Becoming a successful entrepreneur is no mean feat. Sacrifice, hard work and solid determination is required. Surviving from the mistakes you make is also essential, because they will happen. A wise entrepreneur once told me that we all make decisions that we regret, but it’s only a mistake when you know it and then do nothing about it. Just about any and all business owners who have created a sustainable self-employed career will tell you that they wouldn’t have achieved their goals without making plenty of wrong decisions, but also asking for guidance from others. They’re not afraid to ask for help. In fact, most of them are successful in a large part, because they’ve surrounded themselves with trusted advisors, mentors and industry experts.
If you want to start a business, here is a list of business mistakes and ways to avoid them. Any one of them could sabotage your new business venture and turn it into a failure rather than a success.
Not doing a Business Plan - unless you write a business plan, you have no idea if it is going to succeed. Yes, it’s time consuming and demands a lot of research, but investing time now will save you so much time and money later.
Doing what you love - The reality is there are a whole lot of people out there who love things they’re not good at, e.g. the person who thinks they are a great cook — but aren’t. Do what you’re good at and what people will pay you well for. It’s not as catchy, but it’s a whole lot more profitable — and isn't making a profit the reason you're starting a business?
Not doing any market research – In the Enterprise Centre we see more people starting businesses without bothering to do any of this – and then being heartbroken when their new business fails. Test your products and service first before you start a business. If you don’t, you have no idea if people are even going to want to buy from you.
Ignoring the competition - Ignoring the competition is another potentially fatal business mistake. Find out what your competitors are up to and keep tabs on them. Also find out if there space in the market for you. It may already be saturated with suppliers and there is no more room.
Not making sure you have enough money – Most businesses will not make money when they first open and a large proportion of new businesses will not make significant money for years. Which means you and your family have to have enough money to live on while your new business is getting established, as well as enough money for the business to survive and grow. Not getting the money to do this lined up before you start your small business is a serious business mistake.
Trying to do everything yourself - You can’t. Running a small business, even a one-person business, involves so many different tasks that no one person can do them all well. So sidestep and get help.