What are the common mistakes that new entrepreneurs make and how can you avoid making them yourself? Here is ldgaryceo.com’s top 10 list of mistakes people make when starting a business:
1) Not enough money.
The most common reason why new businesses shut down is that the owner runs out of money. Cash flow is critical to a startup business. You could be profitable and still have to close your doors because your customers are taking too long to pay you. Cash is king in a startup venture and you need to prepare for it.
One option is to make sure you have enough startup capital from your own investments or outsiders (bank loan, private investors, etc). A second option is to ease into the business so that you start doing it on a part-time basis until you know that it will make enough money to support you.
2) Not thinking survival.
Starting a business is all about survival. How do you stay around one more day so that you can learn more about your market and close new customers?
At the beginning stages of a business this may mean doing work that might not be completely what you want to do but it helps pay the bills. You need to do whatever it takes to survive and get through until the business can fully support yourself.
3) Losing momentum.
Many new entrepreneurs have ambitions to start a business so they create a website, try to make a few sales, go all out for a few months and then stop completely. Building a business is all about momentum. If you had 24 hours to spend on a business they would be put to far better use by spending one hour a day than for 24 hours straight.
It takes time to develop a new company and for people to react to what you have to offer. Never lose the momentum and even if your business is only a part time initiative for you at the moment, make sure that every day you are making progress of some sort to move your company forward.
4) Doing it all alone.
Nobody is perfect or has the skills to do everything themselves. You need to understand what it is that you bring to the table and what you need to surround yourself with. If, for example, you are very strong at inventing but don’t want to sell then you need to find a salesperson to help you.
You won’t succeed by forcing yourself to do things that you truly don’t enjoy and will never be good at. Know where you stand and what value you can offer. By getting people around you who complement your skills, you will be able to achieve your goals and have a lot more fun along the way!
5) Not hiring right away.
You should begin looking at who can be brought on board to help you from the first day of starting your company. There will be tasks in any business that you, as the owner, should not be focusing on if you hope to build any sort of sizable organization. Why are you doing admin work when you should be out closing customers, talking to the media, and landing new partnerships?
But I’m broke! How can I hire someone? Even if you have a $0 budget you can find people to work for you through high school and foreign student internship programs. Once you have a budget, you can bring people on board for as little as one hour a day (what I first did) and then increase their hours when you can afford it. You need to be spending your time working on the business and not in the business.
6) Don’t build around a customer.
The best way to make a lot of money quickly is to find a customer who has a problem and is willing to pay you to solve it – and then you go out and build the solution. Most entrepreneurs take the opposite mentality of “if I build it, then will come” only to realize that they’ve built it and nobody is coming. Instead of talking to customers as to why they’re not coming they decided to continue building and building. Soon they find out that they’ve invested years of work and nobody is interested in buying from them.
The companies with the highest failure rates are restaurants because they are usually built around an owner’s personal tastes. Meanwhile, the entrepreneurs with the lowest failure rates are lawyers and accountants because they are based around a service that we all need (whether we like it or not!) Talk to potential customers, see what they are interested in, identify who has money and what their pains are and then create your product / service around them.