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Avoid These Startup Snafus

Three established entrepreneurs share their most infamous startup slip-ups and how they would craft a do-over.

We asked three established entrepreneurs for their most infamous startup slip-ups and how they would craft a do-over.

Entrepreneur:
Sunny Bonnell, 33, co-founder of Motto Agency, a brand and design firm in Myrtle Beach, S.C. Founded in 2003, the company's year-end sales are projected to reach about $1 million.

Lesson Learned:
"As a woman business owner, I would have reached out to organizations like Count Me In for Women's Economic Independence a lot sooner than I did. They have helped me build our networks on a national level (i.e., establish partnerships with FedEx, OPEN from American Express and Dell) and given us access to mentorship, marketing opportunities and business resources."
 



Entrepreneur:
Anthony Mongeluzo, 28, founder of The Pro Computer Service LLC, an IT services company in Medford, N.J. He founded the company in 2002 and now has annual revenue in excess of $2 million.

Lesson Learned:
"I would have treated my company like a real business and not looked upon it as a stepchild. I would have given it the same full effort every day and not wasted my energy from 9 to 5 with my employer grasping for a moment or two to sneak in a quick call to one of my clients."
 

Entrepreneur:
Kris Putnam-Walkerly, 40, founder of Putnam Community Investment Consulting Inc., a Cleveland-based philanthropy consulting firm for foundations and nonprofits. She founded the company in 1999 and projects 2009 revenue to approach $1 million.

Lesson Learned:
"I should have conducted more regular financial analysis of the business early on to help me understand which types of services and clients were most profitable and to allow me to make more informed decisions as I grew."

 

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This article was originally published in the June 2009 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Startup Snafus: What Would You Do Differently?.

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