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  • Writer's pictureAvanlee Fisher

3 Big Mistakes that Entrepreneurs Make and How to Avoid Them

Updated: Feb 15, 2023

Entrepreneur reading a magazine article titled "The Entrepreneurs Guide to Success & Business Growth" while holding a mug that says 80/20

It can be difficult starting your own business. But the difference between a successful and unsuccessful entrepreneur has little to do with one’s character, level of determination, or even ideas; rather, success has much more to do with one’s process, model, and behaviors during the early stages of business development. Here are three big mistakes that new business owners make and how to avoid them in your own entrepreneurial endeavors.

Lacking Realism

Business ideas are like animals: Once you name it, you grow emotionally attached to it. Many new entrepreneurs latch onto their first big business idea without offering it sufficient criticism and brutal honesty. As a result, when their business idea flops, they are less likely to learn from their mistakes and more likely to make silly excuses for themselves.

Before you start making prototypes or marketing your services, take the time to consider the weaknesses and strengths of your ideas. And don’t aim to do this alone. Talk to a trusted friend, colleague, or professional and ask their honest opinions. Reach out to those of your intended market and ask them whether or not they could see themselves purchasing your product or service. If not, it may be time to make some tweaks to your original plan. Don’t see this as a failure—rather, see this as an opportunity to perfect your entrepreneurial skills and ideas!

Draining Funds

Another big mistake that many entrepreneurs make is to spend too much money too early on in the entrepreneurial process. Many entrepreneurs get carried away with a couple of early successes and end up expanding faster than sustainable, draining their bank accounts in the process. Much of these early financial investments are spent on large salaries or new employees. But during the very beginning stages of business, do you really need a large sales team or human resources team? Probably not. In reality, during the early stages of business, try to bootstrap as much as you can and only expand when absolutely necessary for growth. After all, spending time learning how to do business finances and marketing yourself may prove extremely useful to you in the future.

Losing Focus on Sales

A lot of new entrepreneurs fall into the trap of “product perfection” rather than focusing on product sales. Yes, it is important that you are consistently improving your product or service to meet the demands of your customers, but if you are only concentrating on your product and not on selling your product, you are going to miss out on potential gains. In order to generate sales, you will need to know who you are selling to. Take the time to identify and research your potential customers so that you can cater your marketing strategies specifically to them. Attract customers via online platforms and increase your online visibility using SEO strategies.

Starting a business can be tricky, but successful entrepreneurship is more formulaic than you might think. The entrepreneurship process comes with its risks, but you can mitigate these risks by avoiding common mistakes that amateur business owners tend to make. In summary, be passionate but be critical about your ideas, don’t spend too much money too early, and don’t lose focus on generating sales.

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