I’m not usually one to look at the negatives however I hope that by making you aware of these potholes which try to wreck your journey on the road to success you will be able to steer round them successfully!

1. Don’t underestimate what it will cost - Very few business actually make any money in the first year maybe even two so when putting together your Financial Plan, you must overestimate the capital required to not only start the business but also the amount required to stay in business for the first few years – and this includes money for you to live on. Remember also, that any money that you make in the first few years will be re-invested back into the business. The key here is to overestimate how long you think it will take to become profitable, overestimate the costs and expenses and underestimate what you anticipate your income to be.

2. Inadequate support systems - Think about all the people you will require to get started in business – these are your key support system and include; accountant, lawyer, banker, tax advisor, business coach etc. You must have these people in place before you actually need them. Create effective internal systems and processes that are easy to change as your business grows and which free you up to do what you do best – get help to create these systems if necessary.

3. Lack of Market Research - This is where so many businesses fall down in the first year. You must fully understand the market and the industry and even more importantly, understand what your customer really wants and provide it. Think carefully about your Marketing Plan and about how your customers will find you.

4. Don’t shut yourself off - This is another mistake entrepreneurs frequently make – you can’t do it all yourself and it’s not profitable for you to even try to. Ask for help. Join the Chamber of Commerce and other industry specific networking groups and get yourself a good business coach.

5. Don’t be inaccessible to your clients and customers -If you want to make money, your customers need to be able to find you easily. This means you need to have a good advertising budget so people know that you exist. Be everywhere that your customers might look for you via brochures, signs, etc. This is your chance to get creative (ask for help if you need it), have a great website that is easy to locate and easy to navigate and make use of twitter, face book, LinkedIn etc. Do everything you can to make it easier for people to do business with you.

6. Inadequate skills - Recognise your weaknesses and recruit people where required or look at ways to turn your weaknesses into strengths where possible. Get any training you need to help you to get started and to manage and market your business. Create a training plan so that you can always be up to speed with what is going on in your field and associated fields.

7. Inadequate planning - You must create a great Business Plan (a business coach can help with this) which is used regularly not just left on a shelf to collect dust! It must contain your vision, mission, long and short term objectives, strategies and action plans. Anticipate change as well as growth and be prepared with contingency plans.

“There are no speed limits on the road to excellence.” - David W. Johnson

Author's Bio: 

Anne Galloway is a careers coach and small business consultant who believes that work can and should be creative, meaningful and enjoyable. Her specialties include assisting clients find the 'right' career for them and showing them how to sell themselves confidently on a CV and at interviews, and taking an independent view of business systems and procedures and developing strategies to increase sales and revenue. Anne is regularly sought out as valuable sounding board due to her ability to highlight risk in order to take control and reduce it. Her first book, 'Your Future - A practical guide to action' was published in 2011.