Building your own business from scratch is no mean feat, and if you want to find success, you should avoid the top mistakes business owners make.

No matter how much enthusiasm and energy you bring to the table when starting a business, you will run into problems at some point.

This is all part of the learning curve.

Small business owners, in particular, are vulnerable to falling into the same traps and mistakes.

Unfortunately, the mistakes business owners make can ultimately make the difference between running a successful business or falling into a money trap that could leave them in a great deal of financial pain further down the track. 

There are ways to protect against those mistakes, and one of the most important is to include an arbitration clause in all contracts you enter.

Why? Because you can gain swift, effective and reasonable recourse to justice if you are owed money.

Rather than go through the calvary of filing a civil lawsuit, you can file everything online for a fraction of the cost of going to court. 

So what are the common mistakes that business owners make?

Trying to get rich quick

One of the biggest mistakes you can make in business is thinking that you can get rich quick.

Sometimes people do strike it lucky, but most businesses take 10 to 15 years before achieving their goals. Overnight success takes 15 years, as the adage goes.

Success takes time, effort, perseverance and sometimes a bit of luck.

To succeed in the long term, you need to give your business the time to grow.

No entrepreneur is planning to fail, and you should give your business the space and time to find its niche.

Assuming that you have no competition or are better than the competition

Even if you are convinced no one has ever tried your business idea, assume that someone somewhere will be your competitor.

They may not be a direct competitor, but they can dent your business nonetheless.

Even more dangerous is the tendency to assume that your product or service is superior to others.

Market research shows that many businesses fail due to this attitude.

Not updating your business plan

As we already mentioned, you will hit some bumps on the way when you are running a small business. 

You might have meticulously put your business plan together, but you will need to tweak parts of it and totally overhaul others to fit in with your reality.

Not paying attention to your marketing strategy

When was the last time you reviewed your marketing strategy?

Have you analyzed your data to see if you are reaching the right target audience?

If your marketing strategy is planned well, it can make a massive difference to your bottom line.

On the other hand, if poorly designed, it can also negatively impact your profits.

Trying to do it all

Many business owners fall into the trap of trying to do everything from their bookkeeping to legal research and even the washing up.

Yes, any business owner can do it all, but they tend to do it all quite poorly when they do.

So invest in good staff, outsource, and look offshore. Only take on what you know you can do well. 

Not setting SMART goals

Setting unrealistic goals will drain the business spirit out of you.

Instead, make sure you set yourself Specific, Measurable, Accountable, Realistic, and Time-Specific goals.

Then, measure your business performance against the goals you have selected, and you will be able to get a clearer picture of how your business is performing.

Not protecting intellectual property

Businesses must safeguard their intellectual property.

This includes patents, trademarks and copyrights.

For example, if a rival business were to file a patent over the top of your business product or service, you could end up owing fees or not even being able to trade. 

Not protecting your cash flow

Protecting your cash flow is critical for any business. Not doing this is one of the more common mistakes business owners make.

It would help if you ensured that there is enough liquidity you can access to buy stock, pay wages, and pay bills and loans.

Drilling down deeper into the specifics, protecting your cash flow is imperative for collecting debts that are owed to you.

Considering that the US Civil Law Courts are completely overwhelmed in their backlog of cases, even if you did eventually get your money, you would be left with cents to the dollar returns after fees and costs.

So what is your alternative? Read our next point about using an alternative dispute resolution through online arbitration.

Not protecting your business with an arbitration clause

Having an arbitration clause in your contracts will allow you to file claims for money owed to you at a fraction of the price and much more swiftly than a Civil Lawsuit.

Online arbitration is a form of online dispute resolution. The rules of arbitration and the process are simple. If a clause is included in a contract, a claimant can file against a respondent online using a dedicated platform.

Brief is the online arbitration market leader. Our platform is 100 per cent online and is cheaper and quicker than traditional brick-and-mortar institutions. 

Brief turns around a typical arbitration claim in 45 days, compared to 410 days in traditional arbitration.

A typical claim will be 80 per cent cheaper than traditional arbitration and starts at $600.

With an arbitration agreement in place, you can get the money you are owed and put it back into your business, where it belongs.

Brief makes it easy with its process involving six easy steps. First, you upload your claim and any supporting documents and evidence, and the defendant submits their counter-evidence.

If they do not do so within the stipulated time frame, they will find themselves in default, and an award will be made against them.

If they contest the claim, an impartial EJudge is assigned to decide the claim, and they rule in your favor, and you prevail, a final and binding arbitration award is rendered.

This can be filed in a state courthouse to be reduced to an enforceable judgment. (Binding awards are issued if the agreement calls for a binding award.)  

The entire process is managed on its proprietary online platform, from filing a claim to discovery and a final decision.

The question is: Do you have a proper arbitration clause in your financial contracts if any at all?

Use a template of a standard Arbitration Clause and tailor it to your business

Brief makes it easy with its clause builder platform.

Of course, each contract and deal is different.

But essentially, dispute resolution clauses should have the following (or similar) text included: “The parties to this contract hereby agree to resolve legal disputes exclusively through binding arbitration”. 

The above text means parties agree that arbitration will be a legally binding process that can be used if a dispute arises.

Brief offers a free-to-use arbitration clause example that you can customize to suit your needs. 

The arbitration clause sample comes in both long-form and short-form.

Including an arbitration clause or provision in your contracts ensures that you are serious about collecting unpaid debt and leaves no room for confusion.

Are you ready to recover what you are owed?

Brief has helped small and large businesses across the United States recover debts that were not worth the cost of traditional litigation or arbitration if not for online dispute resolution.

Register now on our online portal. If a dispute arises, submitting your claim is a simple process, all for a flat upfront fee.

Satisfied and repeat participants include electronic commerce sites (Fintech), factors, banks, MCAs, and other lenders. 

Brief also handles all types of monetary disputes and declaratory relief actions such as quiet title, coverage claims and warranty claims.   

Our screened network of Ejudges spreads across all 50 states, and each case is matched to the jurisdiction and subject matter expertise of the Ejudge.

You can request a demo from our homepage or call one of our arbitration consultants today on tel: +12134443794. Alternatively, drop us an email at [email protected] to book an obligation-free consultation.


Brief is a market-leading online arbitration platform in the United States. Our 100 percent online alternative dispute resolution platform helps businesses protect their contracts and agreements through online arbitration. Follow us on LinkedIn or Facebook for updates and news about online arbitration and more.

*Brief cannot and will not give legal advice on any matters, financial or not.

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We've made the process of protecting your contracts easy.

It starts with a simple update to the dispute resolution language within your agreements, and that’s it. No upfront fees and transparent pricing when claims are submitted.

Let’s get started with a few quick questions about your business, and we’ll suggest a dispute resolution clause that you can adopt into your agreements.