Big Mistakes Entrepreneurs Make (And Can Avoid)
We’re all about learning from others’ mistakes here. The entrepreneurial journey has been around forever and millions have gone through the process. So, what are some of the biggest mistakes entrepreneurs make but can easily avoid.
We’ve got some here.
1. Single founder
It might be your dream, it might be your idea, but you shouldn’t go it alone. There’s a reason why so many founders have the word “co” in front of them. It’s not to say that you can’t found your business by yourself, but it’s always a little bit easier when you’ve got someone to share the burden with.
When seeking a co-founder, don’t be too quick to claim your “co”. You will find that a partnership often happens organically when you seek out others in your industry who share similar interests. Don’t get caught up in the honeymoon period. Find someone you’re ready to spend the rest of your (business) life with.
2. Location, location, location
Quick: what is the best state to start a business in?
Not state of mind, actual state in the US.
If you said Virginia, you win! According to a 2011 study done by CNBC, Virginia, Texas, North Carolina, Georgia, and Colorado took the top five spots. But, that’s not all we mean by location. If you’re currently living somewhere and you think, “gee, we could really use another coffeeshop here,” do you research. Is a new coffeeshop really going to survive? What are the competitors? What makes you different?
If a majority of your business is online, look for places that are startup hubs. You’ll find people to network with and maybe, eventually, merge with.
3. Start small, think big
Startups are often times killed off quickly because they’re too niche. You have a few different courses of action when you have a specialized niche idea.
You can try to appeal to a wider area and find more people in your niche. For example, if you’re making vegan ice cream, find a place where there are a lot of vegans, but also try to expand your audience. Go online and start talking to people who want vegan ice cream. Don’t get stuck in your area.
You can branch out and widen your niche. If you’re making vegan ice cream, try making other vegan dairy products to go along with it. Offer plenty of options for vegans seeking more than just ice cream.
Some niche startups have used other tactics such as pop-up stores and food trucks to think big while staying small.
4. Good Cheap Fast
This one hits a little close to home. Every day, I see online job postings for social media experts to work as interns. I’ve actually seen social media workers approached with the intern/expert job offer and they will laugh in your face. They know their services are in demand. And, in many cases, they’re already getting paid for their work.
Here’s a little tip: If you want an expert, expect to pay them.
Everyone knows the mantra of good cheap fast. You can’t get all three. If you aren’t willing to pay for the best, you shouldn’t expect the best. If you do happen to get someone who is good cheap and fast, then you need to give them a raise and hold on to them.
There’s something to be said for preparedness. There are also a few things to be said about over-preparedness. If you want everything to be flawlessly in place before you launch, your startup is never going to get off the ground.
One of the big things entrepreneurs have to get over is the idea of perfection. Not everything needs to be perfect and, more to the point, not everything is going to be. You should look at some of the original launches for Google, Amazon, and Yahoo. They weren’t perfect. There was plenty of room for growth. And grow, they did.
What do you think are some of the big mistakes entrepreneurs make? What surprised you? Share in the comments below.
Posted on October 2, 2013, in Biz Tips, Entrepreneur, Small Business and tagged co-founder, entrepreneurs, founder, hestiancy, location, mistakes, small business, startup, startup location. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.