The road for most startups is filled with speed bumps and potholes. Navigating through the journey of setting up a new business isn’t always easy, especially for entrepreneurs setting out for the first time. Here are some of the common mistakes entrepreneurs make that hinder their success.

1. Not having proper plans

Planning could be a time-consuming activity and may be a tedious job to do. Doing business without a solid plan is like operating in the dark without any direction. The most important plans includes a business plan, a financial plan, and a marketing plan. These plans not only help create a roadmap but also facilitate in establishing SMART goals and making better decisions.

2. Not knowing your key strengths

It is very important for a new business to identify their key strengths. Very often, lack of confidence and fear of failure leads to undervaluing products and services. This is a dangerous path to take because it undermines its unique value and opens the possibility of resentment and frustration. Recovering from undervaluing is a long road, therefore a thorough market research is essential before starting a business to identify key strengths and unique selling point.

3. Not Knowing your customer/market

One vital part of any successful business is understanding your market –who is your target customer and what they want, who are your competitors, how your offering is different from your competitors – these are some key questions that businesses need to answer through thorough research.

4. Not knowing your limitations

A small business owner may be willing to learn all aspects of his business and eager to do it all on his own, but this often leads to failure. Finding the right people to do the job and effective delegation can be one of the best ways for new small business owners to build their businesses. This is not just limited to staffing, knowing the available resources and their limitations will help in setting reasonable expectations and goals.

5. Not knowing your risks

Entrepreneurship means taking risks by launching new products and services, entering new markets, or using new processes. Because risk involves uncertainty, there is always a chance that things could go wrong. Once the business understands its key risks, it can move forward decisively and confidently. It is impossible to eliminate all the risks in a business, but it is possible to create a framework and implement process and systems which could lower the exposure to risk.

Mistakes are inevitable. The key is being aware of them and their impact and consistently working to make smart, well-informed decisions in your business.

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