Entrepreneurship is an enticing gig: You get autonomy, power, prestige, excitement, and, if you are lucky, excessive wealth. However, being an entrepreneur isn’t just planting the seeds of business and watching them sprout into a money tree. The world is filled with wannabe entrepreneurs just like you, which means you must do everything right to find success.
Unfortunately, you probably won’t do everything right. Still, you will probably survive a few blunders – unless they are any of the following devastating mistakes that will end your entrepreneurial career before it truly begins.
1. Wasting Time
Any entrepreneur will tell you that you need real-world experience before you can successfully run a business. However, that shouldn’t give you a reason to procrastinate on your dreams. While you might take a couple years between undergrad and graduate school to gain familiarity with your industry of choice, you should be careful to avoid putting off your entrepreneurial plans for too long.
The business world moves fast, and sooner or later someone else with the same idea and more speed will beat you to success. Before time runs out, you should acquire an online MBA, no GMAT required, so you can gain the skills you need for your business as soon as possible.
2. Assuming All Responsibilities
You desperately want everything in your business to be perfect, and that means you must know how to delegate. Too many entrepreneurs are unwilling to relinquish any control; some will refuse to hire new employees to take over, while others will try to meddle in projects they’ve already given to their teams. The conclusion is always the same: Work doesn’t get done – or it gets done sloppily – and the business crashes.
Even if you want to, you simply can’t handle all the responsibilities of a new business on your own. You aren’t experienced enough in many complex processes, like financial management or marketing, to maintain complete control in perpetuity. You must give your less important tasks to employees who are more proficient at them. Then, you can devote your attentions to more influential undertakings, like growth and change.
3. Forgetting About Passion
Human resources, corporate wellness, economic consulting – according to Forbes, these industries are ripe for startups, but if they don’t ignite in you an entrepreneurial passion, you should probably stay away. If the product or concept behind your business is less than exhilarating, you will never be able to commit enough of yourself to it to find success. Entrepreneurship is unbelievably hard, but it is fulfilling and worthwhile when you care about the outcome. Therefore, instead of chasing the money, you should chase the high of doing something interesting.
4. Being Inflexible
Like any good entrepreneur, you developed a business plan before embarking on your entrepreneurial dreams. While a business plan is an indispensable tool for beginning your business journey – necessary for challenges like acquiring funding and hiring talent ― that plan should never be written in stone. You will incur obstacles that you didn’t expect, such as technological innovation, changes to consumer taste, and unforeseen competition in the market. The road to success is never bump-free.
You must be willing and able to adapt your plan and vision. In fact, you should try to anticipate market changes that will impact your business. Continuing to test your products, pursue new options, and chase new audiences will help you stay ahead of the curve.
5. Expecting Success
It is okay to imagine being a titan of industry, but if your fantasies ever solidify into expectations, you are in trouble. A generous proportion of startups fail; according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, only about half make it five years, and a third survive to 10. It is good to be confident in your skills, knowledge, and plans, but you should consistently remind yourself that you are one bad decision away from being on the losing side of those stats.
Being realistic will help you budget effectively, expand carefully, and respond appropriately to opportunities and obstacles alike. Realism will keep you upbeat when you are in the red for your first two years, and it will keep you grounded when cash starts rolling in.
All entrepreneurs fail. However, some of those entrepreneurs learn from their failures and go on to become famous successes. The mistakes listed above are sure to discourage any budding entrepreneur beyond hope. Thus, as you begin you career in entrepreneurship, you must learn from others’ failures first.