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Six mistakes entrepreneurs make

According to Forbes, nine out of ten startups fail. Too often entrepreneurs make the same mistakes over and over. They do not market, they do not manage time well, and they invest too little or too much money into their products.

While this might sound frightening, it shouldn’t be. The truth is that most entrepreneurs make the exact same mistakes! This means that with research you can avoid the pitfalls that many businesses fall into.

To help you out, we have identified six of the most common mistakes new start-ups make, and how you can avoid them.

1. They don’t learn the skills they need to have

Businesses begin with ideas. And while ideas are essential, they are not all that is needed for a business to succeed. Too often entrepreneurs believe that the strength of their idea is all that they need to launch a successful business.

Sadly, this is not the case. Running a business requires a multitude of skills. These can include bookkeeping, marketing, management and networking. While many of these can be outsourced, you will need to learn at least the basics of how businesses work.

There are a few ways in which you can do this. You could take a short business course, speak to other business owners, connect with a business coach or research online.

While it might be tempting to ‘learn on the fly’, you will benefit from learning some key business skills before you launch.

Businesses begin with ideas. And while ideas are essential, they are not all that is needed for a business to succeed. Too often entrepreneurs believe that the strength of their idea is all that they need to launch a successful business.

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2. They don’t promote their businesses

Entrepreneurs often make the mistake of believing that customers will ‘stumble across’ their products. While the adage of ‘if you build it, they will come’ is popular, it simply is not true.

While ShopFactory websites are optimized to appear highly in Google search results, you will still need to advertise your business. Some common methods are through content marketing, advertising, PR and funding campaigns such as Kickstart.

Even if your product is exceptional, you will struggle to turn a profit if no one knows it exists!

3. They focus on the wrong things

Many entrepreneurs become so excited about the future of their product that they forget to lay down a strong foundation.

To be successful you need focus. While it can be tempting to create endless products, and expand in many directions, growing in the wrong ways will damage you.

If you want to have a financially viable business, it is better to do a few things well than many things poorly.

Instead of asking, ‘What can I add?’, you should be asking, ‘what can I subtract?’.

Focus on individual customers, individual products and individual transactions before you branch out.

4. They don’t develop strong customer relationships

Many business people focus on quantity over quality when they begin. While making multitudes of one-time sales can be exciting, it often is not sustainable.

To succeed, brands and products need fans and repeat buyers.

You must take the time to cultivate these; make sure your products are as user friendly as possible, and your customer service is excellent.

Remember; at the end of the day, your customers and clients are what will bring you money. Connect with them!

5. They don’t hire help when they need it

It might be your business, but you aren’t always the best person for the job. Start-ups often fail because entrepreneurs hesitate when it comes to outsourcing skills.

Instead of spending their time where their talents lie, they struggle through tasks such as accounting. This results in frustration, poorly done tasks and lost time.

While you should know your business basics before launching, it is unrealistic to expect that you will have every skill necessary.

Hiring the right people to help you will make all the difference when it comes to your success, and it will allow you to focus on what you love.

6. They stay stuck in the past

Many business owners often fall into the trap of thinking they know best. Once they have decided which technologies, strategies and organizational systems to use they never update or change them.

As bosses, their say is final. This can be hugely detrimental to a business.

To be successful as an entrepreneur, you need to be on the constant lookout for ways to improve. You need to be open to change, listen to feedback and keep an eye on the current state of your industry.

Many businesses fail simply because they become outdated; don’t let it happen to you.

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If you want your business to be successful, do your research. Be open to change, maintain your focus, outsource when you need to and learn the essentials.

With these things in mind, you stand a much better chance of being in the ten percent!

- Lena Klein

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