The 9 Worst Ways to Start a Business

Want to start your own business? Don’t bother — especially if you’re opening up shop under these conditions. Starting a self-sustaining business requires blood, sweat, and tears, and not everyone’s cut out for entrepreneurship. A business degree or substantial experience won’t even come to your rescue if you fall prey to one of the nine worst ways to start a business. Do exactly the opposite of this list, and you could be ahead in business in any state – New Jersey, New Hampshire, Nebraska, Montana, Missouri, Mississippi – in no time.

  1. With No Money

    Unless you’re good friends with some venture capitalists, it won’t be easy to start a business if you’re broke. Substantial small business loans are somewhat difficult to obtain due to recent economic conditions, and microfunding sites such as Kickstarter and Indie Go-Go may not completely fund your startup or business idea. Save your money, find investors, or wait until a better time.

  2. With No Product

    Business plans differ from business ideas, in that they are usually written down, plotted out, and appropriately specific. If you don’t have a good idea about what product or service your business will offer, consider re-examining your motivations for entrepreneurship. Fill a need, don’t bloat the business world. You’ll be more likely to enjoy your business — and stay in it!

  3. With No Experience

    Quick question: Is Warren Buffett a world renowned business person, the guy who sang Margaritaville‘s brother, or the name of an all-you-can-eat restaurant? If you hesitated in the slightest, don’t start a business. Not yet. Research, read, and speak with people in your chosen industry. You’ll have to learn a lot as you go along, but there’s no need to risk your career and reputation without doing your homework. Investors, permits, and the like will dictate how and where you can run your business. Make sure you’re savvy enough to consider all necessary factors before jumping in feet first.

  4. With A Crook

    We’re not saying don’t trust anyone, but you’ve got to know exactly who you’re dealing with if you’ve decided to start your business with a partner (or two). Mergers, acquisitions, liars, and white collar crime are all commonplace in today’s business world. Be certain you’ve vetted a potential business partner as much as possible, and don’t take unnecessary risks. Better yet, get a lawyer. You can pay her to educate you, draw up contracts, or simply to help you protect yourself from financial and personal risks.

  5. On The Internet

    Not exactly sure how the Internet works? Unclear on how money is generated through online business? Pro Tip: Start a different business. Most companies will need a website for their customers, even if it’s simply an online business card or splash page. Additionally, social media and image sharing services like Pinterest provide new ground for marketers and business owners to increase product visibility and name recognition. But if you’re not a technophile, that’s where you should stop. Making money on the Internet is a mystery for some, often lending itself to “get rich quick” schemes and the empty promises of multi-level marketing. If you’re unclear about how ones and zeros translate to dollars, don’t bother mixing your bits and bytes with your business.

  6. Off The Internet

    On the other hand, if you’re selling a service or a niche good that needs a worldwide audience for cheap, cancel your land line and get on the web. Start connecting with potential customers, vendors, or friendly competition via social media, through e-mail newsletters, or otherwise online. Begin your business on a global scale by forgoing a local storefront; opt instead for an online shopping cart. While Internet business is constantly in flux, the virtual frontier is clearly a new horizon for entrepreneurs of all types. It’s an exciting time to be (quite literally) plugged in!

  7. Out Of Spite

    Ever wanted to succeed at something just to get back at someone? Newsflash: That’s toxic behavior, and won’t get you very far once you’ve appropriately processed your emotions. Though conflict often does drive progress, starting a business out of spite is a recipe for certain failure — not to mention a pretty crappy existence.

  8. Out Of Desperation

    Nothing is fun if you’re desperate, especially work. And if you’re hard up for cash flow, starting a business may not be your best move. While being constantly “hungry” for customers and sales is a necessary quality of a successful business, there’s no need to act like you’re starving.

  9. Out Of Boredom

    The rumors are true: Boredom kills enthusiasm. Swiftly. Opening a business because you don’t know what else to do with your life is purposeless, and one of the worst ways to begin your entrepreneurial career. Passion, a thirst for knowledge, and an insatiable yen for profits are necessary qualities for those looking to begin for-profit companies. Work ethic and determination can make or break your young business. If you’re not imbued with natural curiosity — we’re sorry. There’s always accounting.