It is undeniable that being an entrepreneur can be challenging. That's because more ventures fail than succeed. If you are smart enough, it would be best to learn from their mistakes.
Keep on reading to discover ten common mistakes entrepreneurs make when starting a business.
1. Lack of a business plan
Whether you want to set up an online business or start a corporation, you must have a comprehensive plan.
Ideally, this should include market research, proper financial forecasting, competitive analysis, and more. Your business plan should also include how your operation cost will be. Another thing to add is product costing, as it can help determine how you can keep your business afloat.
It is imperative to make your business plan a living document. After you write it down, you should keep coming back to it as you move forward with your business journey.
2. Intimidated by technology
Technology can bring your business to great heights. It lets you do your work more efficiently and save money.
Although new technology might be quite intimidating at first, it needs time for you to learn and understand.
Being inflexible or unwilling to adapt to these technological advances can hinder your growth. That's why it would be best to learn new technology as they come.
Is there a new app available in the market? Sign up for a free trial to discover how it can help your business.
It is always a good idea to explore how to avoid costly mistakes in the future with simple software solutions that everyone can use.
3. Not understanding the market
Many entrepreneurs know their industry quite well yet fail to understand their target market. They are an expert with the products and services they sell, but they're not sure who will be paying for their products and services.
You need to test this product-market fit in a small way. Somehow, you have to be sure that you're developing a Ford Model T, not an Edsel.
4. Overextending yourself
Over time, you'll mentally burn out or risk running your resources if you try to do everything all at once quickly.
So, make sure that you try to pace yourself and that you're in this for the long haul. Running a business isn't a sprint but a marathon. As cliche as it sound, slow and steady wins the race.
5. Neglecting financial planning
It's relatively common for entrepreneurs to try to neglect things like financial planning. They might not even think about how much capital they need to get their business up and running. As a result, they'll end up with inadequate financing to help them achieve their goals.
To avoid this from happening, ensure that you'll be preparing your business's financial projection, at least for the first year. Doing so allows you to secure your financing, as well as investments. For example, having a stable financial structure will make it easier for your business to be sold if that time comes. Investors usually work with business brokers that represent SMB's that have real value and a positive financial plan.
6. Not asking for help
You can't try doing everything by yourself. Running a business often involves so many tasks that not a single person can do them well.
Even if you have the skills and you're great at what you do, chances are, you'll be constrained by time. You're lucky if you have everything else planned even before the day started.
To sidestep this business mistake of trying to do it all and increase your chances of success, you need to ask for help from the get-go.
Know when to delegate, outsource, or hire people so that you can get the most out of your skills or even gain outside expertise. It doesn't hurt to take some time and explore how you can hire someone from another part of the world through freelance platforms such as Upwork or Upwork competitors.
For instance, can you do all the accounting for your business? Or maybe you might want to work with an accountant, as they have more tax and financial knowledge than you have.
Doing so allows you to save a lot of time (and money!) in the long run.
7. Fear of failure
One of the common reasons many new businesses never see the light of day is the fear of failure.
Of course, there's always a chance that you aren't going to succeed. But you'll never know unless you try. Giving in to this kind of fear leads you to commit poor decisions and avoid confrontations to help your business go forward.
Keep in mind that failure is integral in making you grow and thrive as an entrepreneur. It also allows you to appreciate the success that you can reap later on.
So, the ability to brush yourself up and keep going will be one thing that will set you apart from the competition.
8. Failing to set up an online presence
The modern world heavily relies on the internet today. When setting up your business, you have to carry that presence and consistency online. The best way to do it is optimizing Google My Business, and editing information on your social media accounts so they are up to date.
Your site is more than just a platform to promote or sell your company's products and services. It should allow you to distinguish yourself from your competitors or the rest of the pack. The easiest way to do so is by creating interesting and useful content on your blog. The best advice is to always explore how to use the blog in the best way possible to optimise the website and to tell stories about your niche that are relevant.
9. Not listening to your customers
An opinion of a single customer is as important as that with the other 1,000.
Your customers are the people who make your business succeed in the first place. The feedback, reviews, or questions they have will be necessary to you more than anything else.
When your customers buy your products or try your service, they'll expect them to benefit from it or solve their problem. If they're satisfied, they might make a repeat purchase or even recommend your business to others.
Therefore, you need to understand why your customers keep coming back and make a purchase.
10. Lowering your prices
Many businesses tend to lower their prices to attract more customers. But this is often a huge mistake.
If you don't include an appropriate profit margin in your products, your business won't generate revenue. And it's crucial to have enough income to keep your business running.
Moreover, the way you price your products and services can impact how customers perceive your brand. Hence, you should price your products and services appropriately.
It is common to see new entrepreneurs making mistakes, and that is okay. What's not okay is doing them over and over. That said, we hope that you learn a thing or two from this post and make your business grow.
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