15 Mistakes You Have to Avoid When Starting Your First Business
When starting your first business, you have a bunch of unanswered questions. When it comes to a successful business, every single detail matters. Each, even the smallest mistake, can stop you from becoming a successful entrepreneur.
As a new entrepreneur, do you have such problems? Do you have a bunch of questions, and no good quality answers?
I have a lot of friends who have started their businesses. Some are very successful they are making millions, while others are still on six figures incomes.
A few days ago, I asked them, what was the biggest mistake they made, when starting their first business. I never hoped to get so many different and interesting answers.
They are successful, and they went through a ‘growing process’ of a businessman. So, their information, give a very clear image of what happens when an entrepreneur starts his first business.
I’ve decided to share the most common mistakes of a first time entrepreneur with you. You need to prevent these mistakes at all costs. Don’t say that you didn’t know about them later.
Which are the most common mistakes of inexperienced entrepreneurs, when starting their first business?
#1 I didn’t focus on my customers, but on myself
Don’t fool yourself – YOU don’t matter.
Your customers do!
You’re selling your product to your customers, and it needs to be subordinated to them. The product must satisfy their wishes and possibilities.
You need to solve at least one of their problems with your product, and that will guarantee a successful business. Don’t focus on yourself focus on the needs of your customers instead.
#2 I thought customers will wait in line to get my product
This is frustrating for all new entrepreneurs. You work day and night, in order to finish your product, and then, no one is interested in buying what you made.
First time entrepreneurs have to understand that the release of the product on the market is the easier part of the job.
When your product is on the market, that’s when the real fight starts. You have to fight for attention, for someone to notice you, to take a look at what you made, and eventually maybe even buy your product.
The real work starts once the product is finished.
You have to create a great marketing campaign, and fight for each new customer. The market is cruel, only the most persistent ones win.
#3 I didn’t write down my business goals
We people are lazy, hesitant, and are always looking for the easiest road. If you want to be a successful entrepreneur, you have to take the difficult road.
You have to create a business plan, in order to stay motivated throughout the whole process. It doesn’t have to be the best business plan ever. It should contain all the things you want to do, your goals, the draft of your financial situation, and the deadlines for each of the steps.
Business plan will enable you to keep track of your progress at any time. You’ll know where you are, and what else needs to be done, so you could get to where you want to be.
All you want and need to know about business plans, can be found in my article Do you need mentoring and business plan?
#4 I was working 18 hours a day, and I should have worked 24 hours a day
In order to be successful, you need to work more than others, be more creative, think in a more advanced way, and live differently.
You can’t spend your weekends in cafes, dissipating money, and expect to become a successful entrepreneur. You can’t spend your entire day in front of the TV, and expect to become the best basketball player in the world.
If you want to be the best, you just have to be the best!
It means that you have to show others how to reach the throne, with your acts, manners, and waiver.
Work harder, smarter and better and you’ll get to where you want to be.
#5 I didn’t invest in myself
As a first time entrepreneur you need to be aware of the fact that your success depends entirely on you. You’re the one who will make key movements, and determine the faith of its business.
You have to be smart, in order to make good decisions.
Don’t hesitate when it comes to spending 1000 dollars, on a seminar where you’ll learn something that might help your business.
Many entrepreneurs agree that it is better to invest 1000 dollars, in order to learn something in a year then spend 3 years, in order to learn something for free.
#6 I wanted an overnight success
The old proverb says: If someone is offering you something great, and is not asking for much in return, that something might not be so great after all.
A business can’t be built overnight. It is a process that lasts for months, sometimes even years.
You have to be patient. Don’t make hasty decisions, because that could lead you to failure.
If you want to succeed overnight, the only way to do it, is to work till late at night. 😀
#7 I quit my regular job too early
The vast majority of today’s entrepreneurs starts, their businesses as an side business. So, their side businesses don’t become their full-time occupation right away.
You can start a successful business, with very little money, but it is always easier when you have the money, you can invest in the business.
The controversies on when is the right time to devote your full attention to your side business can be found all over the internet. I can say that the question has no right answer.
If you quit your current job too early, you can lose the money you need for the investment. On the other hand, a full devotion to your business, will allow you to grow faster.
You need to muse upon the situation, and decide yourself, when is the right time for you to devote to your business completely.
One of the first things all first time entrepreneurs should learn is, to separate business and private life.
You need to draw a clear line between your and business finances. You can’t spend the money that comes in the company, to satisfy some personal needs.
The money that comes in the company should be spent on the investments.
In order to obtain the part you deserve, it is best to hire yourself in the company, and give yourself a reasonable monthly wage.
#9 I quit too soon
The thing is simple – you need to catch a certain work pace.
You can compare your first business with dance lessons.
At the beginning, you’ll be wandering left and right, and you’ll look silly. When you learn the steps, everything will look much better. But, the most important thing is to catch the pace, so you could merge with the music.
Each new dance lesson will be better than the one before. You will start developing your dance skills, and you will progress.
It is the same thing with business. The results come slowly at the beginning, but, once you get into the work routine, and learn what you need to learn, you’ll improve significantly.
Don’t quit too soon, because you never know what improvement could happen tomorrow. Maybe tomorrow someone will order a thousand of your products. Believe in yourself and your business!
#10 I haven’t done the research regarding the legal framework for my business
Whatever you start, you have to know that there are some rules on the market, you have to obey.
I think there are no many companies today that don’t have a lawyer who takes care that all things run smoothly and according to rules required by the competent institutions.
I myself have had trouble with lawyers, when I published a photo on my website without authorization. I admit to have violated the copyright, and that cost me a lot of money and nerves.
I would recommend you to consult the lawyers before starting any business, so they could tell you which details you have to have in mind. It is your first business, and the last thing you want is negotiation, and problem solving with the lawyers.
#11 I’ve set the price too low, just so I would attract the customers
You sometimes simply don’t know what the real price of your product would be. You sometimes set the price too low, just so you would attract new customers.
You have to solve both problems, before you find your place on the market.
Don’t tell me that you don’t know the worth of your product. It is worth every invested minute, every written mail, and all the invested knowledge.
When setting a price, you need to be guided by the following thesis: Your product is worth as much as the customers are ready to pay for it.
#12 I didn’t take enough time to brand myself or the product
When you open your first business, you’re starting to present yourself to the world. You’re presenting your idea, your realization, your product, and yourself as well.
Branding is a process which requires a great number of resources (money and time). But, what you get by branding, is a lot bigger then the invested.
All worldwide known companies can attribute their popularity to a good branding alone.
If you don’t invest money in the marketing, your existence on the market is almost impossible. Good advertisement sells the product.
#13 I’ve decided to have a business partner
A business partner can often help you a lot when it comes to finding your position on the market, but the contrary can happen as well. Your partner can stop your progress.
It is very hard to find a good business partner.
First of all, you have to be careful when entering into partnership with people very close to you (family, friends). They sometimes enter into partnership just to help you, without the passion that is necessary to get the business going.
After a while, your business becomes boring to them, so they want to get out of it. And the thing they want when getting out, is a big sum of money, as a reward for all the things they did so far, and for al the investments they made.
Sometimes, the best decision is to start a business alone, and start looking for a partner afterwards, only if that’s really necessary.
#14 I’ve hired an external manager
A good manager knows how to charge for its work. Unfortunately, you as a new entrepreneur have no money to pay him, so, you’re deciding to hire some other, not so expensive manager.
Managers are predators looking for a good profit, and not many of them can really help your business.
If you’re growing really fast, it would be a better option, to offer the manager position to someone who has been working for you for a while.
Manager position requires making good decisions. Current employees know the possibilities of the business, and they know the direction they should head into as well.
That’s why one of them (the best one) deserves the manager position.
#15 I wasn’t prepared for the bad days
The market changes so fast, and your product may be the best and the most popular today. But, after a month, someone else will take your place on the market, with a better and more interesting product.
When your business is doing great, take a part of the funds, and start investing in the future.
After all, everything you’re doing should be directed towards future anyway.
So, how is your first business going?
I know it is really hard at first. But, if you want a better future, you have to take risks now.
I hope you’re satisfied with the mistakes I warned you about, and I hope you’ll do everything you can to avoid them.
As I said, these were the mistakes made by my friends who are entrepreneurs. They were once beginners as well, who were starting their first business.
Each of them has made a mistake, but they knew how to fix them very well.
The willingness to prevent mistakes and a prompt resolution need to be in your blood. There are no successful people who haven’t made mistakes. They have all made them, but they were also able to get out of them with success.
I want to help you, but I need to know your business situation. Feel free to write in the comments below, what you’re doing at the moment, and what is your current business situation.
I have two articles for you:
The articles above, are leading you towards the creation of a successful business.
If you think about it twice, a successful business consists of many steps and easy mathematical calculations. It is nothing too difficult, just take a look at the suggested articles, and you’ll have it all clear.
If you want to live a great life, I would recommend you to download my free Live Your Dreams book. There you can find numerous advice that will enable you to achieve the life of your dreams.
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