Common Mistakes That Entrepreneurs Make

What would you choose between slaving it out nine to five or hustling 24/7? Many entrepreneurs may be unknowingly opting for the latter. But by pushing through the tasks on your list each day, you could be reducing the possibility of work outside of your normal hours.

Following are some common mistakes that entrepreneurs make:

Chasing Non-Existent Problems

It is not just important to solve problems in business. Solving the wrong ones can cost you a lot of time and use many of your resources too. Spending too much time on the wrong problems can derail your business irrespective of the combined intellect of the board of directors. Founders are often found fretting about how they are unable to find a good idea. Maybe they need to look for a real problem to solve as it is something that can actually take them ahead.

Trying to Grow Fast

Startups which experience initial success are often tempted to begin their expansion right away. Some businesses may be tempted to move to a bigger store, some may want to hire a bigger staff for greater production while some plan to spend more on marketing to increase their sales. But there’s a lot of difference in scaling intelligently and scaling quickly.

Scaling before you are supposed to can make you incapable of meeting customer demand. In scaling operations there are various overhead expenses involved which you may not be able to afford to pay. Failure of many startups can be attributed to premature scaling. A startup shouldn’t try to force growth but instead focus on strengthening the company’s foundation so that the company can grow smarter even if not faster.

Skimping on Marketing

While premature scaling lies at one end of the spectrum, businesses at the other end simply wait for the scaling to happen. They rely on word of mouth to the extent that they are simply waiting for their business to get discovered by customers and not taking any marketing effort from their end to get noticed.

The reality is that every business needs marketing to succeed even if they have the best product in the market. Marketing is an effective way for businesses to differentiate their product or service from that of their competition.

It may require a lot of research from your end to understand which are the best ways to reach your target audience. You may have to employ multiple marketing methods such as PPC, SEM, SEO and content marketing. While it is inadvisable to spend so much on marketing that it depletes your financial reserve, you certainly shouldn’t skip on this investment altogether.

Treating Employees Like a Huge Company Does

The responsibility of an entrepreneur simply doesn’t end at hiring the right people. The other, more difficult task is to retain them. The only way you can make employees stay for the long haul is if you treat them well. Employee turnovers are known to cost up to two times an employee’s salary. High turnover is what makes many companies go under. To avoid this situation from arising in your company you should provide them with more opportunities to lead, grow and make a real impact.

Choosing Presentation over Prototype

Entrepreneurs often focus excessively on making flashy powerpoint presentations and elaborate business plans that hardly ever see the light of day. It is a better idea to have a prototype or demo that you can show to the investors and customers to explain your vision.

Taking ‘No’ for an Answer

Sensible entrepreneurs know that a no doesn’t actually mean no but not yet. The walls where other entrepreneurs get blocked, they break through them to get through to the other side. For most entrepreneurs there’s despair packed in a ‘no’ but the good ones only treat it like a feedback.

Treating Business Plan As the Holy Grail

A business plan is nothing but a piece of fiction that you sell to investors to get funded. While it does help to give you a certain sense of direction, you shouldn’t hold it too close to heart and stick with it even when it is clearly failing you.

Besides these there are several other mistakes that entrepreneurs could be making such as failure to get in touch with experts that can safeguard their finances.

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Written by Bishan

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