Every entrepreneur knows the statistics, and the statistics are grim. Eight out of 10 new businesses fail. But God bless the entrepreneurs—they do it anyway. They believe their startup will be one of the successes.
You cannot, however, escape making mistakes while setting up a business – it is inevitable. Mistakes and entrepreneurship are inextricably intertwined. The general idea in startup success is that the less mistakes you make, the more likely you are to succeed.
Here are the 10 things entrepreneur should not do while starting-up,
1. Trying to do too much too soon
As an entrepreneur, you can easily get excited about new ideas to implement in your business. These ideas if they are given too much priority can overwhelm you and run your startup into the ground. It gets worse if you started the business as a young person.
You must remember that you are just starting out. This is not the time to start thinking about building an empire – your business is just a startup at the moment and nothing more. Keep your idea implementation to a minimum and your business processes as simple as possible.
2. Not focusing on market research
Many startups begin with a great product but fail to research the market. Before launching your company, get to know your market, listen to customer feedback, and create a plan so your product reaches your audience efficiently.
3. Launch without a budget for marketing
One of the biggest mistakes startups make is spending all of their capital on creating a product or business without setting aside a budget to market and promote their business. You should not rely on word-of-mouth or “free” or earned media to tell your story. If your story is worth being told, it is worth being advertised.
4. Be scared to make changes and adapt
You need to be willing and able to adjust your plan and overall strategy, because there is a very good chance that you will need to adapt to maintain success in the future. Imagine if Apple never adapted and just stuck to making computers? After releasing the iPod it started manufacturing smartphones, tablets and now are releasing its first wearable technology, the Apple Watch. Once just a computer company, it is now a consumer-electronics powerhouse.
5. Begin by focusing on making lots of money
If your primary goal is to make $1 million in a year, you will fail. Ask yourself what is your mission? If your mission is to create the best possible product or business that fills a gap or a need, the money will come.
6. Spend your early profits on prestige items
There are many stories of successful entrepreneurs who reward themselves for their hard work by spending their early profits on the dream car, a big office with a view, elaborate vacations, or a better home. Resist the temptation. If you overextend yourself, you’ll be putting those hard-earned items on the auction block.
7. Trying to do it all yourself
Micromanaging is a grievous sin for any startup owner to indulge in. No employee likes an overbearing boss and neither would you if you were in his/her shoes. Trying to oversee everything by yourself will cause you to burn out and consequently your business.
8. Having no target audience
You cannot make a product that solves everybody’s problems. Therefore, when you have no targeted demographic for your product that is exactly what you are claiming.
Having an understanding of the different problems faced by different groups of people will help guide you in deciding what kind of product you want to make. If you decide to make the product before deciding who the product users are, you are done for.
9. Allowing negativity business relationships
Entrepreneurs are usually very positive thinkers. This is why they are open to taking risks. But even the most positive thinking entrepreneurs can still be discouraged.
When you have people around you who only remind you of the overwhelming rate of startup failure every chance they get, you are hanging out with the wrong crowd. Staying with such people is a dumb startup mistake. These people could be close friends, business colleagues, family members etc. You must stay away from people with such negativity.
10. Getting the hiring process wrong
This includes hiring too early, hiring too late or hiring the wrong people. xIt is not news that most job seekers today are not passionate about the jobs for which they apply. They are just looking for a source of income.
This makes it difficult to find the right people because everyone you interview instantly becomes a yes man for the job. Hiring people who do not understand the vision of your startup nor have a shared passion in it can be very destructive.