There are several common mistakes made by entrepreneurs that can ruin a new business before it even has time to get off the ground. Continue reading to learn what common small business mistakes are and how you can avoid them.
Entrepreneurship gives you the creative freedom, flexibility, and financial potential to earn more working fewer hours than a traditional job working outside the home.
Online businesses, in my opinion, are one of the best ways for a stay-at-home mom to become a profitable work-from-home mom without sacrificing motherhood or her career ambitions.
But there are common mistakes made by entrepreneurs that cannot afford to be ignored.
And that is skipping over the legal stuff.
I want to get straight to the point because this is super important. I’m so happy you took a leap of faith and jumped into your entrepreneurial journey but we cannot gloss over making your business legit.
Starting an online business is a win-win for a mom who wants to have it all. The ability to earn money on a flexible schedule while raising her family. It would be terrible to put in blood, sweat, and tears into your business for it to one day be taken away from you or for you to have to fight a legal battle. It would be awful! So we are not going to let that happen!
Common Business Mistakes
To ensure that all your hard work isn’t swept from under you, your business has to be built on a solid legal foundation. To avoid a common startup mistake, properly protecting your business with the right contracts and legal documents is key.
Some of those small business mistakes entrepreneurs make are:
- Business name mistakes
- Company name mistakes
- Hiring contractors without confidentiality contracts
- Having contracts in writing with clients
- Using testimonials illegally
- Using music or images without the license to do so
- Errors in legal documents
With all the excitement of starting an online business, it’s easy to run full speed ahead. We start posting on social media about our new business, start writing blog posts, and we also start thinking of ways to collaborate and create additional income streams without mastering the first one thus end up making common mistakes by entrepreneurs that no one really talks about.
Why Legal Protection Is Important
Every relationship or agreement that is important to your business needs to be in writing! Working without agreements with clients, contractors, brands, collaborators, or even adding disclaimers on your blog is a recipe for disaster if not done with the correct legal representation.
Whether you are an online coach, service provider, run membership, or course creator, you need the right core policies, agreements, and contracts to protect yourself because:
- You can lose control of your business’ secret sauce because you didn’t have an agreement with contractors.
- Your IT guy or intern can steal all your intellectual property
- A handshake is an not official affiliate agreement and you can find yourself in a dispute if you have to pay commissions on referrals from referrals from referrals.
- You could end up having to refund courses to anyone who asks because you didn’t have a refund policy in writing
- A service based relationship can be destroyed because there were no written agreements in place.
Check out The Ultimate Legal Checklist here to ensure you are properly protected in your business.
You may be thinking, but “Nicole, I don’t have money for a lawyer.” or “I don’t understand that legal jargon.”
For years, I was scared to go down that rabbit hole and I avoided the legal stuff in my business as well. Thankfully, I did not have any legal issues come up and am now taking care of things I’ve avoided. It isn’t too late to legally protect my business.
This is why I have turned to Bobby Klinck, a Harvard Law School graduated turned marketing entrepreneur who has created a library of legal document templates specifically for online entrepreneurs. Bobby has made the legal stuff that I have avoided for years very easy to understand and very affordable. Now, I feel confident that my intellectual property and my work are properly protected.
Moms as entrepreneurs have enough on their minds to try to be all the things in their business and for our families. The last role we should try to take on is that of lawyer (unless you really are a lawyer).
You can spend fifty hours googling, researching, and creating a mashup of all the advice you read to create legal documents but who knows if what you create actually offers any legal protection.
I’m pretty sure they don’t and more importantly, no one has time for that.
You have better ways to use your time such as landing your next client!
Small business mistakes to avoid with these three documents
- Terms and Conditions
You are incredibly smart and extremely brave to want to turn your ideas and passion into profit. As a mom entrepreneur, it is ok to go slow in a world that glorifies moving fast. We need businesses that are simple and sustain us creatively and financially because our lives are complex.
Building that long-term success as an online business owner starts with doing the boring non-sexy stuff. The legal stuff.
Entrepreneurship requires a resilient attitude and hard work, but hello you are a mom. Hard work doesn’t scare you. Changing a potty training toddler, trying to make lunch all while on a client coaching call is your superpower. One day you will get past this bootstrapping season (it’s amazing when you do!), but until then getting help to ensure your business has all its legal ducks in a row is not only smart but will save you time and money now and in the long term.
To ensure you have all your ducks in a row, check out The Ultimate Legal Checklist here.