It's pretty normal to make mistakes as an entrepreneur.
Nobody successfully launches a business without encountering a few challenges on the way. While making a mistake once in a while is okay, repeating the same or not learning from the mistakes made by others can sometimes be disastrous.
According to a Review Study by Harvard Business, 75% of startups in the United States fail. Furthermore, only about half of these businesses make it to their fifth anniversary, and only 33% make it to their tenth.
This shows how challenging it can be to create a successful startup and be an entrepreneur.
To help you out, we have listed some common mistakes that business owners sometimes make so that you don’t end up making them while running your own business.
The eight mistakes that Entrepreneurs sometimes end up making in their quest for success
Not creating a proper business plan
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“He who fails to plan is planning to fail.”
This quote aptly summarises the importance of business planning.
A business plan is essential for running a successful business. It may be a formal, well-written business plan or just your thoughts on what the business should do and how it should do it jotted down on a paper. A good plan is basically the roadmap your company needs to follow to ensure its success.
You have a better probability of success if you create a business plan.
Create a business plan that outlines your long- and short-term objectives, financial targets, and anticipated overhead expenses. Ask and address all queries you may have, including:
- What challenges will you encounter?
- How are you going to raise money?
- How do you visualize the future of your business?
Before taking any risks, the best way to move forward is to write a detailed business plan. Additionally, to support your endeavors, potential investors will also want to see your plan.
The business plan should ideally include more than just your financial goals.
It should outline how the business will make money and answer key questions such as;
Will you only rely on software subscriptions?
Will you have paid ads?
Will you engage in affiliate marketing?
Are you going to invest in content marketing?
These are just some of the fundamentals of good business planning and something all entrepreneurs need to follow if they want their business to succeed.
Make sure that you follow this rule without fail.
Spending too little or too much money
Of course, money will be one of your primary concerns as a new entrepreneur. Making and saving money will typically take precedence over everything else because pre-launch cash flow is likely to be limited.
New business owners typically have two mindsets: "You have to spend money to make money" or "I'll spend as little as possible until I have adequate cash flow." Instead, strike a middle ground. When taken to the extreme, both of these attitudes may be detrimental. Consider your costs and financial situation as you develop your business and aim to spend just enough but not too much.
Don't be too scared to invest in quality people and products while using your startup capital wisely.
Don't pay your employees more than they are worth, but be aware that you may have to pay a little more for a skilled worker (and do your research to ensure you're paying market rates). Employees are the foundation of any business and the right team will be immensely beneficial in the long run.
Turning a blind eye to the legal aspects
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You might unintentionally make legal mistakes early on in your business. These difficulties may worsen over time, becoming impassable obstacles that will prevent the success for your company.
At the outset itself, hire a lawyer and let them handle all of your legal matters. Your lawyer will be available to respond to your inquiries, handle any legal issues, and guide your company through any rough waters.
Unavoidably, you will make mistakes along the way, but use those mistakes to improve your company. Knowing that you have done your homework, made the best decisions, and adequately prepared yourself is the right path to success.
Believing there are no direct competitors for you
The excitement surrounding a new product or company can frequently cause new entrepreneurs to believe they don't have any direct competition or that their product is so superior to their competitors that they are in a class by themselves.
It's incredibly uncommon to have no direct competitors in the real world. Unless you've created a completely original product, there will already be a competitor in your niche with a larger market share. Conduct the necessary research to learn more about these businesses and how to set your company apart from them.
Working long hours
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The biggest mistake business owners make is working long hours, everyday.
Workdays of 10 or 12 hours, or even longer, are frequently the norm, which should not be the case. The secret is to work harder when you're motivated, not just because you think you're getting more done.
Consequently, you will end up with stress and burnout. Working long hours and placing too much pressure on oneself leads to a stressful environment.
According to scientific research, productivity peaks at 50 hours per week. However, it starts to fall off after 50 hours. In reality, a worker who works 70 hours a week doesn't accomplish any more than a worker who works an average of 55 hours.
You may believe that you are unique or consistently productive, but that is untrue. For optimal performance, both our body and mental capabilities need adequate rest.
Taking frequent, brief breaks will help you be more productive if you have a long day ahead of you. Using the Pomodoro Technique system is a simple way to put this into practice throughout the day.
The Pomodoro Technique, created by Francesco Cirillo in the 1980s, entails working for 25 minutes and taking a 5-minute break. Then, before beginning the next work session, pause for 10 minutes after 4 Pomodoro cycles. You can keep track using the timer on your phone.
Of course, once you get going, ideas will start to flow, and you'll have no trouble working on them until everything is finished. Using this technique will help you avoid procrastination and keep your mind active.
Making time for vacations is also necessary. You can take a week off, even though you might feel like you must be at work every day. Like short breaks increase productivity, longer breaks (like vacations) increase the standard and creativity of your work.
Entrepreneurs may not always enjoy a two-day weekend and a consistent salary. Still, launching your own business is far more rewarding if you genuinely enjoy creating and working on new concepts.
Don’t be a workaholic; instead, focus on enjoying a perfect work-life balance. That will help you build a successful business in the long run.
Trying to manage everything on their own
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Too many business owners make the error of believing that they can launch a company and manage everything on their own. To some extent, it makes sense because their cherished "nobody can do this better than I can" spirit is a significant factor in their decision to become business owners in the first place.
But coming up with an excellent idea for a novel new product or service and launching a profitable business are two entirely different concepts and should be treated as such.
As an entrepreneur, you must use your time for expansion and innovation. You cannot do it all if you want your business to succeed. Up to 56% of business owners acknowledge having knowledge gaps in certain areas, like insurance or legal issues. Nevertheless, 66% of them refuse to think about outsourcing those jobs!
If you are skeptical of having high staff recruitment costs or adding unnecessary overheads to your business at the initial stage, you can consider hiring virtual assistants.
A Virtual Assistant is a perfect option for outsourcing your daily, recurring but essential work. It will help you free up substantial time you can use to network and grow your business. Moreover, you don’t have to worry about the extra overheads usually associated with in-office employees, such as taxes, bonuses, office rentals, equipment, etc.
Not focusing enough on marketing the business
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Another grave mistake many newer business owners make is underestimating the benefits of marketing when launching a new company.
That there are already quite a few companies offering products and services is a given fact, no matter how original your idea for a product or service may be. In such a scenario, it’s crucial to stand out from the crowd, which marketing can help you achieve.
Marketing can help you make your target market aware of your offerings and connect with you whenever they have a requirement you can quickly fulfill.
Entrepreneurs need to use marketing to achieve important goals such as;
- Brand awareness
- Create awareness about your company's offerings
- Make your target audience understand the difference between you and your competitors.
- Build a loyal brand following
Prioritizing your product over customers
Putting your customers' needs first is essential when developing your product and choosing your business model. However, many new business owners are so focused on making money (which is understandable) or developing products that they overlook the necessity of satisfying customers. Yet, that is something very essential for the success of your business in the long run.
You may have a genuinely novel idea for a new product or service. That's fantastic, but you can't expect customers to rush out and enthusiastically purchase it if it doesn't add anything useful to their lives.
When you have a solid concept for your good or service, sit down and ask yourself these questions:
- Who would want this, and why?
- What can a person do now that they could not do without it?
- What obstacle does your ideal client have to overcome, and how does this solution help?
- How does this alleviate the pain your ideal customer is feeling?
- What needs does your ideal client have, and how does this product help them meet them?
If your product or service isn't giving your customers the best value possible and fulfilling their needs, it's a problem for your business in the long run.
The life of an entrepreneur is challenging, but the rewards are sweet.
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Unfortunately, only a few entrepreneurs are successful immediately, while others need to rework their products/services and objectives. Some may even end up closing their business, which can be heartbreaking and disappointing, along with financial losses due to a mistake that could have been avoided in the first place.
Business owners should, however, not be deterred or stopped by mistakes.
Each business owner makes hundreds, if not thousands, of mistakes! The trick here is to learn from others and ensure you don’t repeat their mistakes.
Some of the factors that you should consider to create a successful business are;
- Set definite, doable goals and devote yourself to your ideas.
- Regularly review your objectives and make any necessary adjustments. Then, even if you initially fail, you'll always be learning.
- Avoid spending too much time on small, mundane tasks. Instead, hire a virtual assistant to help you with the same. The actual value of a virtual assistant can only be realized once you work with them and see the substantial amount of time you are saving. The time that can be spent on actually growing your business.
- Focus on achieving a better work-life balance. For example, being stress-free is directly related to better productivity at work.
We hope these tips and learning more about the mistakes you can avoid on your entrepreneurial journey will help you create a world-class, successful organization that makes you immensely proud.
Wishup can help you on your entrepreneurial journey by providing virtual assistants with 200+ skillsets to manage all your small business tasks. To know more about them, email us at [email protected] or visit our website, Wishup.co, to schedule a free consultation.
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