You’re bound to make more than five mistakes as a neo-entrepreneur (young and fresh entrepreneurs who are less experienced than their older, more established counterparts), especially during the startup years. Entrepreneurship means going through a lot of uncharted territory and interestingly enough, many of these mistakes stem from characteristics that make a person an entrepreneur.
Entrepreneurs who succeed tend to share the following traits:
- Flying solo – Many entrepreneurs like to work alone or be completely in charge. This sometimes conflicts with research showing that entrepreneurs are highly social people. A successful entrepreneur is one who learns to balance these factors well.
- Highly motivated – A good entrepreneur is highly self-motivated and passionate about his or her ideas. They must also be good at motivating others to push themselves in order to meet goals.
- Constantly creative – Successful entrepreneurs keep on coming up with new ideas and don’t rest on their laurels. Instead, they are constantly conducting market research, analyzing consumer reactions and coming up with new ways to improve the business.
- Eager to learn – Coming up with new ideas all the time means keeping on top of trends, industry developments and market shifts. To be successful, an entrepreneur needs to undergo continuing education, attend workshops and conferences, and have the self-confidence to admit mistakes and learn from others.
- Ethical – Entrepreneurs eschew get-rich-quick schemes, understand the value of regulations and adhere to ethical business practices.
- Resilient – They aren’t afraid to fail and understand that risks are part of starting a business. They’re willing to take the risk and if it doesn’t pan out, learn from the mistakes and start over again.
However, mistakes can and still happen. Here are 5 of the major ones that come up over and over in articles, studies and analyses of entrepreneurial activity.
1) Not enough research
Initially, an entrepreneur often tends to get overly excited about a business idea and makes assumptions that may not be sound. In the process, they neglect to conduct adequate market research to arrive at reliable data needed to set objectives and guide the business. Not doing enough research can result in mistakes like underestimating the size of the market or targeting too narrow a niche, not having enough competitive information, inaccurate consumer profiles, and incomplete distribution data.
2) Overemphasis on product
It’s true that everything starts with the product but entrepreneurs can also focus too much on the product at the expense of the business. Victims of this product-driven mindset include customers’ preferences, sales and distribution. This obsession with product can lead an entrepreneur to endlessly tinker with the product until he feels like it is perfect – with what customers actually want and need brushed aside.
3) Ignoring the basics
Entrepreneurs often have a rebellious streak in them and may neglect basic practices of established businesses such as having a well thought out business plan or complying with legal requirements. These and other practices are important to the success of the company and as such, must be addressed.
4) Buying customers
Falling in love with a massive advertising and promotional campaign is a common mistake among entrepreneurs. Failure to test first, over and over, before spending big bucks on media and promotions can bring a startup to its knees fast.
5) Bloated overheads
Now that you’re the boss, an entrepreneur often succumbs to the temptation to overstaff the business and load it with administrative overheads. Capital is eaten up by salaries, equipment and supplies instead of being used for market research, product development and marketing.
A successful business requires not only a detailed business plan but also a mindset about the people you’re going to target in the market. Directly targeting your customers without a detailed market research will not yield favorable outcomes. In order to overcome such problems you have to be specific about pricing and target a specific niche. The basic principle should be to do a research and find out the needs and demands of your customers. Understand your market and customer needs. On the basis of those needs, design a customer driven marketing strategy. This will result in creating a value for your customers and generating a demand for your products.
About The Author
Lewis Edward is one of the owners of TheOfficeProviders. He is a real estate investor with many interests in other sectors. Lewis researches and contributes various written features for TheOfficeProviders in areas regarding real estate, including office space for rent and servised offices, and general business and economy matters. Lewis is experienced in the inner workings of both the traditional and flexible workspace industries and has developed close links with various figures in real estate circles, as well other circles.