In this article I’m going to talk about how NOT to start a business and some of the most common mistakes that entrepreneurs make at the beginning.
Unfortunately many people have wrong believes when it comes to starting a business, making money, picking their industry and taking risks. The cold hard reality is that over 90% of the new businesses fail and in many cases it’s because of the founders’ stupidity right from the beginning. But sometimes even if the business owner is better prepared, he can still fail. So here are some early entrepreneurial mistakes you have to avoid when you start a business.
1. Lack of commitment
I don’t care how much you dream about it or how intelligent you are, if you are not committed, your chances to succeed in business are very low. Your business is not a hobby, it’s not something you do in your spare time, you don’t waste time on it and it’s not going to build itself without you.
Commitment is absolute key to success, if you are not obsessed with your business, something is not right. I see so many entrepreneurs who want to start a business, who want to make money, some of them have good ideas, they are smart people, but they are wasting their time. They care about other things a lot more than they care about their business. Or they get a job because it’s more “secure” and that becomes their priority. They don’t make it.
2. Going Beyond All In
No matter how committed you are, if you don’t understand risk, you can get in serious trouble. There are some things that you just don’t do, especially when you start. It’s OK to be “ALL IN” with your time, with your energy and with your mind, and most of the times risking your personal funds is necessary, but that’s it. Don’t go beyond that.
Here is what I mean, no matter how good your idea is, it’s just an idea, things don’t go perfect. The execution is way more difficult than you think. Going beyond all in means risking the money for your kids or mortgaging your one and only home, or getting money from suspicious money-lenders, or borrowing the last savings your friends or family members have. Don’t do this, the risk is too big. If you need funds, use what you can afford from your personal funds, try to raise money from private equity investors, sell some stuff that you don’t really need, but don’t be stupid.
Many times people who go “Beyond All In” usually don’t have that good ideas either. And the pressure on them is so huge, that they can’t take the right decisions.
3. Not Doing Your Homework
This means not researching your market and your industry. Don’t jump in something without knowing what you are doing. Every niche has it’s specifics and you must know key things like your market size, your customers, your competitors, fixed and variable costs, etc. If you want to have a business, just because you think it’s cool and other people are having it so why not, that’s a recipe for disaster.
Assuming that because everyone is doing something, you can do it too or because no one is doing something, you can be that person, is never guarantee for success. You have to go deeper with your research and preparation.
4. Stop Learning
So many idiotic entrepreneurs think they know everything, or they know enough. They don’t have to learn. That over-confidence without any backup is just suicidal. Just because you have some observations on the market doesn’t mean you know all. Or you think it’s easy and you don’t have to learn new things.
Some people think it’s a waste of time to learn new things, that they don’t need to improve because they are fine. Things are changing, you can’t rely on old knowledge all the time.
The lack of education and the ignorance are usually very expensive, so don’t be cheap on them.
I don’t want to be discouraging, but if you want to build a good business, you have to be prepared and you have to avoid those common rookie mistakes. Because whatever happens, if your business fails, the fault is on you.
This article was originally written and posted by me in the website therealstakes.com and that’s why it’s written in more magazine style and not with the typical personal blog entry style I have.