3 Common Mistakes
Most Starting Entrepreneurs Make
Many people dream of quitting the 9 to 5 grind to go into business for themselves. Entrepreneurship success can mean a life filled with freedom and financial independence; a seemingly impossible goal that many of us share. What keeps most people from taking the ambitious leap into being called an entrepreneur are the all to well-known risks and fears of failure.
Hearing stories from fellow friends and family members of big business blunders, as well as the added responsibilities of juggling work and family can leave some only dreaming, plus there is a required investment fee to start up to begin with, just considering that you need to support yourself financially in the beginning where profits aren't rolling in yet. Add in the near horrific failure rates when it comes to start up companies and even the best of optimists can turn into total pessimists overnight. According to Bloomberg, 8 out of 10 entrepreneurs who start businesses fail within the first 18 months. So, it is understandable.
However, for the courageous few who are still willing to take on the overwhelming odds against them, entrepreneurship can be an exciting, challenging, and satisfying experience. To have a successful experience as an entrepreneur, of course, you need to consistently make the right choices when it comes to difficult decisions. Just one costly mistake and your career as an entrepreneur might be over before it starts.
Naturally, for most starting or aspiring entrepreneurs knowing what is right and wrong when starting a business can be very confusing. Forget about your fancy university diploma or your degree in business entrepreneurship. To be a successful entrepreneur you need experience, and a lot of it. As billionaire founder of Virgin Group Richard Branson once said "If your looking to become an entrepreneur then don't waste your time going to university or business school just get on and do it."
Unfortunately, experience is learned from making lots and lots of mistakes. As a starting entrepreneur you can learn from your own mistakes or you can learn from the mistakes of other more seasoned entrepreneurs who have already been where you are now. However, there are a few common mistakes that can be avoided when starting as fresh off the boat entrepreneur:
1. Thinking it's as Easy as 1...2...3
Many new entrepreneurs think they've achieved success the moment they name their company or sign their corporate papers. The truth is, however, it takes a lot more than that. Most people are unaware of the sheer magnitude of work and resources needed to build a successful business. Not only do you need a great product and service, but you also need to attract great customers, which is an entire challenge in itself. Brand building plays a big part in it.
It is possible, but expect to devote many long hours and sleepless nights to turn your idea into a reality. Michael Priyev,Manager at New York Web Design company Toggle Web Media says: "Anybody can come up with a business idea, but it takes a certain amount of creativity, self-discipline, and luck to turn it into a successful company." Remember that Facebook and Microsoft weren't built overnight.
2. 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.
Basically, don't bite off more than you can chew. You're not a big company yet, so don't try to act like one. Put a little bit of money into your starting business, and then continue to reinvest your profits as you slowly go forward. Before you know it, your business will be booming, without any huge investments or bank loan debts.
3. Taking things Personally
You've probably heard of the old mafia saying, "Don't take it personally, its just business". Well the same goes for entrepreneurs too.
As an entrepreneur, it's important to be disciplined and not let your emotions get the best of you. When hearing rejection from others, don't take it personally. Not everyone is going to be ecstatic about your product. The faster you understand this, the quicker you can move on and find customers who actually appreciate your product. Stay focused on your business, and don't let a few negative comments get in the way of accomplishing your goals.
In addition, you're going to have to do business with many different people including customers, employees, partners, and other business people. Not everyone you come across is going to play fair and nice. Unfortunately, there are going to be people you come across who are not going to have the most honest of intentions. There will be people you meet that will try to take advantage of you, whether it's business partners, contractors, or even customers. Again, don't take it personally, its just part of doing business and the business world. Stay focused, don't get too personal, and you'll be fine.
Starting out as a new entrepreneur isn't easy. This new business venture will be very confusing and new to you, and lots of times you will question whether or not you are making the right decision and the right move, or if you are in fact making a big mistake.
As a new entrepreneur, you will make mistakes along the way. Mistakes are inevitable. Learn from your mistakes as well as the mistakes of other successful entrepreneurs and you'll, hopefully, grow to become one yourself.