Starting a business from scratch is challenging and an uphill struggle. It demands time, effort and money to build one and successfully run it. Along the entrepreneurial journey, mistakes are unavoidable sometimes. Even long-time and successful entrepreneurs commit mistakes along the way, and how much more for first-time entrepreneurs. Here are the most common mistakes that entrepreneurs make and how you can mend it:
1. Choosing the wrong business partner
While having a business partner is an advantage to lessen some burden on your part, dealing with the wrong business partner may cause more harm than good. Identify your skills and find someone that can complement those skills. Assess your future business partner’s management and leadership skills as well as their integrity and loyalty to you and the company. Be sure to create a set-up between you and your business partner that works best to avoid fiery arguments that lead to personal affronts when a problem arises.
2. Hiring the wrong people
Like choosing a business co-founder, hire someone that has the right skills
for the work. A thorough background check
on employees is needed so as not to hire the troublesome ones
that may create problems to you and your company in the future. These employees are the dishonest, under-skilled and unloyal ones. Never equate intelligence with leadership
because not all people with excellent grades are good leaders and managers.
3. Doing all the tasks
You are neither Superman nor an artificially intelligent being that can do all the tasks by yourself. Doing all the tasks independently costs you your energy, time to do other bigger business matters, and even your personal time, and this makes you vulnerable to commit more (and grave) mistakes. You will end up getting stressed, fatigued, and eventually unproductive. Delegate the task to your business partner, if you have one, or to your employees.
4. Not treating the employees right
Employees are humans, too, like you and me. Delayed and unfair wages, strict and unethical company policies and difficult bosses are some reasons why employees leave. Discrimination in the workplace is also included. Failure to address these problems causes even the most loyal and best employees to consider leaving. Paying the right salary at the right time to employees and reconstructing company policies are some options to make. Create a working environment wherein everyone is respected and treated equally. Their ideas must be welcomed, and they must feel that they are a valued asset to the company.
5. Focusing too much on the product, less on marketing
Budding entrepreneurs focus too much on the product to achieve perfection as much as possible. However, they usually tend to forget that one important part in business – marketing
. No matter how perfect the product is, with poor marketing, you can only gain poor sales. Focus on marketing, on how you sell your product to the public. Come up with creative ideas to gear up the interest of the public towards your product. Become an expert in sales and marketing. Learn and do continuous research and thrive for improvements.
6. Thinking big
Dreaming high is not wrong, but thinking big is. The illusion of grandeur is toxic. The body’s reward system is stimulated and causes you to feel that you already had achieved that dream when in fact you’re still far off. Instead of working towards it, you’ll end getting stuck in the planning process. Be realistic. Start small and take one step at a time to achieve that dream. Don’t be impatient when you have not yet achieved success, anyway, ‘Rome is not built in a day’. Fast is slow; slow if fast.
7. No business plan
The business plan
is important to keep you in track of your goals, visions and system of your business. Having none will tend to direct you to future problems like mismanagement. Never go out of your entrepreneurial journey unprepared. It will cost you a waste of time, energy, money and effort.
Spending too much on something unworthy and extravagant as well as underestimating miscellaneous expenses endanger the company’s income. Avoid financial traps by spending way below the means of your business, and monitor your daily and monthly business expenses to find out which expenses should be cut off. Never pay debts with another debt.
9. Never ask for help
Asking for help is not a weakness. From time-to-time, ask for help and find support from the people around you. “No man is an island”. Ask for opinions, feedback and pieces of advice from your employees, clients and financial gurus.
Same goes with life, committing mistakes is natural. The fear of making of mistakes causes one not to take any risk, leading to missed opportunities. Failure is not the opposite of success, but it is a part of success. What matters most is that you learn from these mistakes and as much as possible, avoid making them again in the future.