Starting a business can be described as one of the most perilous, exciting and unpredictable journeys you could begin. It would stand to reason that because every entrepreneur and business is unique, every journey to starting a business would be unique. However, with 99% of companies (excluding intergalactic travel companies), this is not the case many businesses go through the same common stages and issues when starting.
The majority of entrepreneurs fail to understand this and fail to seek out knowledge on how to start a business or listen to advice from those who have been there before. Don’t think your situation is unique and learn from the mistakes of others if you want to start and build a successful business, so here are five business blunders you should avoid if you’re going to do just that.
Not building a stable foundation
Often the rhetoric around starting a business revolves around growth being the key to everything, in fact, the broader entrepreneurial community is continually pushing growth as the solution to all startup problems.
Growth is extremely important to sustain and expand any new business but often pursuing growth or too much growth at an early stage with a less than stable foundation has the been the cause of many small businesses and startups to fail.
This generally happens because businesses without a stable business model, management team, financial situation or many other factors are unable to grow and operate at scale, thus buckling under the pressure of growth. So when starting and trying to grow, bear in mind your foundation in all critical areas of your business and make sure its stable.
Hubris and arrogance
However, the opposite is true for hubris or arrogance (too much confidence without a basis), often this overconfidence in an entrepreneur’s abilities or business model early on is what leads a newly formed company or business to fail by making mistakes that could have been avoided.
It’s important to remember that knowing the difference between hubris and confidence when making a decision can often be the difference between making a good decision or a bad one, that can change the fate of your business.
Lack of clear focus
There is an overabundance of things to do and be done when starting a new business; your to-do-do list will quite literally become infinite, many entrepreneurs early get lost in this list trying to get everything done, while sacrificing fundamental progress.
Remember that you have to focus in on what will make the difference in your business to get to that crucial next stage. Its also key to know that you will never complete your to-do-do list, thus with infinite work to be done you need to learn where to focus your time, attention and resources at any given time.
Trying to do too much or achieve perfection early on or ever is unrealistic, instead, spend your time working on the things that matter most to the success of your business.
Preconceived notions of your customer base
It’s very simple to say my product is x and my customer base is x. Often this notion of what a product is early on is wrong and much more often the presumption of what the target customer base/s is for a specific product is wrong. These notions are generally wrong because they’re based more often than not on human intuition and not on data.
Intuition and instinct are critical skills for an entrepreneur in many areas but when it comes to defining your market, customer base and overall demographic details you should be basing your understanding of data. Remember if you’re very early on and don’t have customers, there are many ways for free to carry out market research to get some data to base your ideas on.
Out of date technologies
These technologies can often present a massive advantage for accelerated sales or marketing power over more conventional and larger competitors
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Whether you’re an ecommerce entrepreneur who can deploy an advanced ecommerce platform to increase sales or a digital marketing company looking to gain an edge by adopting the next generation of marketing automation technologies, there are plenty of cutting-edge technologies you should explore adopting when starting up your business.