An excellent idea coupled with a well thought-out business plan is a surefire way to get your entrepreneurial dream off the ground but, when starting out, there are a number of mistakes that many entrepreneurs make even if their idea and their plan are sound. The fact is, just as there are more than a few different ways to start and run a small business there are certainly more than a few mistakes that can (and will) be made. Today’s blog will make you, our dear readers, aware of these mistakes so that you can avoid them and become successful easier and faster. Enjoy.
- Trying to focus on too many new ideas at one time. For many new entrepreneurs the ideas bouncing around in their head are plentiful. The problem is, unless you are able to focus on one or two of these ideas and put the others on the back burner, all of those great ideas can actually become a liability. Simply put, focusing on no more than 3 ideas (or priorities, or tasks) is a much better plan and, even better, focus on those three ideas exclusively for the first year that you are in business.
Takeaway – Ideas are great but too many can hold you back from being successful.
- Scaring investors off with non-disclosure agreements. If you have an incredible new idea for a product or service the fact that you need to protect your idea and your intellectual property is obvious. The problem that many new entrepreneurs make however is that they cloak their ideas in a non-disclosure agreements and even a bit of paranoia, sometimes to the point that they frighten off investors who may well be their salvation. Better to discuss your ideas openly and frankly with at least a few other people so that, if there are flaws or holes in your idea (or if, for some reason, it just doesn’t resonate) you’ll find out before you sink a lot of time and money into a flawed plan.
Takeaway – Protecting your business idea is smart but discussing it with at least a few other people before starting is vital.
- Putting too much emphasis on non-human interaction. Let’s face it, the average start today depends much more heavily on technology than ever before. From the idea itself to collaboration, communication and, of course, promotion, email, mobile phones and social media are heavily used to get a business off the ground. The thing is however that the human touch is definitely also required to do the same. Taking advantage of mobile technology and the new social media is a great idea but is definitely not a substitute for in person, face-to-face communication. Indeed, there are some experts believe that the new generation of entrepreneurs lack the true social skills necessary to build businesses because of too much reliance on the new communication technologies.
Takeaway – Communication technology is great but human to human contact is vital to starting any new business.
- Ignoring the new ‘cloud’ technology. While communication face-to-face is vital, many new entrepreneurs make the mistake of ignoring one of the best and most economical new technologies available, cloud computing. Indeed, by not having to invest in servers, storage, software and other networking devices, a new business owner can save an absolute ton of money. With cloud computing you’ll find practically every IT infrastructure service necessary and the costs for maintenance, security and upgrades are usually included in a low monthly service fee.
Takeaway – Cloud computing technology is a definite plus for new business owners and shouldn’t be ignored.
- Resting on your laurels rather than striving for excellence. This final mistake is, unfortunately, made quite often. Once an entrepreneur gets his or her business running smoothly and there’s money flowing into their coffers, many of them tend to stop innovating and cut down on customer service. This is definitely something that you want to avoid as even the best of businesses, when they have forgotten where they came from and how they started, have gone belly up. As the old saying goes, if something is worth doing, it’s worth doing right.
Takeaway – Always keep innovating and put customer service and excellence at the forefront of your business.
If you have any questions about starting your own business or any questions about personal finance, please let us know and we’ll get back to you with answers and options right away.