Establishing and nurturing a business is no mean task, especially for those who are doing it for the first time. Not only do you need a wide variety of skills to tackle the demands of the business but also need to minimize the impact of environmental factors that can cost you a lot of money, effort and time. Some common pitfalls that entrepreneurs would do well to avoid and what to do:
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Don’t Get Fixated by The Idea
Sure, a brilliant idea is often the starting point of entrepreneurship, however you need to appreciate that the idea itself cannot generate any money and can be copied in seconds by competitors. It is the way, you execute the idea and fulfill the needs of your customers better than the others that will ensure success for your business.
It is very important not to develop an obsession for any single idea but to develop a number of alternatives from which, the idea with the best potential can be taken up for development. The more the number of ideas that you can come up with to solve a set of specific problems, the more likelihood there is of not being disappointed that your grand idea does not seem so grand after all.
Don’t Move Ahead with Inadequate Research
There is a tendency among entrepreneurs that they think that the business idea they have is so good that they don’t need to test it out or conduct any research about customer aspirations and how good the idea actually is in meeting them. While it is good for you to be passionate about an idea, it is equally important to examine it whether it actually does the job better than its competitors and if it is scalable.
The best way of testing the soundness of the idea is to engage a market research company but if you don’t have the money for it, you can design detailed questionnaires for your potential customers, distributors, and vendors and also discuss it threadbare with domain experts. The more research you do, the better your business idea and product will be that can be taken up for market testing and actual user feedback. You will find inadequate research mentioned as a principal reason for business failure in many debt settlement reviews.
Not Focusing on Self-Development
Entrepreneurship is not an activity that you take up and complete but a skill that you keep on developing for the rest of your life. Often entrepreneurs get so obsessed with their business that they forget all about self-development. Unless you learn new things every day, read, and interact with people with diverse skills and knowledge; there is no way you can expand your own horizons and sooner or later this obsolescence will catch up.
Even though it may seem difficult, it is important that you take time off from your business and work consciously in developing other aspects of yourself so that you are able to develop and retain a balanced perspective that can help you to forge ahead in life.
Not Planning Adequately
Successful entrepreneurship is all about goal setting and planning, not a sudden vision that makes you a millionaire overnight. Most entrepreneurs fail to understand the benefits of planning and tend to live in a reactive mode. Even if at first, you can’t develop a set of detailed objectives and plans, you should at least attempt to draft out some elementary plans that can be subsequently refined and expanded.
Unless you know what you want to achieve and lay down a roadmap of how to get there, you can be very sure that your business is going to fail just like millions of others that started out with a good idea and unfortunately, nothing else. It is important not to have one grand plan but to develop objective and strategies for the near-time, the short-term, the medium-term, and the long-term. When you get the planning for a single time horizon ready, it makes it easier for the rest to follow.
Ensure that your plans are not rigid and contingent on something happening mandatorily because you have got to be flexible to adapt to changing market circumstances, including competitor activity and technological advancements that can change the contours of the industry dramatically. However, ensure that you remember to stick to your core values come what may.
Not Being Able to Let Go
The principal reason why the majority of small businesses remain small is that entrepreneurs simply cannot scale up the business because of their obsessive compulsion to do everything themselves or to micromanage every activity. Sure, when you start out, you need to multitask and perhaps take care of everything from technology, manufacturing, finance and accounting, human resources, and marketing and it can become a habit after some time.
However, the only way to scale up your business and still have some quality of life left is to consciously build up a team, which shares your business vision and passion. Learn to delegate responsibilities not merely activities and focus on critical activities that make up the big picture.
Not Getting the Pricing Right
The ultimate challenge for every business is to bring its products to the market and be able to sell them consistently. Perhaps the biggest mistake that entrepreneurs make at the time of entering the market is to play the price warrior role to grab a share of the market.
However, since the low prices may not be sustainable unless you have a radically-new technology, many businesses end up driving themselves into the red. Rather than try to achieve cost leadership, it is better to deliver product attributes that serve the demand better than the rest and price the product to reflect that advantage.
Entrepreneurship, in the best of times, is very tricky. Not only do you need a big idea that represents a real benefit to customers, but also need to develop and test it before taking it to the market. Adequate research and planning are the cornerstones of a successful venture while pricing and scaling up can take quite an effort to get right.