Leaving corporate life? 7 common mistakes of the newly self-employed

| June 3, 2011 | Comments (0)

Corporate life getting you down? Many women dream of leaving their job to launch their own business. When you’re accustomed to the infrastructure and security of a large corporation, starting your own company can be daunting. Femmeonomics asked two experts to weigh in on the common pitfalls to avoid.

Hanna Hasl-Kelchner, The No Nonsense Lawyer and author of warns of three common mistakes made by the newly entrepreneurial:

1.  Don’t fall victim to the Superwoman syndrome:  “People leaving senior positions in large business organizations can fall victim to the superwoman/ superman syndrome,” explains Hasl-Kelcher. “It’s a two-edged sword that relates to invincibility.  One version manifests itself as the senior person who thinks they can do it all, but, doesn’t realize all the details their staff takes care of for them as a matter of course.  Once they strike out on their own there is no one there to pick up the pieces and they wonder why certain tasks don’t get done.  The flip side of this scenario is the person who does appreciate all the detail, wants to do it all by themselves and subsequently drowns.”

Solution: Hasl-Kelcher suggests that although an entrepreneur many need to take on additional tasks, knowing when to delegate will greatly impact the company’s growth.

2. Not protecting your assets: “As an overachiever you have probably amassed some assets during the course of your corporate career,” says Hasl-Kelcher. ”It’s easy to print up business cards, set-up a website and say you’re in business but without more you’re a sole proprietorship and that exposes all of your personal assets to your business creditors.”

Solution: Consult with your tax advisor and attorney to make sure you create a business structure that will protect your personal assets.

3.  Neglecting to protect intellectual property:  “Every start-up business has some intellectual property.  Identifying it and protecting it is what ultimately separates the winners from the losers,” insists Hasl-Kelcher.

Vanessa Parker at PinkBoss, Inc. adds her lessons to the recent entrepreneur:

4. Forgetting your personal objective: “A new business venture will consume your life during the development stage and you need to make sure it adds value to your life and not more stress,” warns Parker.

Solution: Write down what makes you passionate about this new business venture, so that you can reference it when times get tough.

5. Not getting buy-in: If you are married or in a serious relationship, it is important to get your significant other on board about your new business venture.  “Everyone is not going to agree with you but it is great to identify your support system in the very beginning. Your support system can act as your accountability partners during your startup phase,” explains Parker.

6. Not having a financial plan.  Keeping a stash of money in the bank is not enough to kick off your company.  You need a plan. Parker recommends that you ask yourself the following questions:

a. How much will it cost to maintain your household for 3 months?

b. What streams of income can your business idea produce?

c. How many customers do you need to achieve your financial goals?

7. Not knowing your competition. According to Parker, this is a common mistake that many entrepreneurs skip in their
start-up process. Research your competitors’ challenges and advertising campaigns and make sure there is a need for your product or service in the marketplace.

Tags: corporate, , expert, , small business

Category: Career Girl

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