Making mistakes is part of being an entrepreneur. It molds you into a better and sharper business-minded individual, trains you to make smart decisions under pressure, and gives you that gut instinct and stamina to get through tough times. While mistakes are expected, a smart entrepreneur should avoid as much of it by learning what others before him/her have made. Here are three of the most common big-time mistakes that entrepreneurs make:
Novice entrepreneurs either spend too much or too little when starting out. Although it’s prudent to try and save as much as you can, especially during the first few months of business where your financial runway is close to nil, skimping on essentials can be harmful. Don’t be afraid to spend cash to acquire the right talent, technologies, and products. That being said, limit your cash spending strictly towards essential costs, such as marketing, lead generation, and product development.
Unrealistic Goal Setting
It’s natural for entrepreneurs to try and make big leaps from point A to point B. After all, entrepreneurs are ambitious and forward-thinkers. However, it can sometimes be difficult to objectively set goals that are realistic and attainable. Set short-term and long-term objectives that are specific and time-bound. Instead of saying, “I want to reach $1 million in revenue in a year”, write down what steps you should take to hit your milestones.
Lone Wolf Approach
Most businesses are started by individuals, rather than groups. Think Microsoft or Google, companies that were started by a couple of college students in a garage or basement. Entrepreneurs, however, make the mistake of keeping it that way even after the business has evolved from idea to entity. This lone wolf approach simply doesn’t work, at least not if you expect the business to scale consistently and quickly. Entrepreneurs tend to be perfectionists. They think the best person for every job is them and no one else. Failure to hire and delegate tasks can lead to slower growth over time.
By learning from other entrepreneur’s mistakes, you can minimize risk and increase your growth rate. Keep in mind these aren’t the only mistakes you should avoid. Not paying attention to your customers and market competitors and the fear of missing out on opportunities are also common mistakes that can severely impact your business.