Common Mistakes to Avoid as an Entrepreneur that No One Talks About

By  Zainab Agha

December 29, 2021 11:23 am EST

To be prepared means everything when it comes to entrepreneurship. You are betting your time, money, and effort and you are here to win. 

To be a startup entrepreneur comes with its own set of responsibilities and challenges. The road is rocky and even for a person with a strong business sense, it is easy to make mistakes. Part of the process of scaling towards a thriving business is avoiding these mistakes as an entrepreneur. 

Working with the Wrong Partner

A startup business can be founded by co-founders. Now you may have drafted the most detailed agreement in the world, but should you even be entering into one?

One of the biggest mistakes you can make is signing up to work with someone who does not share the same vision as you. You might want to partner up with an investor who will inject your startup with the capital that it needs, but if your objectives are being neglected, it’s not your project anymore. 

Young entrepreneurs often forget to take up space. Whether it is about confronting a co-founder or communicating from the get-go what their expectations are and things that can pose as a deal-breaker. Draw a line, and ensure your business partner respects it. 

Skipping the Research

Skimping on market research is like taking out the motor that is meant to drive your startup into the industry post-launch. 

42% of startups fail because there was never a need for the product or service they were selling in the market. But that is not all you need research for. Market analysis will help you gauge the competitive landscape, determine your differentiation strategy, and help you devise a business plan. As an entrepreneur, you get to make informed decisions with confidence backed by numbers. 

Hiring the Wrong People

Choose the people you want to work with wisely. Understand what they expect from you and figure out ways you can feasibly meet them.

One of the common practices of new startups is to hire based on cost and not performance. When are funds not tight for a startup? The problem with this strategy is that you are probably wasting the money that you are spending altogether. Having an unreliable and unskilled employee does more damage than having no employee. 

Instead, you should be looking for new people in the industry who are productive and motivated by having their ideas become a part of your business. 

Assuming there are no “Direct” Competitors

When you have that lightbulb moment, you can often feel like your idea is the most unique thing your brilliant brain could manifest. Because you have not heard of anything like that in mainstream media, you believe you do not have any competent competitors. 

The reason you may be thinking you have no competition is because there may be no one who is selling the same product as you, but did you wonder if there is someone who is fulfilling the same need with another product that your startup is also addressing?

Believing You Can Do It All Yourself

There is a trap that entrepreneurs fall prey to quite often. It is believing that no one can do as great a job as you, in the startup business that you built from scratch. 

Not only is that a one-way ticket to burnout it also means that you are unable to either single out people who bring value to the table or cannot delegate to experts in their field. 

Prioritizing the Product over Customers

Developing a product that was not designed according to how customers would receive it is a terrible idea. 

You may have the best aesthetic sense in the world, and you may have designed a flawless product, but that does not mean it would make a killing in the market. An effective product is one that is built to appeal to a very specific demographic. 

Not Understanding the Difference Between Satisfaction and Success

Success is difficult to attain, satisfaction on the other hand can be achieved every day. When every day feels that way, it is easy to let go of the reigns and go with the flow. Losing sight of the big picture means your actions are no longer directed towards scaling. 

In a similar way doing the opposite can be costly too. When you become so obsessed with the end game that you forget the importance of small milestones. You have to appreciate and work on the small accomplishments as it is they that bring you closer to the big goal.

Zainab Agha

Zainab started her career in advertising as a copywriter; which taught her how valuable moxie was in the boardroom and translates that in her campaigns. Building brands has led her to explore digital marketing, communication concepts, and what it takes to grow an idea from scratch. In her free time (let’s assume she is a badass with balancing work and play) she travels in heels then complains, experiments with innovative creative solutions that sell, and does stand-up comedy.

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