UK, Ireland, France, Australia, US and Singapore.

Her philosophy is simple – she always encourages her clients to Find and Do something that they love. She encourages people to strive to be the best that they can be and achieve far greater success doing something that they love as opposed to working, doing something they hate, for a pay check.

Helen has assisted many of the world’s leading investment banks, & other fortune 500 businesses & over 50,000 individuals with their career choices throughout her career. She worked in house managing large scale recruitment contracts with major investment banking & accounting houses. She career counselled people at all levels to move forward in their career.

With the global economic downturn of the past few years Helen has worked with many people to move them out of employment and unemployment and in to their own business. She identifies business opportunities for people that want to go in to business for themselves and not necessarily be by themselves. She has a shortlist of the very best business opportunities including home business opportunities available in each region around the world. She has a broad range of options to suit a wide variety of career choices & needs. She works with you closely to ensure there is a good fit and it is moving you forward with your career development. Helen also assists entrepreneurs worldwide to develop their own ideas to go in to business. Her career guidance and advice is tailored to her client’s specific needs to ensure she delivers on any task at hand ensuring a smooth career transition.