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Starting and running a business are two of the most stress, demanding and rewarding endeavors you can undertake. While the demands are high, so are the payoffs if you do it right. One of the ways you can stack the odds in your favor is to know what to watch for as you navigate your way through the process. These 5 pitfalls are perhaps the most common and knowing about them ahead of time could save you a world of trouble.

Seeing It as a Job Instead of a Business

Many businesses start out because people simply want to do what they love. While that can provide great inspiration, it’s important to view the enterprise as a business and not simply a job. Your eventual goal should be working less on the day-to-day things and coordinating Big Picture growth.

Forgetting the Flow

When you’re working with a goal in mind, it can be easy to lose sight of all the things that go into creating a successful business. Issues like inventory flow, day to day reporting and even overall resource and inventory management can easily become blind spots. Invest in the software, tools and people you need to ensure all departments are running smoothly.

Taking on Partners

Business partnerships can work, but that doesn’t mean they’re always a good idea. Your best bet is to hire the people who can help your business as regular employees, contractors or consultants. That way you’ll get all the benefit of their help and expertise without having to give up equity in your fledgling business.

It’s Not Always All About the Idea

A great idea can launch a business, but it’s the people involved who will ultimately make it a success or doom it to failure. Don’t put all the emphasis on what you have to offer without ensuring you’re delivering stellar service and a pleasant buying experience for customers.

Not Planning for Problems

No matter what your business, no matter what you’re selling and regardless of how great your service is, there will always be problems. Understand what can happen (returns, inventory fluctuations, issues with vendors, etc.) and have back up plans in place so you — and your team — can handle issues before they become a full-blown crisis.