Starting your entrepreneurial journey? Avoid these all-too-common mistakes
Young entrepreneurs are specimens of courage and passion. While fundamentally virtuous, these two traits can come in their way if they fail to develop the cognitive process that enables them to think things through. If good things come to those who wait, better ones come to those who prepare. As a young entrepreneur, there’s much you need to be prepared for – from the mistakes you can make to how to avoid making them altogether. Thought-bound individuals will argue that it’s good to make mistakes. But if you are not careful, that sentiment can mislead and eventually disillusion you.
Those who walked the same road before you have left landmarks for you to follow. Some of these landmarks include the mistakes they made during their formative years as entrepreneurs. To learn from their mistakes is the right thing to do. In this article, I have compiled a list of common mistakes most new entrepreneurs make. If you manage to avoid them, you will save yourself a lot of time and stress too.
Starting without planning
According to an article on Classy Career Girl, “The first mistake is thinking you have a great idea and it’s time to start without a solid plan. An idea isn’t going to make you rich. You have to have solid action steps and a business model that is actually going to work.”
No plan, no gain. If you think your big idea is enough for the big money and the big adulation to find their way to you, you will be sourly disappointed. Before you go public, make sure you have a plan in place. By that I mean, have answers to all possible questions that the market will have regarding your idea or product.
Spending too much too early
What’s worse than having no funds? Spending them too early and thoughtlessly. Many start-ups shut down because their founders got carried away in the way they handled money. Many fail to understand the importance of hiring a sound financial advisor; others fail to simply acknowledge their inability to deal with ‘new money’, and in the name of celebration and braggadocio, burn their hard-earned cash in puny pursuits. Needless to say, they return empty-handed (and perhaps level headed) to cubicles they so fervently said goodbye to.
Being unable to prioritize
If you are unable to manage your time, it’s because you are unwilling to manage your mind. If you start out thinking you can do everything, ask yourself why. Is it because you think others will fudge the tasks you’ll ask them to do, or is it because you ultimately have trust issues? If you hone your hiring skills, you’ll be able to find the kind of people who are not only good at what they do, but share your vision and mission too.
Biting more than you can chew
Rich Katz, TKG Environmental Services Group, LLC, had to learn the hard way. He says, “When we started in this business in 2008, our goal was to have as many customers as possible. What we found was that that led to making promises that we couldn't keep, which meant not just losing but also angering customers. In our business, service matters; so as a young company, focus on servicing fewer customers, but do it better than everyone else.”
More is a good thing only when it’s followed by the word “thought”. However, if it precedes words like “clients”, “money”, and “work” too early in your entrepreneurial journey, you will end up receiving more flak than you ever imagined.
Trish Agarwal of Vsynergize echoes the sentiment. She says, “A common mistake is picking too many new projects rather than doing only one or two at a time. Even though it might be tempting to onboard and complete a lot of projects, remember to do one at a time.”
To put it succinctly, the key is to start and not start big.
To make mistakes is understandable, but to make the ones that you could have avoided because you lacked the willingness to prepare for the right action is not.