Launching a new business of your own can be as awesome and exciting as it is scary. And like anything else, there is a “learning curve” to new entrepreneurship. There most likely will be mistakes along the way. Fortunately for the new entrepreneur, there have been plenty who have gone before you and made just as many errors. Here are a few of common errors by new entrepreneurs.
They try to do everything alone. Whenever anybody attempts to go about a daunting task alone, the likelihood is high that something doesn’t get done. Most of the time, it does not matter how much of a business “rockstar” somebody is… when he takes on ALL the facets of a business alone, it is much more difficult to succeed. Think about it… even the literal rockstars have their posse and artistic team. If you want your business to be successful, it is imperative that you figure out where you are best suited. Figure out the primary facet of the business you want to manage and then build a team to handle the rest.
They try to do too much, too soon. Scaling too rapidly is as good as a death sentence for any new business. Keep in mind that when it comes to scaling, slow and steady wins the race. Do not attempt to sell a million units when you do not yet have the mechanism or the manpower to manufacture and deliver a million units. Do not hire 100 sales representatives when you do not have the budget allocation for it. Grow at a steady, organic pace. If you become even a tad desperate in growing too fast, you won’t grow at all.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, being incapacitated by a fear of the “what if’s” is a huge mistake, as well. Nobody said it better than Robert F. Kennedy did: “Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.” Being afraid of failure or rejection is typical, but allowing yourself to be paralyzed by this fear will greatly hinder progress. This, however, speaks more about innovation and improvements. Pacing yourself through the improvements is still necessary. Recognizing common fears is a good first step to overcoming them. Work through them and do not stop yourself from taking calculated risks.
They stop learning and growing. As people and technology evolve everyday, so does business. There will always be new strategies to learn, new tools to master, and new techniques to try. A successful entrepreneur is someone who keeps a healthy attitude towards learning. Effective entrepreneurs know that, in order for their business to grow, they need to grow along with it. So many new entrepreneurs commit the mistake of putting the learning aspect on the backburner especially when they get a taste of success. The smart entrepreneur knows that there simply are many things that he does not know yet, and keeping an open mind about learning new things is essential in staying alive in any industry. The minute an entrepreneur stops learning, the business stops evolving.
They don’t know who they are… or who they want to be. A huge mistake typical of new entrepreneurs is launching their brand even before they have figured out what their brand really is about. For your brand to be successful, you need a very clear idea of who you are, what you are about, and who you serve. Establish a brand identity so that making a connection with your target customers can be as seamless as possible. Before launching a brand or a product, settle the following elements about your business first: your company’s mission, brand values, ideal customers, how you want to be perceived by the market, and what sets you apart from the competition.
A critical part of starting any business is drawing up a solid plan and then having the discipline to stick to it. Entrepreneurship is not always glamorous; it will not be always easy and smooth-sailing. Mistakes will be inevitable, but this does not mean that you cannot learn from these mistakes. Keep learning and keep on going.