People are quick to tell you the things you should be doing as a budding entrepreneur, but few will give you the lowdown on what not to do. Whether it’s a product of fragile egos or rose-tinted glasses, experts will often ignore the mistakes they made on the road to success and only tell you what they did well.
That’s important, of course. Knowing the types of techniques, ideas, and strategies that work is extremely useful. However, the other side of the coin is equally important. Knowing what not to do is as good as knowing what to do.
We never shy away from the sometimes-brutal reality of business. Indeed, even a cursory look at the featured articles on The Kickass Entrepreneur reveals the negatives you can experience as a start-up and business owner.
For example, we’ve outlined 8 challenges you might face as a small business, such as communication problems, poor planning, and financial challenges. We’ve also provided you with ways to grow your small business, including tips on how to increase your online presence using correct SEO techniques.
5 Mistakes Entrepreneurs Make
The point here is that we like to show you the good, the bad, and the ugly sides of the business. With this in mind, we’ve identified five mistakes that entrepreneurs tend to make when they’re starting out in business.
Hopefully, by seeing what people typically get wrong, you can avoid these pitfalls and focus on getting more things right. So, with that being said, here are five mistakes to avoid as an entrepreneur…
1. Trying To Go It Alone
Everyone looks at successful entrepreneurs like Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk, and mining guru Gina Rinehart and assumes they got to the top alone.
Yes, they’re the figureheads of multi-billion-dollar empires, but they aren’t making money on their own. Musk, for example, worked alongside his brother during the early days of PayPal.
We’re not saying it’s impossible to build an empire alone. However, it’s going to be a lot harder and, in many cases, impossible.
That’s why you should surround yourself with like-minded people, listen to experts, and be open to working with others. Many hands make light work is a mantra you should embrace, particularly in the early stages of a business.
2. Ideas Are Not Babies
Most entrepreneurs have an initial idea and want to treat it like a baby i.e. they want to protect it at all costs. That’s the wrong way to be. Ideas should be fluid. You should be open to criticism and be willing to change your mind based on feedback.
You should definitely treat original ideas with a sense of reverence. They are, of course, the reason you started a business. But don’t treat them with such reverence that they become lore. Dogma has no place in business, so don’t let hubris close cause you to fall.
3. Don’t Ignore The Economy
A common mistake that budding entrepreneurs make is tunnel vision. Businesses don’t exist in vacuums, but people tend to write business plans as if they do.
The reality is that economic conditions can make or break any business. Using the sortable economic calendar on TradingView provides a quick overview of important financial announcements.
It can be sorted by date, country, and importance, so you get a clear view of the economic events that matter most to you. You need to know about things such as interest rates, retail sales statistics, inflation, and more. These economic points can and should shape how you run a business, so don’t ignore them.
4. Trying To Reinvent The Wheel
Almost all entrepreneurs believe they’ve come up with a new idea that can change the world. In some cases, that’s true. However, in reality, very few ideas are truly original.
That’s not a bad thing. Don’t think that you’re a failure because your business idea isn’t new or original. Building on this, don’t try to reinvent the wheel if it’s not necessary.
Certain strategies and processes are used by successful businesses because they work. This is a mistake a lot of people make, even billionaires like Elon Musk.
He found out to his detriment that fully automated production lines aren’t viable in the automotive industry. Musk thought he could get ahead of the curve in 2018 by relying on robots to make the Tesla Model 3.
He later admitted that it was a mistake to rely so heavily on robots as Tesla missed its production targets. We are moving more toward automated production lines, but Musk was trying to reinvent the wheel too early.
5. Thinking That Products Sell Themselves
Missing the point of marketing is another mistake entrepreneurs make. People have a sense that marketing is important, but a lot of new business owners don’t realize just how important it is. Even the best products don’t sell themselves.
A great example of this is Coca-Cola. Everyone knows the brand and, probably, has sampled the product. Despite the fact, it’s a company worth $270 billion Coca-Cola still spends, on average,$4 billion on advertising every year.
We’ve got plenty of marketing articles you can use, including our top 8 tips for using social media. Learning how to personalize content, create videos, and use influencers is important in today’s digital-first world.
However, there are also traditional marketing techniques that are still useful today. Techniques such as targeting specific demographics, building a welcoming brand image, and constantly reinforcing a core message are the foundations of a successful marketing strategy.
Avoid Mistakes and Focus on What Works
Avoiding the mistakes entrepreneurs tend to make doesn’t mean you’ll become an overnight success. As it is in life, nothing is certain in business.
Having said this, you can give yourself a better chance of succeeding by learning from the mistakes of others. Doing this allows you to focus on business strategies that work.
Again, there are no guarantees when it comes to business. However, if you can avoid the pitfalls we’ve identified, you’ll have a better shot at taking your business to the next level.