Want to Be a Successful Entrepreneur? Don’t Make One of These Common Mistakes

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Taking on a new venture can be an exciting time in one’s life. The thrill of what lies ahead, the chance to do something great; it’s enough to make everyone consider becoming an entrepreneur at some point in life. When you’re serious about starting something new, about becoming a successful entrepreneur, take it from the best.

There are some common mistakes every new entrepreneur makes. Some believe they are unavoidable, but with the right preparation, you can know what to expect before the first (or last) roadblock. Before stepping foot into this uncharted territory, set aside time to read the following mistakes, so you know how to avoid them.

The only thing worse than a failed business is a business failing because of a common mistake you could have avoided. Luckily, we’ve gathered the most common mistakes new entrepreneurs make, so you can hopefully prepare for them before it’s too late.

1. Jumping headfirst into an unknown market

Many entrepreneurs get into markets they are unfamiliar with. There’s no crime in seeking an opportunity outside your field, but make sure to do some research before diving headfirst.

One of the most common phrases entrepreneurs hear is “stick to what you know.”

If you know the product and the market, you’re more likely to succeed. If you’re moving into an unknown territory, that’s okay, but do as much research as you can on the market, and hire others who know what they are doing. It’s impossible to predict market changes ahead of time if you don’t know anything about the market! Besides, you’re going to be spending a lot of time within this new industry, if you don’t have an interest in it from the start; you’re only hurting yourself in the long run.

2. Trying to run a one-man show

It’s difficult letting others hold your baby. Your new business, your new venture that you worked so hard to build, can’t survive with you alone. Find a solid group of people you can trust, preferably people who know the industry well or better yet find another successful entrepreneur in the same market.

Finding the right people can be tough, but you have to establish your core group before you hit a roadblock where you need their help – and they are nowhere to be found.

Having someone to share the ups and downs with makes celebrating the victories that much sweeter. Look for other successful entrepreneurs who can help you solve problems in new and exciting ways. Keep your circle close, but don’t be afraid to let others in.

3. Not getting into the business fast enough

It’s difficult to sit back and watch a successful entrepreneur get into a new and exciting industry, but if the ship has already sailed, let it go. There is opportunity all around us, and while it may feel like the end of the world missing out on a new business venture, there are always more to come.

When the market is over-saturated, you’re fighting against hundreds of other entrepreneurs, many of whom got into the industry much earlier. If you can think of a hole the market that needs to be filled, go for it, otherwise, sit back and wait for another opportunity to present itself. Even if this new industry is booming, it doesn’t mean that new entrepreneurs are raking in the cash. You can become a successful entrepreneur if you see this opportunity.

It takes time to penetrate the market, and once you’ve seen the opportunity, chances are, many other successful entrepreneurs have as well. The only thing worse than missing out on a good opportunity is jumping into the market when it’s oversaturated and too late, causing a failed business.

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4. Getting too into the weeds

Once you’ve made the jump into a new business venture, make sure to keep one foot on the ground, and one in the clouds. You need to have the ability to look at things from an outside perspective, so you can predict and foresee future roadblocks. Getting too into the weeds can hinder your ability to predict future events. It can also stop you from seeing the big picture.

You need to know what’s going on in the business and industry, and having both an inside and outside perspective is invaluable. If you feel yourself getting sucked into every single detail, hire an outsider to look at things from a different angle. It’s difficult to know when you’ve hit this point, so keep someone at arm’s length who you can trust to let you know when it’s time to take a step back.

5. Not investing the right amount of money

No one can tell you the golden number you should invest, but not investing enough or investing too much can be deadly to your business. Throwing all your money at something is not the solution, nor is hoarding every penny you have in fear of losing it all. Seek financial advice from another successful entrepreneur.

Research the market, your business, and absorb as much information as you can in order to properly finance your new business. It’s not a good idea to throw every last penny you have into this idea with no backup plan. You’ll be worried sick it will fail. Before you jump into a new business, you need to be financially prepared.

If you don’t have enough money to invest, then it’s not the right time to do so. You don’t want to worry about every penny you need to spend.

6. Failure to scale effectively

You’ve made it past the first few steps, congratulations! When you’re ready to expand, don’t make the mistake of doing it too quickly. Watching your business collapse after you’ve already made it past the difficult start is brutal. It’s easy to want to scale quickly to continue raking in the profits, but not hiring the right people and not having the infrastructure to do so effectively can make your new business crumble before your eyes. Remember, slow and steady wins the race.

Having the right people in place is much more important than having the wrong people there quickly.

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BA in Accountancy, he entered the entrepreneurial world by starting his first online marketing business in 1997. Love to read books on entrepreneurship and marketing and always on the lookout for opportunities. An avid golfer and currently a 15 handicapper.

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