10 Small Business Owner Mistakes

At oXYGen Financial, we have interviewed many of the top entrepreneurs and CEO’s in small and medium sized business in and around the Atlanta Metro area.   From all of our radio show interviews, which you can see in their entirety at www.40yobv.com, we have some great insight into the mistakes you should try to avoid if you want your business to run and grow successfully.

Don Rountree – President of Rountree Group Communications

Find New Revenue Sources – What generates revenue for your company now may not make your business any money in 25, perhaps even 10 years down the road. Diversifying how your company creates revenue is a critical strategy business owners often overlook. A change in industry regulations or unexpected economic variables can absolutely destroy a company that solely relies on one source of income.

Marc Borrelli – Corporate Finance Associates

No Side-Businesses – Stay focused on what you are doing. It is incredibly easy to get sidetracked by taking any random job that will offer pay. This can lead to the creation of side-businesses that will detract from the original goal and add to the amount of liabilities in the future.

John Coffin, Walt Deriso, Kurt Shreiner – Atlantic Capital Bank

Focus On The Culture You Want – Make sure you keep an eye on your team as you grow your business. Assess those individuals who are bringing down the organization and ultimately take action. A few rotten eggs can mean the difference between increased profitability and stagnant growth.

Dave Savage – President of the Inventors Association of GA

Validate Before Patenting – People are scared of others stealing their idea, so they immediately run to patent attorneys to protect their brainchild. However, you could be senselessly wasting money if your idea isn’t even feasible in the first place. Take the time to validate your business model before going off to patent your product. Attending special sessions (e.g. inventor societies) where people share business ideas without disclosing critical information is a great way to get criticism about your product.

Tony Marzullo – President of Global Auto Solutions

Not Charging Correctly- Most new business owners tend to undervalue what they charge for their work and services in order to compensate for not being as established as their competitors. As long as you have a top notch customer service experience and offer a product that’s similar or better than a competitor, you shouldn’t devalue yourself.   Tony recommends talking with your client before you set a specific charge which will then ensure on both ends a happy median of price expectations.

Don Turner – Managing Director of Transverse Ventures

Putting Together The Right Team – Assembling an entourage of complimentary backgrounds, new perspectives, and varying degrees of experience are crucial to building a team.  Decoupling management and leadership from the operating model of the business is highly important as well. Over time, team elements will change.  If something happens within a team — perhaps someone leaves or is fired — the business can at least keep running and will not be sunk because of the one failing element.

Ben Sabrin – Founder and Chief Executive Officer of eHire LLC

If You Are Going to Fail, Fail Fast.- Mistakes happen. What is important is to realize them early on and take action as soon as possible.  Whether that be firing someone, changing your plan of action on a situation, or training an employee accordingly if you see potential for growth.

Andrew Saltzman – Co-Founder/Owner of Big League Broadcasting

Don’t Forget Where You Started – Culture in a business are extremely important.  It is easy to get away from your values and what you believe in by becoming “too corporate”, especially once you start to see success. Make sure you always remember where you started and where you ultimately want to be, and don’t forget about the people that helped you along the way.

Andrea Arena – CEO of 2 Places at 1 Time

Under-Capitalization – When you under-capitalize your business from the beginning, you end up starting in a hole of debt, which in return can be hard to grow the company when needed. Under-capitalizing limits you to growing only as fast as you can make the money, so if you’re in high demand, you won’t be able to produce as much as demand requires. If you were well funded before you needed the money, you would be able to grow accordingly with production and productivity, which in return would save a lot of time and energy in the long run.

Frank and Rhonda Duffy – co-CEO’s of Duffy Realty of Atlanta

Consistency with Customers – Frank and Rhonda receive 92% of their real estate leads from referrals and they believe the reason it is so high is because they treat every customer the same no matter what the circumstance. They don’t make special deals for certain people, they have the same “menu” for everyone. Duffy Realty of Atlanta – The Competitive Edge.

We have all made mistakes as business owners.  The key is not making the same mistakes twice, and surrounding yourself by advisors and employees who can help you stay focused on increasing your bottom line.  At oXYGen Financial and oXYGen Financial Tax and Business Services, we can help you with financial planning, accounting, and strategic advice to help your business succeed.  Call us at 1-800-355-9318 for a FREE consultation today.

Business Owner Solutions

oXYGen Financial, Inc. co-CEO’s Kile Lewis and Ted Jenkin are two of the foremost knowledgeable professionals in giving financial advice to the X and Y Generation.  Learn more by visiting www.oxygenfinancial.net to see what the professionals at oXYGen Financial can do for you!

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About the author  ⁄ Ted Jenkin @ Your Smart Money Moves

Ted Jenkin @ Your Smart Money Moves


My friends and family all think I’m a workaholic, but I say I’m just a guy that loves to help people do better in life.

My mother is still the only one that calls me by my real name Theodore Michael, my wife calls me Teddy, but for the rest of you it is just plain old Ted.

Ever since I was a little kid, I always loved money and being an entrepreneur. In fact, I still have cassette tapes of me talking to my grandmother at the age of five and my mother tells me all the time how much I played with money as a kid...

Read More About Ted Here

Ted Jenkin is a frequent guest columnist for the Wall Street Journal and Headline News Weekend Express. He is the co-CEO of oXYGen Financial. You can follow him on LinkedIn @ www.linkedin.com/in/theceoadvisor or on Twitter @tedjenkin.

Securities offered through Kestra Investment Services, LLC (Kestra IS), member FINRA/SIPC. Investment advisory services offered through Kestra Advisory Services, LLC (Kestra AS), an affiliate of Kestra IS. oXYGen Financial is not affiliated with Kestra IS or Kestra AS. Kestra IS and Kestra AS do not provide tax or legal advice.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and may not necessarily reflect those held by Kestra Investment Services, LLC or Kestra Advisory Services, LLC. This is for general information only and is not intended to provide specific investment advice or recommendations for any individual. It is suggested that you consult your financial professional, attorney, or tax advisor regarding your individual situation. 

Background and qualification information is available at FINRA's BrokerCheck website.

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