Starting a business is an exciting yet stressful time.

There’s no doubt that due to being a little over excited and trying to cover all bases, a lot of time can be wasted, leading to even more stress.

I find that a lot of new business owners will often say ‘there are not enough hours in a day,’ but the key to having ‘more hours’ is to work smarter and more efficiently.

Based on my own case studies, I have found that many new business owners fall into the trap of spending too much time asking the wrong questions and focusing on the little things when their time would be better spent elsewhere.


Here are the top time-wasting habits that I see with small business owners. Try not to fall into the trap!


You are asking the wrong questions 

It’s not uncommon for a new business owner to get fixated on the little things. After all, now is the time to get systems in place but focusing too much on the little things takes you way from planning for the bigger things, such as the growth and develop for your business.

For example, in the early stages, spending hours planning how your business card will look is a waste of your time. Those things can come later.

For a start-up business owner, the right questions would be along the lines of:

  • ‘How can I differentiate my marketing from my competitors?’
  • ‘What systems can I start my business with to enable fast growth?’,
  • ‘What are the three best questions to ask when interviewing potential staff?’

Getting the fundamentals and the structure locked in is phase one. You can spend time on the little things later.


Asking too many people for advice 

Have you every heard of paralysis by analysis? This happens when you ask too many people for opinions and you give each opinion equal consideration.

While it’s good to ask for advice, my suggestion is to get advice from three people who know what you need.

People with runs on the board who are not giving an opinion, but instead speaking based on experience and their success in business

Ignore the doubters, within reason.

While it’s good to have back up plans in place in case something in your business falls over, don’t dwell on the many ways that things can go wrong.

Focus on what you can do right!


Roll with the punches

While it is great to have marketing and business plans in place because they help to keep you on track, it is equally important to not be too rigid with them.


Because if you are not flexible with these, then how do you expect to be able to move and adapt with the trends that are relevant to you.

There’s no point letting a newsworthy opportunity pass you by because it doesn’t fit in with a plan that you made six months ago.

Use your six month plans as a guide, but don’t be afraid to veer in another direction if a better opportunity arises.


Focus on you, focus less on your competition.

Spending too much time focusing on the competition can create doubt and take your focus away from what you want to create.

Spend your time putting your energy into your own product and your own brand.

Stay true to your original vision, create new ideas and strategies to take your business to the next level and keep your team happy and excited to be working for you.

Business will come!


Don’t get trapped in the office

This is a mistake that many new business owners make. While it is easy to get lost in emails and the creation of documents and systems,

developing strong relationships with new staff and customers as well as networking in their local area and setting up joint venture partners is very important, especially in the early phases of the business.

I recommend setting two specific times each day to check emails and outsourcing other low value tasks.

Get out for a quick coffee and lunch each day and swap business cards with everyone you meet.

After all, according to John C Maxwell “Your network, determines your net worth”, so get out there and spend time developing strong industry connections.

Also, look for ways that you can help others.

It is a two way street!

Share this:

Thanks for reading

Words by

Steve Grant is an expert in business coaching for gym owners with 18 years of fitness industry experience including 4 years as a Health and Wellness Lecturer at ACPE and 8 years as the owner of one of Sydney’s most profitable fitness studios.