Entrepreneurship has been recognized all over the world as a veritable tool for accelerating the development process of nations. In fact, no economy of the world can survive without entrepreneurs. Why then do a high percentage of entrepreneurs go through life as failures? Why do many become obscure and ridiculed for their failed business dream?
As an aspiring entrepreneur or entrepreneur, I know you have stopped to ask yourself this question. Here is the truth; 70% of businesses fail before the end of their second year of establishment and this has been attributed to attitudinal factor.
Yes, it is not the name that makes one a success but the way one conducts his or her business activities. To bear the title “Entrepreneur” does not add a dollar to one’s pocket. If you don’t do what is required of you, it would be virtually impossible for you to succeed in the business world.
Listed below are seven mistakes to avoid in your start-up business:
1. Don’t hire an unskilled family member or friend
There is an old maxim that says, “There is no brother in business.” As you start up your business venture, this must become a well-understood philosophy; an idea, you must carry. If your family member or friend does not have the needed skill, don’t hire him.
Hiring unnecessary hands other than for the sake of skills, is an error in the business world. If you wish to employ your unskilled family member or friend, don’t do it at the infancy phase of the business. Even at the adolescence phase, you still need to train properly your unskilled friend or relative before bringing him in.
“The secret to successful hiring is this: look for the people who want to change the world.“ – Marc Benioff
2. Never see your business venture as a bank
Successful entrepreneurs are those who view their enterprise or venture as a medium for solving problems and not as a bank. They often think of ways to solve one problem or another in the view of putting a smile on the faces of consumers and not how to drain their pockets. This is why they are able to make a success story of their career.
An individual that aspires to be a successful entrepreneur must start to view his business venture as a medium for solving problems. This mindset makes a huge difference in the life of an entrepreneur.
3. Ask questions when necessary
When a problem arises, instead of raising shoulders or being too afraid of showing this vulnerability, an entrepreneur who aspires to be successful simply asks questions from those that were there before him. Of course, these people have made similar mistakes in the past, learned the lessons and now understand it.
According to Confucius, “The man who asked a question is a fool for a minute, the man who does not ask is a fool for life.” Remember the golden rule for every business owner: “Put yourself in your customers’ place.” If you keep customers waiting for too long, they will find the nearest store. In sum, the too-proud-to-ask-attitude does not work in business.
4. Don’t promise what you can’t offer
When customers find out you are not trustworthy, they’d rather die than come back to buy from you. People are like poison when you try to bamboozle them. In fact, they go to any length to make you pay for trying to call them a fool. When a customer discovers you are not honest, he will go about telling anyone who cares to listen how fake you are.
Nothing kills a business venture more than this. Remember, most consumers rely a great deal on the information provided by their family members or friends at the point of purchase. An entrepreneur that wishes to succeed never promises what he does not offer or cannot offer.
5. Don’t mix business with pleasure
No matter how hard you try, you can never get a pleasant result by mixing oil with water. Trying to mix business with pleasure is like trying to mix oil with water. Nothing good comes out of it. A business environment is a place for solving a problem or satisfying a need. It should never be mistaken for a love nest or a beer parlor.
Solving a problem is no child’s play; it demands all of a person. Spending more time and other resources on things that are less important to the growth of the entire business can kick an entrepreneur out of business faster than you can think.
“You shouldn’t focus on why you can’t do something, which is what most people do. You should focus on why perhaps you can, and be one of the exceptions.” – Steve Case
6. Never stop to research and scan through the market for business opportunities
In the face of ever threatening competition, an entrepreneur who aspires to be successful must never stop to research and scan through the market for ideas or business opportunities. Because the moment he stops to do this, his products or way of doing business becomes an old fashion.
An entrepreneur should ensure to always watch the products and advertisements of competitors in order to find the holes and fill them. Implementing new business ideas or improving on the existing ones is the panacea to an entrepreneurs success in today’s fast-moving business climate.
7. Avoid doing things not critical to the development of your enterprise
An entrepreneur who knows what he wants, sets goals and a series of intermediate goals to achieve it. Engaging in too many activities at the same time is an error in the business world. To attain his objectives, his activities must revolve around his set goal.
To avoid doing things not in alignment to the survival and development of his business, he must write down his goals and mark the ones he wants to work on first, second, third, and so on. A technology entrepreneur Elon Musk said, “People work better when they know what the goal is and why.”