Starting up a business requires having a business plan and having the discipline to follow it through.
It requires that you completely submit yourself to the business and you must also have knowledge of the business venture you want to embark on.
However there are mistakes you must avoid in other to be successful in your business especially if you are a start-up.
- Fear of Failure
The fear of failure is can limit you from giving your business that little extra boost it requires to stand out. Failure is not the end of a business. Lessons learnt from some failures can be the driver you need to make your business a huge success.
- Delay or Procrastination
Procrastination has been described by experts as the greatest enemy of an entrepreneur. Procrastination stands between your dreams and your success.
- Going Alone
One of the mistakes most entrepreneurs make is thinking that they know it all and they can do it all alone. You may just tire yourself out. Having partners and mentors can be a source of fresh ideas and objectivity. This ensures that you don’t distance yourself from the reality of the business and the market. It is better to have a 10% stake in a business worth 10 billion naira than to have a 100% in a business worth 10 Million naira. Partnerships help your business grow.
- Ignoring Marketing
Irrespective of how a business stands out, or how much patronage it receives there is almost always a competitor. Applying the right marketing strategy ensures that your business not only grows but remains relevant. This is important for both prospective and existing patronage.
- Underestimating the value of branding
Branding goes beyond creating a simple logo. Branding defines the image of a business. It also serves as a constant guide and reminder of not just how you want your business to be, but also how it should operate and be represented.
- Being Flamboyant
There is absolutely no need to overpay for your business premises if it does not have any direct impact on your customers or clientele.
The extra cost paid on fancy cars and expensive furniture can be directed to other business needs. There are a lot of moderately priced furniture that can provide the same function and still look decent.
- Not Paying yourself properly
No matter the type of business you have, it is important you treat it as an entity separate from you so you must take a salary. So depending on the model you choose you can either pay yourself a fixed amount or a percentage of revenue. Whatever the case may be, it is important you don’t pay yourself too little because you have to live with it or too much because your business may not be able to handle it.
- Not setting attainable goals.
Every Entrepreneur needs to set attainable goals both in the short and long term. It is important to set your goals against a particular time. Goals can be set daily, weekly monthly and so on.
- Putting your products/Services before the customers
In developing your product or suit of services and defining your business model, it is important to have a customer-centric mindset. It is important to focus on making money but it is even more important to note that the key to a sustainable business is to have loyal and satisfied customers.
- Being Consumed by your Ideas
It is important not to get consumed by your ideas. As an entrepreneur one can get obsessed with a business idea while neglecting the technicalities and economics. There must be a clear understanding of start-up requirements, cash flow plan and all the metrics that your business needs to survive but in the short and long term.
In this write up I deliberately avoided talking about hiring because I intend to write a full article on it.
But it is important to note that in hiring, skills and competence must come before friends and family.
Being an Entrepreneur is not easy, and mistakes will be made. But it makes no sense repeating common mistakes that are made by entrepreneurs.
Very little oversights can be very costly for a business in the long run especially for start-ups.