Whether you have just started your business or you are an established entrepreneur,
it is never too late to take a reality-check regarding your entrepreneurial skills. Most importantly, it is better to cross-check whether you are committing some of the most common and damaging mistakes that entrepreneurs across the world commit. This includes:
1. Not Defining Target Market
Many entrepreneurs seem to fall in love with their product/creation. The feeling of having created something overwhelms their sensibilities. They forget that for commercial success every product or service, no matter how great, needs a target market. Similarly, some entrepreneurs launch businesses without defining what constitutes their core/target market.
2. Getting Dejected by Early Failures
The biggest of brands and the most worshipped of business gurus faced failure during their initial days. So, what makes you different? Why do you need a guarantee that losses will never come knocking on your door? The learning curve is essentially the same for everybody. Entrepreneurs who aren't ready for the drill shouldn’t consider themselves as long-term players. “No Pain, No Gain” isn't just a gymming quote fad, it is a truth about life, including running a business.
3. Running Excessive Overhead Costs
Every start-up needs to go through a phase of financial crunches, breaking-even and entering profitability. Unless an entrepreneur is backed by daddy’s unending money resources, it doesn’t make sense to operate in a lavish manner. Recruiting staff beyond the immediate requirement and allowing overheads exceed the initial estimate starts eating into financial stability.
4. Inability to Lead When Difficulties Arrive
An entrepreneur is expected to take harsh decisions. However, many new start-up owners lack this skill. They cannot remove unwanted employees, cutback on supplies or correct the problems at the grassroots. Communication without conviction and taking half-hearted measures leads to critical decisions being procrastinated, causing business losses.
5. Failure to Market Aggressively
Having created a great product doesn’t guarantee success to anybody. You need to market it and make investors and consumers realize its uniqueness. Many entrepreneurs tend to sit back, smugly confident that the “greatness” of their idea will magnetize investors and sales.
6. Getting Obsessed with Profits too Early
Profitability in a start-up doesn’t come easy. When it does arrive, entrepreneurs tend to jump towards saving and spending. What they don’t realize is that they need to invest in sustaining the prospect of their business. A new business needs constant financial boosts until it becomes a well-oiled, profitable machinery.
7. Lacking the Will to Sell
Some entrepreneurs fail for a rather basic and stupid reason, i.e. they never yearned for becoming an entrepreneur. These are folks who became entrepreneurs under the illusion of success coming easy to those who are their own boss. People who aren't ready to pamper the customer’s ego shouldn’t turn industrialists or service-providers. If someone is pathologically hesitant of reaching out to people and working around the clock, becoming an entrepreneur shouldn’t even be a consideration. A better option would be to find a regular, desk job.
8. Dreaming Beyond their Horizon
Yes, entrepreneurs are supposed to dream big but this wisdom holds true when they are ready to dream big about capturing a bigger market and providing better customer services. Dreaming about too many supplementary sources of income or trying to divide the current resources for things that aren't related to the core business idea slowly infects a business. It is better to stick to the identity that defines a business and improve upon it rather than divide your focus.
9. Inability to Communicate Effectively
Communication is the pivot of all forms of management and running a business too requires effective communication. Entrepreneurs often fail since they don’t know how to communicate with purpose. This isn't limited to employees or supply vendors. It also refers to communicating to their audience, financing authorities, probable investors and people who have supported them for launching the business.
10. Not Being Humble to Customers
Many new entrepreneurs suffer from the misconception that the grandeur of their business plan or exclusiveness of their product means that customers are going to appease them. There is virtually no business niche today that has been able to maintain its monopoly. The biggest and best of business ideas get replicated within weeks of engaging the initial hysteria. Why would customers stick to an uncaring entrepreneur when a more welcoming competitor is humbly waiting?
11. Aiming for Glory without Gumption
Many new entrepreneurs are guilty of starting with a reservoir of creative, positive energy but losing their strength when the reality hits them hard. Initial failures are synonymous to start-ups across the world. People who aren't ready to invest their time and energy for the long haul shouldn’t enter this niche. Expecting recognition for their sacrifices and thinking of quitting when the going gets tough are not the traits associated with a successful entrepreneur.