As a black business owner, I know how important it is to make sure your business is successful. If you don’t have much experience in the world of entrepreneurship, though, you might not know what to expect—and you might even make some mistakes that end up being costly.
To help you avoid this, I’ve compiled my top 10 list of the business mistakes to avoid as a black business owner:
#1. Not Properly Setting Up Your Business
Setting up your business properly from the start is crucial for your success. There are many different legal structures that you can choose from when setting up your business, and it’s important to understand how each will affect your taxes, finances, and ownership structure. Speak with an attorney or accountant about which legal structure is best for you!
#2. Not Keeping Track of Expenses
Keeping track of expenses by using accounting software like Quickbooks or Xero is essential to maintaining a healthy cash flow and growing your business. If you don’t properly track expenses and keep receipts, you may miss out on valuable deductions come tax time!
#3. Mixing Business & Personal Accounts
Mixing business and personal accounts can make it difficult to manage your finances or determine who owes what to whom at any given time. It also makes it harder for you to file taxes without any confusion as well as prevents any tax or legal implications for this mistake.
#4. Don’t think about your clients
You have to know who you’re selling to—what they want, what they need, and what their habits are. They probably never talk about race (unless it’s a Black-owned business), so don’t make it about race either. It’s about providing for your customers.
#5. Not asking enough questions
As a black entrepreneur, your business will start out being a single-person operation. Your main goal should be to learn as much as possible about running a successful business. Learn as much as you can and ask as many questions as possible. Your goal is to build a profitable business, so don’t be afraid to ask any question that can help you achieve that goal.
#6. Working without a plan
You should always have a plan on how you are going to structure your business and what capital investment you’ll need to make your business model work. Don’t get caught up in the hype of starting a business or chasing an opportunity blindly.
#7. Not hiring good people
One of the most important things about starting a business is finding good people who share your vision and passion for building something great together. The last thing you want to do is hire people not invested in the success of your business.
#8. No branding/unclear brand positioning
You need to create a brand for the company and make sure all employees understand it so that when someone asks about the company they will have an answer right away instead of having to think about what it is or what it does; that way there won’t be any confusion between employees or customers because everyone knows exactly what they’re talking about with each other and no one feels left out or confused by anything happening within their organization at all times!
#9. Not thinking of yourself as a business owner
If you’ve got any kind of side hustle or freelance gig, congratulations! You are on the road to becoming an entrepreneur. But in order for that side gig to become something bigger and better for your future, you need to start thinking about yourself as the CEO of your own company, no matter where you are on your entrepreneurial journey.
#10. Not staying up-to-date on industry news
If you don’t understand what’s going on in the world around you, it’s easy to miss out on opportunities for growth or get left behind by competitors who do pay attention. Get in the habit of reading industry publications and watching the news so that you’re always aware of the latest developments related to your field of work.