No one is perfect. Yes, even you, budding entrepreneur! Because even though your idea may be perfect, and you're undoubtedly the best person to develop it, that doesn't make you bulletproof. So before you get going, consider these 9 mistakes all entrepreneurs make when they're starting out.
Taking Too Much Advice - Intellectual input and perspective from those in the know is great, but sometimes your elders can have a tendency to be jaded or stuck in their ways. Your new take on things and innovative spirit is part of what defines you as an entrepreneur. Take any heavy criticism with a pinch of salt.
... Or not Enough - Equally, not knowing when to evolve your idea based on advice is foolish. A good rule of thumb - If you're hearing the same concerns from across your board of advisors, then there is probably something in it.
Serving Yourself - Most start-ups come from the creation of a product that the founder has use for himself. So they have been known to design the service with their own needs in mind, and neglect to do any thorough research about their potential customers. Set yourself up to serve your clients, not yourself.
Micromanaging - Because we are perfectionists, entrepreneurs have a bad habit of getting caught up in every detail of each part of the process, and this can make us lose track of the bigger picture. Keep a healthy and balanced perspective.
Non-Conformism - As a maverick myself, I understand the urge to get going, regardless of what I think of as "red tape". We entrepreneurs consider ourselves game changers... almost above the restrictions that have held our competitors back. Aren't we changing the face of our industry? Lack of compliance with government and industry by-laws is a classic rookie mistake. No one is above regulation, so work with it, not around it.
Basing your marketplace on your location - Just because you live in Wessex, England, doesn't mean this is the best place to start your business. Before the dot.com bubble, we were expected to find niches within our community to set up shop, or be prepared to move/travel or franchise, but this isn't the case nowadays. Always remember that we now have worldwide and direct access to consumers. Don't limit yourself by your location.
Hiring The Wrong People - The best person to organise your marketing is not your mate Dave, no matter how many evenings you've spent with him setting your ducks in a row over beers. Just because he gets your concept, doesn't mean he knows how to execute it. Hire smart, and hire strong.
... Or none at all - Start ups are often a one man band, but this isn't always the smartest way to go about things. No entrepreneur is an island, after all. Now I'm not suggesting you employ an expensive team of professionals, but don't muddle through and botch tasks that need specialist attention. Platforms like PeoplePerHour have a huge pool of skilled and cost-effective professional freelancers who can help you get your product and service perfect before pitching.
Bean Counting - Setting your standard of success on profitability within the first year is a recipe for failure. Rarely will a start-up see results if they're focussed solely on profit, instead of striving to be the most efficient and effective solution to their customers problem. First comes perfection of product, then popularity, then profit.
Now although I've made many of these mistakes, and seen them made up close (time and time again), honestly? I don't have any regrets. I value every step of the journey I've taken to get here.
However, I think if I went back, I would probably make the move to starting off in the U.S. much earlier than I did. I went to university in England, so the natural thing was to stay and start there after I graduated. But Europe is a tough market for entrepreneurs. The mind-set of conservatism, the fear of failure, the taboo against entrepreneurs -- all that really drained me. That said, it probably also toughened me, so now that I'm in a place where there's such a ripe, upbeat ecosystem for start-ups, I feel more prepared to make the most of it.
The main thing to be is an evolutionist. Ensure that you're malleable and ready for constructive change, and your journey will lead you to success, innovation, and that healthy turnover you've always wanted.Suggest a correction