7 mistakes every entrepreneur should try to avoid

As an entrepreneur you are probably ready to face challenges on everyday basis. It seems fare, especially knowing how fast-spinning and unpredictable the business world is. But, when it comes to your startup adventure, preparation is everything. You need to think one step ahead just like a chess player who is determined to win.

Look at this great quote from one of the most extraordinary people ever lived: “Anyone who had never made a mistake has never tried anything new.” Innovation goes hand in hand with every great achievement, but with many risks as well. Failure is essential part of success but why to prepare to fail when you can prepare to win? When difficulties and unexpected obstacles appear on your way to success you have to mobilize your strengths and face these obstacles. This is part of the startup path. There are some mistakes that you can avoid from the very beginning and save yourself a lot of headaches when everything becomes real.

1. Mislay the main idea

Losing your focus from the idea that is the core of everything can harm your company. Adaptation to new situations is indispensable but changing your course of business visions can damage the image of the company. Your customers and employees may feel betrayed if you lead your business to complete different direction. Along the way of growing many startup founders forget the most important concept of their businesses and start to wander in search for more. To avoid this big mistake, stay focused and don’t lose the passion that you started with. Don’t confuse the change of ideas with expanding of the business. Both may seem similar but losing the main idea can be very harmful for your startup.

2. The wrong partner

Being a startup owner carries a lot of responsibilities. Often the way gets rocky and the pressure seems unbearable. In this situations bringing a partner to the business looks very tempting. On the other hand some entrepreneurs decide no matter what happens to stand alone on the board even when the sea is wavy. The truth is that by devoting yourself to inflexible decision-making strategy can cost you a lot. Having a partner can bring many benefits to your company if you choose the right one. Avoid the biggest mistake that many unexperienced startup owners do, precisely – do not accept as a partner person that have different vision than yours. Start strong with the right partner or stay strong until you find one.

3. Unclear strategy

It may seem impossible to know from day one what kind of pattern you should follow when it comes to turning an idea into a well-running business, but without strategy and clear vision it is possible to mismanage your startup. Be clear from the beginning how the whole working process will be handled, what business model you will follow and what organizational system your company will have.

4. Make things complicated

Make things complicated

If a startup owner cannot tell in one sentence what exactly the company’s purpose is, it automatically gives a red light. Great things are simple, clear and can be easily expressed. Don’t forget that simplicity is the ultimate sophistication not only in business but also in everyday life.

5. Concentrate only on the big picture or vice versa

Success doesn’t come easy. It is an on-going process. Satisfaction, on the other hand, is something that startup owners can experience every single day. The feeling that today you have accomplished something which will lead you to the great success is very recharging. Concentrate on the small steps, but never forget the big picture and the final goal. Your focus has to be on both. Remember that every small step counts and it brings you one step closer to the top. Avoid concentrating only on the big picture and the opposite.

6. Poor hiring

As a startup owner your budget can give you pressure and it is understandable. To work well a company needs professionals that can handle the agility of the work process. Reliable, talented employees often are willing to join your startup but as an employer you need to be able to meet their expectations. Choose your team members wisely. Expect their hard work but don’t forget to fulfil their needs too. Build a strong team that understands your business. This is one of the biggest assets you need to invest in, some may even say – the biggest.

7. Skip the research

Before you deep dive into the whirlpool of the business world make sure that you have done your homework. Preparation starts with good research. Explore the niche, the market, the competition, your target groups, the trends in the sector. Be ready to give something new to the customers, something that has value. Make sure that you supply what is in demand. Be innovative. To start strong know what you are getting involved into.

Don’t be afraid to fall, don’t be afraid to make mistakes, but be ready to step ahead and to avoid as many of them as you can.

─ October 30, 2014