Entrepreneurship is one of the greatest feats in the world. I love to witness people be brave enough to believe in themselves and set out to make their dreams come to life by providing their gifts and ideas to the world. With that pride also comes multiple cringe-inducing thoughts as I see the same first-time-businessmen and women make the same mistakes, I’ve also made, repeatedly. I’d like to offer my advice to the next wave of first-time entrepreneurs as they get their ideas off of the ground. Here are 5 mistakes to avoid and tips for your new venture:
Do your research
Know your audience and understand your target market. There’s no use in starting a business if you’re going to ignore the needs of the individuals you’re attempting to serve. There are so many risks to starting a business and you only add to the pressure by focusing on what you think will work or on things that don’t require much attention, instead of doing prior research and being sure to add value to your audience by delivering what they want. Taking the time to allow your ideas to line up with your customer’s values will make a world of a difference.
Avoid taking the wrong advice
If you think you’re going to get through the process of starting a business without some outside input, think again. Advice will be plentiful whether warranted or not; your job is to chew the meat and spit out the bones. In other words, don’t take the wrong advice. The ones you’re most likely to get helpful insight from are those who are already successfully doing what you seek to do or somebody working in a similar field. Additionally, always consider the opinions of your audience, potential investors, and generally knowledgeable people. Don’t stop with just seeking advice, when you get the feedback that you need, implement it! Sometimes we think we know what’s best for ourselves but miss what someone else can see from the outside looking in. Be wise and recognize sound advice when you hear it.
There’s no need to rush
Do you feel the need to rush your product or idea because of fear of competition or worry that you’ll miss the “perfect” timing? Let that go and slow down. So many companies have jumped the gun, trying to be “first” when they should have been focusing on being complete. There will always be competitors, but your lane is just for you. Rushing to release shouldn’t be a priority. if you’re not putting your best foot forward, you’re only asking for failure. Remember that slow and steady wins the race.
Lay a solid foundation
You are only as good as the people you surround yourself with. There is very little that can be accomplished in business and otherwise without a team- they are the foundation that will make or break an operation. Who you choose to go into the trenches with needs to be done with much thought and should play on the strengths of everyone involved. Don’t be too quick to judge people from their written resumes. Sometimes the seemingly impressive candidates have no experience and the individual with less formal training could potentially be the smartest person in the room. Determine what you need and find whoever best fills the bill.
Prevent Mental fatigue
I’d like to think that creating a new business is akin to being a first-time parent; you’re going to be tired. Physically, mentally, emotionally drained. Combat weariness by balancing work and play. Take up a hobby, make sure your personal life isn’t being neglected, and remember to breathe. You will make mistakes and you will rise above them. Keep these tips in mind when moving forward with your new venture. It’ll be a challenge but rewarding to see your dreams begin to come true.