If it’s any consolation, just know that many successful entrepreneurs failed at one point or the other.
However, this is not to say that you must fail before becoming successful.
In fact, the essence of this article is to help you forestall avoidable mistakes entrepreneurs make when starting.
Some failures come in the form of lost business deals, inability to pay debts and loans, death of the owner, among others.
While some of these are out of your control, we shall focus on the ones you have control over.
Here are 9 of them:
1.Set Realistic Goals
When starting, there is always this temptation to set very high goals. After all, your motivational speaker said to dream big, right?
Well, while that’s a good idea, it’s essential to set realistic goals to avoid shooting yourself on foot.
Identify what matters most for your business and work towards achieving it.
Don’t try to be like the other person that seems to be taking on too many goals.
If you are finding it hard joggling attending meetings, answering emails, responding to your social media, and then thinking of prioritizing.
Trying to be everywhere meeting up targets can burn you out quickly.
Take it easy and attend only to critical things.
2.Be Fully Prepared
Indeed, you can never be prepared for everything, but it pays to try to make sure you cover as many grounds as you can.
And once you have done that, have it somewhere at the back of your head that things might still not go as planned.
This is simply referred to as being mentally prepared for possible difficult times and failure.
If you make up your mind that some of your plans might not work out, it is easier for you to bounce back when and if you eventually find yourself in that situation.
3.Beware of Emotional Decisions
As humans, we sometimes make decisions based on our emotions at a particular given time.
This usually happens when we go through negative experiences.
The problem with such decisions is that they tend to do more harm than good in the short or long run.
This is why as an entrepreneur, it is imperative to think things through before reacting.
Before taking any decision, ask yourself if it is a rational one. If it’s not, take some minutes or even a day to get yourself together.
4.Don’t Be Quick to Delegate
As things pick up in your business, you may be tempted to hire more hands or get a partner to help out.
While this is a good idea, if it is immature, you might be taking on more than you can chew.
For some people, having to employ people and delegate duties to them indicates a successful business.
The problem is that you may not be able to foot the bills when it’s time for paychecks.
Some struggling entrepreneurs have had to let go of some staff to get back on their feet.
Before deciding to pass on duties and decision-making to others, find out if you can comfortably do something.
It’s alright to experience some inconveniences in the beginning.
But this will better position you to make the right decision when the time comes for delegation.
5.See Every Experience as New Knowledge
Don’t be afraid to learn new things. Successful entrepreneurs learn from both their successes and failures.
According to Giada Di Stefano, Gary Pisano, and Francesca Gino in a seminal paper they presented on the importance of learning, they agreed that learning is simply knowledge gotten from experience – Source: Harvard Business School.
Any and every experience can provide you with new knowledge.
Don’t be too quick to blame the market, your investment, or the other person for your failure.
If you can take credit for your successes, you shouldn’t hesitate to blame yourself when things go wrong.
Learn from your mistakes and what you could have done differently.
6.Avoid Getting Intimidated by Online Presence
A good and functional website that can engage your visitors is alright.
Don’t be intimidated by some sophisticated websites you see online.
The chances are that people prefer a website that is easy and simple to use.
You don’t need to get the best coding website design designer, especially when you start.
When the time and need come for it, you can always upgrade.
Instead, invest in getting experts to help you out with SEO to reach more audiences.
7.Get the Right People
You will need help at some point, especially in the areas you know nothing about.
It’s crucial to hire people with enthusiasm and drive you to need to move your business forward.
Don’t go for cheap labour because you are trying to save costs.
Go for the right people once you are convinced of getting the best result from them no matter what it takes.
Sometimes, it takes a while for a new business to close out deals.
Being optimistic that your business will make it is a good thing, however, don’t be overambitious about the timing.
It would be best if you were patient with success.
One of the things entrepreneurs find difficult when starting is building their customer base.
Remember that it’s a gradual process that will yield results at the right time.
If you are experiencing setbacks, know that they are temporary.
At best, they will form part of your success tomorrow.
9.Take Some Time Off
When going through challenging times, it might be beneficial to take some time off.
As an entrepreneur, you need to get away from all the chaos to refocus on what matters.
A 2006 study by Ap Dijksterhuis, a Dutch Psychologist, exposed participants to different situations to see how they handled problems. It turned out that the people who were distracted from the seriousness of the situation provided better solutions than those that faced the real problem –The Sagepub Journal.
Taking time off doesn’t mean going on social media or taking on other tasks.
Spend that time on things that relax you like family, friends or a hobby.
The idea is to subconsciously give your mind a break while allowing it to sort out those challenging situations.
The best entrepreneurs are not defined by the number of times they failed.
Instead, they are set apart by how well they do after the failures.
There is no guarantee that you will succeed or fail in your business –The Calendar.
Being prepared to take on whatever may come your way as an entrepreneur is an indication that you are willing to succeed no matter what.