It’s not enough to have a great idea. Entrepreneurs need a dose of realism as well. Research from Forbes in 2019 suggests from the thousands of start-ups each year more than half go belly-up in their 1st 4 years. It’s a sobering statistic – my own experience is littered with business failures and, fortunately, the occasional success – but intended to encourage entrepreneurs to reflect harder and smarter. So here are 5 top mistakes and how to avoid them by business change psychologist and coach Jivan Dempsey.
An entrepreneurial mindset
This is having a certain way of thinking that moves you forward despite the challenges and mistakes that you’ll experience. It’s easy to give up as the reality of entrepreneurship bites and sweeps aside that initial hope and optimism. Remind yourself daily of your vision and the reasons why you became an entrepreneur, think through the challenges so you can be mentally prepared for them and accept that making mistakes is healthy and normal but learn from them.
Get a business mentor
All entrepreneurs can get blindsided at times as we focus on the day today. Whether you are flying solo, or a team, finding the right business mentor who can guide you, ask the hard questions, help you develop, be a sounding board, hold you accountable and perhaps provide access to their network, all of which can only have a positive impact on the growth of your business.
Let’s be honest, competition can be daunting and it’s easy to be put off! This isn’t to suggest you copy other entrepreneurs but, instead, be inspired by them and imitate their success. Researching your competitors can provide an opportunity to learn about their journey, their business model, how they treat customers and what makes them different so you can focus on what makes you, your brand and customer experience unique and stand out.
Pivot your business
It might seem obvious but so many entrepreneurs fail because there isn’t a market for what they offer. Doing regular market research is important and helps successful entrepreneurs know what’s going on in their market and recognise when to pivot. Eric Reis in “The Lean StartUp” advises how to create an agile business that can pivot and reacts quickly to changes in the marketplace. He recommends entrepreneurs constantly review market data and hypothesis to create and test new products which can be quickly taken forward or rejected as the data suggests.
It takes effort!
As your company grows so does the need to focus on the boring stuff like processes and structures. We all know to focus on and not in the business but there comes a tipping point when the business must support you as you continue to grow and be successful. Entrepreneurship is demanding and you have to be aware of everything including development, sales, marketing and communication.
Successful entrepreneurs tend not to look for shortcuts, as they already know they won’t find any, but instead focus their effort into their business, reaching their goals and busy planning others.