by The Trilojee Team, posted 2/9/2018
Every entrepreneur makes mistakes and regardless of the experience and time spent in a particular business, mistakes are what make us wiser and resilient. So, if you haven’t made a single mistake in your business, then you’re either unaware of the mistakes you’re making or just not taking enough risks. Once you fall into the pattern of running your business, you can easily learn from your mistakes, and make improvements to your business. However, in order to acquire knowledge on how to avoid certain mistakes, you need to gain experience and be dedicated to the process. Luckily for you, there are plenty of experienced entrepreneurs who have shared their most common mistakes to improve your efforts.
Here’re some of the most common and dreadful business mistakes that every entrepreneur might make and tips on how to avoid them.
LIMIT YOUR MARKETING BUDGET
If you’re a solopreneur, you’re probably on a limited budget. You’re trying to cut back on everything that you consider redundant and since marketing campaigns seem to drain your budget the most, you tend to make cuts there. Any experienced entrepreneur out there would say this is a huge mistake. It’s true that marketing will cost you, it’s also true that some of your marketing strategies may be ineffective, but that “cutting back” mindset becomes counterproductive. How will your potential customer learn about you and your product if you don’t invest in spreading your message? There are some marketing strategies and tactics that cost less money and you can always rely on your creativity, but fully neglecting your marketing efforts could bring your business growth to a halt. Set realistic goals, know how much you can spend and where you can reach your target audience. There are plenty of marketing plans online which you can use as a template to create your own personal marketing plan and determine a budget which will be realistic and affordable. You can even try a free trial of our Marketing Planner at trilojeemarketing.com
BE A ONE-MAN-SHOW
No matter how organized, dedicated and experienced you are, you can’t do everything by yourself. Many young entrepreneurs make this rookie mistake. They believe that they can save some extra bucks by doing everything on their own when in reality, they can do more damage than good. You can start as a single employee and work your business plan all on your own, however you can’t do this for too long. You need to focus more on delegating tasks, solving problems and keeping the process running at all times. If you focus on customers, ads, marketing, operations, payment etc. then you are not running your business effectively. You can certainly start as a one-man-show but at some point however it will be important to hire freelancers to perform other tasks that you’re either not good at or you just don’t have the time to do. Eventually it would be wise to work on building a talented team of freelancers since it will increase the velocity of your growth.
NEGLECT YOUR COMPETITION
Regardless of the services you’re offering or the uniqueness of your product, there will still be another business that has a similar idea or even a better one. Normally, you should focus completely on what you do and try to excel. However, your competition should never be neglected. Always have a watchful eye and follow your competitor’s steps. Even if you’re making a decent profit, you should always be aware of how the market is evolving and how your competitors are reacting to it. In this fast-moving time, not staying abreast of trends and innovation can put you below your competition. If you want to avoid this, you should do a thorough competitive analysis and use it to help you keep track of your competitor’s movements. You don’t want to copy anyone so the goal is to surpass them. Even if your sales are fine, you should still be aware of what your competition is doing.
It feels great when you can finally call yourself an owner and afford the things that you could never own because you lacked money. In reality however, it will probably take a few years before your business can finally provide you with steady profit. Until then, it’s best if you be prudent with your spending. The most common mistake is supplying your office with expensive gadgets, devices or furniture, when you can easily save those extra bucks for something more important or urgent. The most important thing to remember is that you’ll be able to afford all of those things but you’ll need to have patience first. Spend as much as your budget allows you and use your money to invest in things that have the potential to generate income and get you closer to your goals. This will help your business develop and successfully grow over time.
FOLLOW OTHER PEOPLE’S ADVICE
There are many people who would gladly help you with a piece of their advice but sometimes their experience and knowhow can be far different from yours. Don’t fall under the influence of people who don’t share the same vision. Even though most advice has good intentions, you don’t know how it will affect your business. It’s good when people open up about their challenges when running a business, but don’t take their advice blindly. Follow your instincts instead and see what works or doesn’t work for your business. As a matter of fact, mistakes are a good lesson learned and it’s not the end of the world if you make some. Base your decisions on many factors, don’t just follow someone’s advice or suggestions because you don’t trust your own.
SET UNREALISTIC GOALS
Unrealistic goals can lead to failure and disappointment and you surely don’t want to end up a bitter business owner. Setting unrealistic goals can include expecting too much too early, expecting too much from your team, and expecting too much from your marketing campaign. Instead of focusing on your expectations, try to see it from a different perspective. Look at your business as a baby who will need time, dedication and nurturing. Divide your tasks into short-term goals and long-term goals. Short-term goals should ultimately lead you to your long-term goals. Reset your expectations, explore the market, test your audience and act step by step. Baby steps can form the path towards your long-term goals and if you are gradually getting closer, you’ll know that you’re on the right path.
RECKLESSLY CHOOSE A PARTNER
Your business partner should always complement you and never hinder your progress. If you consider teaming up with someone for investment purposes, then you should do some digging about your potential business partner first. Firstly, make sure you share the same core values and work ethics. A legal person can then help you list all of the advantages and disadvantages of taking a partner and create a legal document which protects both parties, including all of the necessary points of partnership. Once you’re both protected, you can finally enjoy your partnership.
If you’re an experienced entrepreneur, you’ve probably made some of these mistakes at first. If not, you’ll probably make some along the process of running your business. These common mistakes are better avoided and since they’ve been pointed out, you can watch out for red flags. As a matter of fact, the truth is that you may make some other mistakes when trying to avoid these, but the important thing is to stay focused and anticipate any obstacle that may come your way.
Wishing you much success!