As you begin formulating your winning business plan, be wary of some of the common traps new entrepreneurs fall into:

Trap #1:  Failing to plan is planning to fail

Effective planning means more than writing goals on a piece of paper.  It means taking personal responsibility to prepare you emotionally and practically to be a business owner.  Unrealistic assumptions and poorly written plans communicate a lack of preparation to investors.

Trap #2:  Plan your exit – do you want a business or a job?

Many novice entrepreneurs create businesses that become their jobs rather than provide the freedom and passive income they dreamed of.  As a result of poor planning, many new businesses generate little to no cash flow and require the full time effort of the owner.  If your dream is to have both personal and financial freedom, plan to build a business that can at some point run itself and provide excessive cash flow. Recognize, though, that it often takes many years of blood, sweat and tears to get to that point.

Trap #3:  Many novices want to “do it their way”

By failing to educate themselves in the basics of operating a business, new entrepreneurs fail to surround themselves with a competent team of employees, advisors and mentors.  They are solo players instead of team player.

Avoid these traps as you plan for your new business and you will be on the road to success.