The 11 Biggest Mistakes Entrepreneurs Make. 80% business fail within the first 18 months. That’s a shocking number, isn’t it? But its true. We have identified 11 mistakes entrepreneurs do what cost them to down their business. There is no golden bullet to being a successful entrepreneur and there is no sure
My hope is that many of these mistakes will help you stay proactive and avoid errors that could be detrimental to your business in the long-run
1. Undervaluing yourself
This has become a recurring issue that I’ve seen, not only in my own business, but in the businesses of my clients and peers, especially those who are just getting started. But before I really dig into this more, I think it’s important to step back and consider the purpose of a business and the one thing that keeps a business afloat: money. While providing a quality service, benefiting others, and working for the greater good might be at the heart of your business, your business can’t run without money. You can’t take your business full-time without making a solid income. You can’t pay your business expenses without money. You can’t support your family or your employees without money. Passion is great, but money is what keeps a business running. So in order to beat that one-year statistic, you have to make decisions with this in mind.
This applies first and foremost to your pricing. Pricing your products and your services can be difficult; if you price yourself too high you run the risk of not receiving any inquiries or sales, but if you price yourself too low you don’t make enough to keep your business afloat. I’ve seen more of the latter; entrepreneurs charging low prices, offering too many discounts, and giving away too many free things. All of the above not only lower your profit margin, but they devalue your work and your products. You have to take yourself seriously in order for others to take you seriously, and that starts with valuing your time, experience, and talent.
2. Looking to others for inspiration
When you’re just starting out in business, it’s natural to look to others for advice, guidance, and wisdom. And while it’s great to seek wisdom from other entrepreneurs, it can be tempting to mimic their ideas and practices. That’s where it gets dangerous, especially for those who want to build a genuine, one-of-a-kind brand and business. Looking to others for inspiration can hinder your creativity and keep you from considering other ways of doing things that might work better for you. So instead of looking to your others for ideas, consider ways to do things differently and differentiate yourself from your competition.
3. Lacking a solid business plan
Just winging it just won’t cut it in entrepreneurship; a business plan iscrucial in order to stay afloat financially and reach your businessgoals. Many new and seasoned business owners are flying by the seat oftheir pants, trying to keep their heads above water because they haven’t put time into thinking through and writing out their budget, marketingstrategies, and goals. This leads to inconsistencies, confusion amongpotential customers and clients, and financial stress, all of whichcould potentially lead to closed doors. If you haven’t taken the time to create a business plan, make time to do so as soon as possible. Alittle planning goes a long way.
4. Doing everything yourself
You wear many hats as a business owner, especially when you’re trying to get your business off the ground. And while doing everything yourself may make sense financially, you run the risk of burning out quickly and stretching yourself thin. Delegating tasks and outsourcing can be a game-changer for your business. This can take many shapes and forms, from hiring a virtual assistant to help with social media and administrative tasks, bringing on an intern to take on simple responsibilities, outsourcing printing or editing to another business, or even recruiting the help of a meal delivery company or cleaning business so that you can spend more time focusing on your work. If you’re struggling to afford any of the above, you might consider raising your prices to accommodate them.
5. Blogging inconsistently
Many business owners don’t understand the great marketing potential that’s available to them through blogging. Consistently providing valuable content on a blog not only brings traffic to your site, but it gives your business an opportunity to attract your ideal customers, build trust with them, and turn them into paying clients and customers. If you’re trying to get your business off the ground and money is tight, blogging is one of the best things you can do for your business.
6. Starting Out too Big
There is a common myth that you need an enormous amount of money to launch a business. In a recent online survey by Inc. Magazine, the #1 barrier survey applicants felt was holding them back from opening a business was that they didn’t think they could raise enough money.In truth, the majority of small businesses can be started with little to no capital; at least in the beginning.
One of the biggest mistakes newbie entrepreneurs make is they try to become too big too quick.
Start small, and leave your pride and ego at home. As a starting entrepreneur, you still have many lessons to learn. Making a $2,000 mistake is a lot easier to handle than say a $20,000 mistake. So, start small and focus on a specific niche market. Specializing in what you know enables you to be in a unique position – you can offer the costumer in-depth knowledge in this sector, because you know it inside out.
7. Don’t be afraid to try new things
It’s a fact of life – sometimes things will work out, and sometimes theywon’t. But the reality is that unless you try you will never, everknow.Sp never be afraid to try new ideas, and never worry aboutexperimenting. The worst that will happen is that an idea won’t takeoff. But what if it does? Don’t ever leave yourself wondering ‘whatif?’
8. Don’t see failure as a negative
Treat everything you do as part of your learning curve. It isn’t just thethings that go right that can teach us lessons. Sometimes the mostvaluable ones come from the mistakes we make and the things which justdidn’t work out.We can learn a great deal about spotting how thosemistakes occurred, the results of them and how we ourselves dealt withthem. Okay, so it might be disheartening when things don’t go to planbut look at it this way, the more experience you have of both good andbad, the more prepared you are next time.
9. Failing to Create a Workflow
As I said before, time is one of your most precious commodities as abusiness owner. And because you set your own schedule, you’re able todictate how your time is spent. If you haven’t created systems andprocesses for getting tasks done, you aren’t helping yourself make thebest use of your time. In order to work efficiently, create a workflowby listing out the steps of your client process, shipping process,blogging process, or whatever your appropriate processes might be. Setoffice hours and hold to them. Use time blocks within your schedule forgetting tasks done. This planning process is different but crucial foreach entrepreneur; make it a priority to come up with a workflow thatworks best for you.
10. Obsessing over every detail
I’ve always cringed at the saying, “done is better than perfect,” but I’ve learned that if you wait for the perfect opportunity or solution, you’ll never get started or get anything done. While it’s good to think business decisions through and exercise wisdom, it can be taken too far. Obsessing over every detail can hinder you from getting things done and it wastes one of your most precious commodities as an entrepreneur: time. If you’re a perfectionist and have been known to take forever to make a decision or finish a project, you might consider setting a time limit on tasks or reaching out to someone who can hold you accountable. It’s good to seek the best, but it’s inhibiting if you don’t know when to cut it off.
11. Expecting overnight success
Running a successful business is a lot like trying to lose 50 pounds; it takes a lot of hard work, there’s no overnight solution, and you won’t see results right away. If everyone could have a successful business in just a few short months, anyone and everyone would be jumping into business. Entrepreneurs who’ve had any success know that developing a loyal audience and brand takes time. Tom Clancy says it best, “An overnight success is ten years in the making.”