Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Common Mistakes to Avoid by Entrepreneurs

The road to starting a business is not always paved with gold but laden with many mistakes that can bug down entrepreneurs especially when the fear of failure lingers on in their memories. Common start-up mistakes seem obvious to entrepreneurs who often think they are well too prepared to succeed. Many businesses had failed even before they took off due to those mistakes many supposed confident entrepreneurs make.

Unless you proceed slowly and carefully, taking the time to do plenty of research before starting a business, even the most prepared businessman would run into problems. Common start-up mistakes destroy an entrepreneur’s chances of having a successful start-up and the sooner they are avoided the better.

Not having a clear vision is one pitfall many people slip into adding that lack of vision amounts to sailing in troubled waters without a compass. If you cannot have a vision of where you want the business to be in some years, then, you may not succeed. Having a vision involves planning and this comes with a basic business plan, but in that plan, do not just think now, but think as far down the road as possible.

Common mistake that a potential entrepreneur can make surrounding yourself with people who do not believe in your ideas, whether by accident or because they are family members. Surrounding yourself with people who do not believe you will succeed is bad, especially when they discourage you on the idea without actually giving their opinion. You need to be around positive feedback all the time because it makes you more determined. Allowing the negative disposition of those around you to bring you down would affect your dreams of starting your business. One of the most common mistakes of start-up is to underestimate the amount of money required to start your business, adding that business plans are there to help you determine what you want to do, how you would do it and how much it would cost to do it. Entrepreneurs should be careful of over spending and under spending. You should be weary of spending your precious start-up capital unnecessarily. This will help guide against over spending. It is also a mistake to be too stingy with your cash adding that frugality should not get in the way of efficiency. This would help guide against under spending.

Buy decent equipment when it is clear you would get your money’s worth. You do not have to overspend on fancy furniture, but get functional furniture that helps you be more productive. It takes time to develop the wisdom to know when you are being too tight or too loose with your cash, so, if you are just starting out, get a second opinion; if you cannot justify the expenditure to someone you respect, it is probably a mistake. There are situations where it is hard to justify not spending the cash.

Another common start-up mistake is doing it alone and not seeking the help of mentors and more experienced entrepreneurs. Trying to do it all by yourself and not asking for help is also one of the reasons why people find it hard to start a business. Start-up entrepreneurs should look for more matured and successful business men to help them through the challenges of starting a venture. Having a much more experienced entrepreneur that can give you some valuable advice is so important especially when you are a young and ambitious person with so many challenges to meet on the way to success. Creating a successful business will take a lot of time, effort, patience, dedication, a clear plan and vision. Having a mentor will help you through.
Another common start-up mistake is not to market your business, expecting that people will naturally start patronizing you. Serious marketing is needed to keep the business up and running.Losing momentum is yet another start-up mistake. Entrepreneur should constantly improve products and services by researching the changing market and competition. This will promote innovation and sustain the business.

Other common start-ups mistakes that should be avoided include but not limited to the following: Starting a business without really understanding the market; failing to focus on value creation, and not knowing your strengths and weaknesses as an entrepreneur.

In all, with determination, prayers and God’s guidance, success is guaranteed for all entrepreneurs. You can make it if you believe that you can make it.

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