Being an entrepreneur requires that you are intelligent, focused, and passionate.  As such, most business fail in the first year because the entrepreneur either doesn’t have those qualities, or makes one of the following mistakes.

No Business Plan:
How can you expect to accomplish anything if you haven’t actually sat down and made a map of your goals.  A detailed, well-written business plan that maps out the comapanies missions, goals, and financials is a must if you intend to succeed. The biggest reason behind this is that it requires you to do some research into your industry, better understand your market, and have a cohesive grasp of what you intend to do.  Even more importantly.. if you want investment, your going to need something other than an elevator pitch.

Rapid Expansion:
Don’t take on more business than you can handle, and make sure you customers understand your limits.  If you don’t follow this rule, you tarnish your name, and bye-bye company. One of the other more common mistakes a infant and growing company makes is trying to appear bigger than they are by hiring too many employees, and getting a plush office. This can easily lead into …

Running out of Money:
If you don’t have a business plan, you most likely didn’t make sales projections, expense budgets, etc.. Therefore, you will most likely run out of money.  When you start your business, be sure to have a rock star accountant that you talk to often.  If you can’t obtain angel funding or other investment, consider a small business loan.

Not having a solid marketing plan:
How are you going to reach your customers?.. Did you assume that you were just great, and they would come flocking to you?  Be sure to have a firm grasp on your competitors strategies, and a large enough budget to experiment with different marketing tactics.  If cold-calling is your marketing plan, don’t expect to do anything else (like actually run your business)

Not creating a distinct brand:
Who are you?  What makes you unique?  Make sure you have a brand that reflects these traits, and you have a winner.  Unless you have something that will stick in the mind of your customers and potential clients… you’ll lose out to the person who does.  Why do you think even the largest of comapanies are constantly micro-adjusting their brand.

Not being Passionate:
If you are not passionate about what you are doing.. just quit.  You have to have that fire deep inside of you that you forces you into battle when you try to sleep at night.  An unbridled attraction towards the business and concept that it promotes.  If the business doesn’t excite you up front, you won’t have the extra push that it takes to break through to success.

Being a quitter:
Some of the most successful businesses have started out as failures. If something isn’t working… be adept to change, rethink, remold, and redeploy.. if that doesn’t work, rinse and repeat.  re, re, re.. just keep going. The moment you stop trying.. You’ve failed, and so has your business.

Jake is a financial services and entrepreneurship expert.. Article on entrepreneur, obstacles, business plan, marketing, strategy, advice by Jake Bohall