We all make mistakes, but the only difference we can make is how we navigate through them; do we perceive it as a learning experience, or do we define these setbacks as failures?
Entrepreneurs are often in a hurry to grow their business and often detrimental to their part. It can cost them time and money.
We wish you to avoid these mistakes not only to win the game but to continue playing the game. Once you learn what not to do, you’re one step closer to understanding what to do and how.
Below are the top 12 common entrepreneurial startup mistakes and how you can learn from these errors.
1. Lack of Determination.
Persistence, Perseverance, and Determination are keys to a successful endeavor. Hands down, the most common mistake entrepreneurs make in their first year of a new venture is almost quitting.
Of course, burnout and corporate fatigue come into play for a new entrepreneur but getting eaten with doubts can be a tricky patch to overcome. Negative beliefs such as “I couldn’t do this.” and “I wasn’t cut out to become a business owner” often outweigh positive results.
Thus, reframing your attitude towards these internal hindrances allows you to run not only for a sprint but for a marathon and achieve success in whatever business.
We always start somewhere, and sometimes we cannot skip some of the processes to quicken the climb.
Reaching the top of the hierarchy takes patience, and the corporate ladder is not linear. The famous saying goes, “Success won’t happen overnight.”
Biggest names in the business like Mark Zuckerberg, Jeff Bezos, and Elon Musk started from scratch with humble beginnings, and they carefully built their way up.
For instance, the most important thing they all have in common is they crafted the art of selling. One of the biggest mistakes is trying to be a CEO way too soon when you should have been a salesman first.
Put yourself out there and learn how to sell not mere products but your business, services, yourself, and your skills. It is a great idea to learn about the business, the best practices, and the formulas: Knowledge is always power.
3. Taking advice from too many people.
The corporate ladder is not linear, and there is no single formula to success.
What worked for others may not work for you. But everyone has their own opinion that they want to share. And that’s okay.
The problem lies in how it’s easy to take in too much advice from too many people. It is even worse getting advice from some of the wrong people.
Instead of seeking the advice of every “successful” person out there, it’s better to find people who already live the life you want. Get their advice and input on their mistakes when they were in your position at the phase in business you’re currently in.
4. Lack of Initiative.
Business is People. Communication is a skill we can learn for effective leadership and teamwork to flourish. Many business owners are reluctant to accept that they need help.
It all boils down to initiative; once we overcome our need for invulnerability, we can build trust in our employees and solidify partnerships. In our digital age, we have social media to make it easier.
When transitioning from being an employee to hiring employees, there is a hidden challenge: most employees don’t usually ask for advice. They just get told what to do, and they do it.
The employee mindset doesn’t value asking for ways to improve and re-create themselves. It’s become so easy to quit when they don’t like it anymore!
Once you become a company owner, your mind needs to shift from being told what to do. Take the initiative to seek entrepreneurial advice and spend time with fellow creatives.
But as explained in #3, this advice on mistakes as an entrepreneur has to come from the right people. These could be hiring consultants and seeking a business mentor on social media or having an advisory board to offer you support and cater to new ideas.
5. Using force versus influence.
Existence, execution, and the emergence of business cannot be possible if there is no effective communication.
This communication should be effective enough to exchange ideas, views, information & emotion. It’s not always about money.
You have to set an example of success. With this example, you can effectively lead your team and company.
The most common mistake many entrepreneurs make is forcing too much on new clients, staff, sales team, and employees instead of influencing them.
In effect, this may result in managing the success of the people around you instead of leading them. How can you delegate tasks to your employees when you can’t lead them.
Doing this also takes a massive load off your shoulders so you can invest and concentrate on growing your business instead of getting bogged down by the nitty-gritty. As Richard Branson said, “If you can change people’s lives, you have a business.”
6. Not knowing how to spend money wisely (Extravagant Expenses)
As Ben Franklin said, “Beware of little expenses. A small leak will sink a great ship.”
You can imagine how a successful startup could file for bankruptcy quickly before they could enjoy the future they initially manifested. “Keep your overhead low” is a piece of repetitive business advice for a reason.
Of course, we all want to live the dream life too early by spending lavishly on a brand new car, vacations, opulent parties, and other liabilities while still making money. It’s easy for entrepreneurs to believe they have a bottomless pit of funds and enough money to waste.
That is a rookie entrepreneur’s biggest mistake. The goal is to stay in business and generate more money.
When you stay in business, you have the opportunity to grow your company and offer services. Otherwise, you have nothing. In turn, to succeed, learn how to manage your money wisely.
7. Not having a niche. / Lack of a Business Idea.
One of the most common entrepreneurial mistakes is having too many products to sell in the market.
Entrepreneurs should find a business niche with underserved or unmet needs in their industry.
A business niche is a specialized or focused area of a broader market that businesses can serve to differentiate themselves from competitors.
Focus your efforts on a single product and a target audience. Of course, creating a fresh business plan and idea is the key to keeping your brand relevant. That’s what’s going to work for a successful business.
8. Know-it-All Person
Knowledge is a lifelong process. Even Socrates, on his deathbed, said that all he knows is that he knows nothing. If one of the greatest minds in human history could say such a thing, then what more to the rest of us?
The top priority is that we remain coachable and keep learning from others. It would be an entrepreneur’s mistake to let your ego get ahead of your success.
9. Lack of Focus.
Your focus determines your reality and success. For instance, partying too hard is an entrepreneurial mistake that’s too common, not to mention. Many entrepreneurs would drink during the weekdays.
You would get up on a Friday morning to work thinking it would be fine. In the long run, shoving Three Red Bulls in your system won’t cure your hangovers and make you productive anymore.
The more prominent players don’t party like that. They own the nightclub. They own the products that the people pay top dollar for.
Have the Mamba Mentality. As Kobe Bryant said, “It’s a constant quest to be better today than yesterday and better tomorrow than you were the day before.”
Stay focused on the real prize, your current trajectory, and the actions that produce results, and don’t get distracted by the noise and flashy lights for a sustainable business.
10. Lack of Accountability.
Accountability is what bridges commitment to outcomes. As Churchill said, “The price of greatness is responsibility.”
Maybe you’ve heard that most entrepreneurs say they can do whatever they want now that they’re business owners. That’s a huge mistake. With an attitude like that, you’ll fail.
When you switch from employee to entrepreneur, you’re missing one thing: a boss who will tell you what to do.
Many successful entrepreneurs fail because they don’t have anyone to hold them accountable for their actions.
Avoid these business owners’ common mistakes of ignoring responsibilities. Learn to be accountable for both the successes and failures of your business.
11. Not having a cohesive schedule.
As James Clear penned in Atomic Habits, “Professionals stick to the schedule; amateurs let life get in the way.”
As a business owner, you need to have a schedule and stick to it. It is a way of setting boundaries not only for yourself but for distractions.
The thing is, you won’t be working from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. You’ll be working from 7:00 am to 10:00 pm.
It is an entrepreneur’s mistake to think that you become an entrepreneur to work fewer hours. In reality, you become an entrepreneur by working twice as many hours.
Thus, it is essential to cultivate a system, a schedule for making progress and setting a direction.
12. Not having a Business Model Plan.
Be the designer of your success. Starting a business is a perpetual process of refinement and improvement.
You may not need a successful business plan and marketing plan in your first year of new business. But you still need a plan to set your directions and track your business progress. This way, you can monitor your financial projections and adjust your business plans accordingly.
It should include actionable items such as:
I will make 200 calls today.
I will give away 100 new business cards today.
I will network and connect with 50 people using social media.
I will read for an hour per day.
I will create a positive change today.
As you can see, these action plans have everything to do with disciplines and developing skills.
Forget the once-in-a-lifetime transformations.
Invest your time in the betterment of yourself. This way, you are planting a seed. Spend your waking hours uprooting old conditionings that no longer serve you and create more sustainable frameworks.
Eventually, your commitment to your obligations will decide the progression of your own business.
Other Things to Consider
In addition to the business owners’ mistakes mentioned above, the following are other factors to give serious deliberation:
Always conduct market research before launching your business. Do not skip this process. Stay in touch with the latest business news and marketing trends.
Market Research is a standard method of determining the viability of a new service or product by conducting research directly with potential clients. These statistics are essential to discover the target audience and get initial feedback from customers about their interest in your services or products.
Another fatal mistake is ignoring the competition and avoiding market saturation.
Registering your business and protecting your intellectual property are crucial aspects to carry out, or it will be detrimental to your business in the long haul. It will cost you money and valuable time.
Capital Requirements / Financial Preparation
Business owners would like to start and spend money as much as possible. With an end goal to limit equity dilution, they tend to neglect operational difficulties and postponements. Startups will often anticipate an ideal situation, yet that will never occur. Thus, it’s important to prepare financial projections to avoid inadequate financing, especially for the first year.
Numerous startups start without setting up a bookkeeping process. Maintaining this practice will assist you with making business decisions and monitoring your business’ financial health. You can also spot money problems early on before they become unmanageable such as tax issues and insurance payments.
Technology investments influence a business’ efficiency. Consider how innovation and technology could pay off for your business with improved development, profitability, and productivity.
One mistake organizations make is not investing in organic marketing. Suppose you are late to the party—you could mind your content hierarchy, satisfy search intent, and grow organic search traffic on your site. Despite the initial cost of organic content marketing, 70% of clicks go to organic Google search results.
Starting a business or online business and marketing plan has never been easier, but that doesn’t mean that obstacles serve no purpose in your story. Sometimes, we start with a bump in the road, and it’s part of the journey to reach a destination eventually.
However, there’s no reason you need to repeat the same mistakes and undertake these errors yourself to gain lessons from them. Learning from the biggest mistakes of others who’ve started and paved the way before you is an excellent method for guaranteeing success.
Hopefully, this article has helped you ease some of your entrepreneurial concerns and can urge you to face these challenges with conviction rather than with fear to move forward. Cheers!