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5 Mistakes Millennial Entrepreneurs Make With Money

I’ve seen too many start-ups die because the founders blew the money. Here’s how your start-up can avoid becoming the next victim.

Andrew Medal

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Building a new company isn’t easy. Only a fraction of the start-ups founded each year survive for five years, and even fewer are run by young entrepreneurs. Business leaders who have experience running companies tend to be more likely to found a successful start-up than first-timers – which many millennials are.

That being said, there are some advantages to being a millennial entrepreneur. The generation is known for having innovative ideas, drive and spirit, all factors that can contribute to building a successful company. The trick is to avoid being among the 24 percent of failed start-ups that crashed due to running out of money.

Here are some mistakes to avoid, so that you don’t become just another statistic.

1Managing cash flow poorly

The amount of cash moving in and out of a startup needs to be managed extremely well, especially early on. According to the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants, 82 percent of businesses fail due to not paying attention to cash flow. Unfortunately, a lot of millennials aren’t financially savvy, making cash flow management a significant liability for a millennial-run business.

To avoid this mistake, you just need to pay attention to what’s going on with your finances. Look at where all income comes from and how it’s all spent. Set up a system – as simple as an Excel document – to keep track of everything. If you don’t, you leave yourself open to issues such as not knowing profit margins, not having the records necessary to get investors or unnoticed theft.

Related: 10 Young Entrepreneurs Under 30 Share Their Start-Up Secrets

2Fundraising too much, too soon

It can be easy to spend a lot of time planning how to raise money from investors and venture capital firms early on in a start-up. A lot of young entrepreneurs consider the amount of money raised at the beginning a measure of success. Focusing too much on fundraising, however, can be bad for business.

Spending all of your precious time and energy on generating as much funding as possible can take you away from other, more important tasks. For instance, instead of setting up solid business strategies and planning thorough marketing pushes, millennials can get caught up in the fundraising game.

Keep in mind that with the right planning, your business will make money.

If your business makes money, you can run your startup with minimal outside control or ownership. That’s often a lot more valuable than some cash in your pocket at the starting gate.

3Trying to control it all

It’s very common for young start-up leaders to try to control everything because they feel they are the only ones who know their products, services and business plans inside and out. However, along with the risk of burnout, taking over all aspects of your financial planning can hurt your success.

Due to the relative inexperience of many millennial entrepreneurs, it’s usually a good idea to get advice and input on your financial strategies – whether that’s from an accountant, a financial planner or a friendly neighbourhood business person with an eye for finances. If you don’t, you run the risk of making inadvisable financial decisions that could tank your start-up.

Another option is to hire a person or team to help out. As long as you make your vision clear, outside help can save your bank account and your sanity.

Related: 9 Top Tips For Young Entrepreneurs

4Hiring the wrong people

staff members

It’s important to hire a team that will have your back and occasionally save you from yourself, but hiring weak team members can quickly drain your finances and ruin your startup. Be conscious of whom you’re hiring and any assets and liabilities they bring with them.

The costs associated with hiring the wrong people are significant. Not only are you paying their salaries, you also must pay for training, recruitment and other related expenses. Further, weak employees result in lost productivity and sales. If you aren’t getting a return on your investment, then what’s the point?

With this risk, it can be tempting to hire low-cost employees and consultants. Don’t fall into this trap – you’ll often pay for it in the long run, as they can be inexperienced or unreliable, costing you more later on.

5Spending in the wrong places

Millennials are an idealistic generation, there’s no doubt about it. As great as this characteristic can be for coming up with innovative ideas for start-ups, it can also get in the way of practicality. For instance, many young entrepreneurs spend too much money on developing their new product or service, and not enough marketing it.

Related: 8 Reasons Young Entrepreneurs, or the Young at Heart, Lead the Way

If you spend all of your time and finances on trying to perfect a prototype without getting out in the field and selling it, you lose out on several advantages such as customer feedback, users and acquisitions. You will waste time that you could spend interacting with your customer base and learning what they really want.

There’s no reason that millennials can’t found successful start-ups. With the drive and spirit of this generation, innovation is limitless. By avoiding financial pitfalls, young entrepreneurs can put their big ideas into action.

This article was originally posted here on Entrepreneur.com.

Andrew Medal is the founder and CEO of creative agency Agent Beta, which fuses together clever and creative design with advanced technology to help companies and brands thrive. He recently published his first book, Hacking the Valley. Follow his personal blog at AndrewMedal.com where you'll find life advice, inspiration and entertainment.

Personal Finance

6 Ways To Develop A Millionaire Mindset

Chasing money has remarkably little to do with getting rich.

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If you truly want to have a million dollars, you must first be and think like a millionaire. By doing so, you will attract the necessary resources to you.

So, you want to become a millionaire entrepreneur? You’re not alone. Many dream of leaving their job and becoming their own boss, enjoying the various millionaire lifestyles we watch on TV. But there’s a difference between those who dream of becoming millionaires and those who do. And it begins and ends with mindset. If you don’t develop that mindset, you will continue to spin your wheels, working just as hard, but never going anywhere.

Developing a millionaire mindset requires you to stretch your thinking. Start by developing the following six attributes.

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Personal Finance

10 Tips To Become A Millionaire This Year

Becoming a millionaire requires changing your mindset and implementing some changes.

Murray Newlands

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Becoming a millionaire may seem out of your reach, but it’s possible with the right attitude and guidance. The fact of the matter is your income can only grow as quickly as you do, so you need to change your mindset to achieve your goal of becoming a millionaire.

Once you have a millionaire mind, you can’t lose it, no matter what financial or business mistakes you make along the way. To get yourself there, you’re going to need some structure. To help you, I’ve outlined the top ten tips you should follow to become a millionaire this year.

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Personal Finance

If You Think These 5 Things, You’ll Never Get Rich By The Time You’re 30

Five common mistakes entrepreneurs make when starting a business and how to correct them.

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Last week, I had lunch with a millennial who wanted some advice about a business he’s starting. After the usual small talk, we got down to discussing his business plan. Within a short time, it was clear that his business idea was great, his plan for executing was fairly solid and he had gathered together a strong team to help him make it happen.

So far, so good. But, to be frank, this guy has no chance of being successful with his current mentality. What it takes to be rich (or successful in any measure) has a lot more to do with your mindset than your ideas and plans.

From the time we started in business at the ripe ages of six and seven, our Grandpa Joe taught my brother Matthew and me many lessons about the details of running a profitable business. Over the years, we learned about how to create a business plan; how to market our products and services; and how to take care of customers, vendors and employees. All this knowledge has been invaluable to us in creating and running successful businesses. But, what our grandfather taught us about attitude and mindset trumps all other lessons.

Without calling out the specific individual I spoke with recently, below are five “hypothetical” attitudes that will get you nowhere in your journey to success – and the attitudes that should replace them.

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