This post originally appeared on startupnation.com/grow-your-business
Are you finally ready to be your own boss and launch a new business? You probably already have your business plan written up and are ready to introduce your products or services to the market. However, before you start all of your marketing and operational activities, take a moment to think about what you should definitely avoid doing on your entrepreneurial journey. This will help you and your enterprise be much more successful.
Are you stumped on which mistakes you should avoid as you embark on your new business venture? Not to worry! Below are some common mistakes that entrepreneurs make when they launch and run a new business. Make sure to steer clear of these blunders to ensure that your enterprise flourishes in the long run!
8 mistakes entrepreneurs often make
They focus on success and not fulfillment.
Business isn’t easy. Period. So many entrepreneurs are passionate
and have an “If you build it, they will come,” ideal when they start out. However, business isn’t a field of dreams. It will always have good days and bad days. There will be sacrifices you have to make. And if you aren’t focused on the way it fulfills you, you won’t make it. The obstacles that are inevitable will be walls that stop you, rather than just something to get around. Your business has to be a mission. A movement that you know deep in your heart the world needs. It has to light you up, as that’s what’s going to pull you through the tough times
Adding people at the wrong time in the wrong places.
Scaling is an art and so is adding people in the right place in a business. Oftentimes, entrepreneurs try to scale before they’re really ready. You have to consider input versus output, and be especially aware of how it affects your bottom line. Salaries add overhead and you must ensure that the person you’re adding somehow increases revenue.
For example, many company owners think they need to bring in someone for sales, which makes sense on a surface level when you want to expand. But when you look at it from different angles, you might realize that a virtual assistant is actually a better addition, because it frees up time you can use in business development. Even an extra four hours a week can make a huge difference to your sales without adding a bigger salary to the bottom line. That can bring in the extra revenue that will let you add the sales person when it’s right.
Not communicating the big vision.
Entrepreneurs have great ideas, but not all can articulate them in a way the people understand and want to join. The way you talk about your vision and mission
must be compelling. It has to make people want to lean in and become part of the dream. It has to be simple and it has to light a fire in people’s hearts. Explaining kills the deal. If they don’t get it right away, you’ve lost them. That stands for clients, employees, investors, and so on. Think about your business as its own personality because it is. What makes it attractive? Charming? Captivating? That’s where you start.
Not leveraging relationships.
Business is a team sport, and the relationships you build
are just as important as the business. Word-of-mouth marketing, referrals for hirings, new markets, and opportunities will all come through the people around you. You must be part of the teams you build. Get to know your clients and employees past a surface level. Make them feel like they matter… because they do! That will take you and your enterprise further than you know.
Not building the systems and processes early.
Too often entrepreneurs spend a lot of time reinventing the wheel. Paperwork is done differently. Marketing is a series of one-offs that aren’t measured. Sales goals aren’t set, followed, or analyzed. To do business well and scale, you have to have the structure. Then, to keep growing, you have to break the system and work to make it better. It’s a series of making, breaking, and remaking again. Do it really well and that’s IP you can sell, license, or franchise, if it’s unique enough. But if you don’t build your systems and processes, someone else in your niche will and possibly do it a lot better, which will leave you stuck in last place.
Not revisiting their vision often.
It’s really easy in business to start chasing shiny objects or to get distracted by seemingly great opportunities. You just have to ensure they align with your vision. Is the opportunity really taking you where you want to go? Will it help you accomplish your goals? Will it fulfill you? Explore them fully before you commit to them.
They don’t really understand their client.
They might have a basic idea of the demographic, but they don’t know what makes their client tick. You must know what problems they face. When they face them. What would trigger them to look for help. You need to know who makes the final decision and how they think. Before launching a product or service, most entrepreneurs are so excited about their idea that they don’t even ask their clients if they’d want the service or if it would be helpful. You will only succeed if your client finds value in what you offer. The only way to know for sure is to go to the source.
They try to do it alone.
Enlist the help of a coach or mentor
. Someone who’s done it before. They will save you so much time and money… it will most definitely outweigh the cost of the coaching. And you get to add in someone else to your network who’s already built a network. The opportunities that will open are priceless.
To wrap it all up
Are you stoked to embark on your entrepreneurial journey? We bet. However, make sure you avoid some common mistakes that business owners make, such as focusing on success and not fulfillment, adding people at the wrong time in the wrong places, not communicating your company’s big vision, and not leveraging your relationships. Also, don’t make the mistakes of not building your business systems early and not revisiting your vision often. Taking heed of these tips should help you be much more successful in your entrepreneurial journey.
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