Starting a business is difficult enough without making the same mistakes as everyone else. Being aware of some of the most common pitfalls and challenges of entrepreneurship and knowing how to deal with them can increase the chances of success and set you apart from the competition.
Below you can find the common mistakes new entrepreneurs make and what to do to avoid them.
Mistake #1: Not Conducting Research
Having a great business idea isn’t enough. You might be very excited about your new venture but if there is no audience or if the competition is too fierce, you’re very likely to fail.
Conduct thorough market research before you start. Monitor social media platforms with an aim to determine what consumers are lacking and analyze your competitors to see what they’re offering
However, if you really want to know your industry, it’s best to be directly involved. So, before you launch a business, get a job in your industry and learn from people who are more experienced than you.
Mistake #2: Not Having Clear Goals
You need to be clear about what you want to achieve from the very beginning. Make sure to have a detailed plan and follow it. Your plan should include:
- Goals (both short-term and long-term)
- Your target audience
- Your company’s organizational structure
- Employee responsibilities
You should also let your employees know what your goals are. Setting team goals will keep everybody focused and working towards the same aim.
Mistake #3: Not Planning Your Financial Properly
One of the common problems for new entrepreneurs is the lack of funds. Many of them aren’t comfortable with investing large sums of money in their idea fearing they might fail. But insufficient funds often mean low quality. For instance, instead of hiring a professional content writer, you might figure out your writing style is good enough and produce poorly written articles no one will want to read.
However, that doesn’t mean you should spend everything you earn. Be very careful not to get carried away and waste your hard-earned money on expensive cars and trips. Once you get enough funds, estimate the expenses and set aside a sum of money you’re willing to use for improving your business.
Mistake #4: Trying to Do Everything on Your Own
While it is true that today’s entrepreneurs are tech-savvy and can handle lots of things on their own, that doesn’t mean they should.
Managing a business is quite challenging and if you don’t ask for help, you might find yourself wasting your time and losing your focus.
So, be a professional and start looking for people who can help you. Start by making a list of your own skills and stick with them. The, figure out how to delegate the rest of the responsibilities.
If you’re concerned about not having enough money to hire full-time personnel, consider other options such as hiring freelancers. You can also turn to trusted individuals to help you out, whether by giving advice, by recommending suitable candidates, or by giving you a discount for their services.
Mistake #5: Insufficient Marketing
Young entrepreneurs often don’t have the time or money to invest in their marketing efforts. They believe that it is enough to take advantage of free/low-cost marketing options such as promoting on social media platforms.
However, even if you do use social media, you need to dedicate enough time in order to build a presence and get noticed.
Creating a marketing plan will help you determine the best way to promote your business and generate more clients. If you’re not confident that you can do this by yourself, hire an individual (or a team) who will work on your marketing efforts, and make sure to set aside sufficient funding to support them.
Mistake #6: Not Being Prepared for Setbacks
If you expect to achieve business success easily, when you face difficulty, it can paralyze your whole company because you weren’t prepared.
When starting a new business, many things can and will go wrong. Your key employee may quit unexpectedly, your website might crash, or you may lose the most important client.
Whether these setbacks resulted from your own poor decisions or they were out of your control, you must be aware they’re a part of an entrepreneur’s life.
Expecting difficulties is the first step towards avoiding them. Try to anticipate every probable setback and think about possible solutions to every scenario. Having a plan B will help your business stay operational and keep customer satisfaction levels high.
Mistake #7: Not Being Customer-Oriented
You started your business believing that it’s something people need. But no matter how enthusiastic you might feel about your product or service, assuming that customers will discover and like it immediately is simply unrealistic.
There are hundreds of products on the market trying to grab the attention of your target customers. Today more than ever, people have countless options and an opportunity to research & compare products. Smartphones and mobile apps allow consumers to check reviews and read content that helps them make an informed purchasing decision.
So, if you want to gain consumers, you’ll need to see every product or business decision from their perspective. What type of content would they like to read? How does your service/product solve their problems?
Don’t get discouraged if your business doesn’t explode overnight. Sure, that happens from time to time, but it’ll probably take some time to discover what your audience wants and how to reach them. Be prepared to experiment and learn.