Every time you ask a successful entrepreneur about their road to success you’ll inevitably get to learn about some of their most resonating failures as well. Failure is a part of life, and if you know how to accept it, you can learn and grow from it (we speak from experience).
Still, this doesn’t mean you have to blindly walk into walls and bang your head on wrong paths that were already tested. If you have the opportunity to learn from others’ mistakes, take it and make the most of it!
Actually, today we are offering you this opportunity! Handy Labels is now a successful business, but like most businesses out there, we hit a few bumps along the road. But, we also had a lot of support, and I believe it’s time we lend a helping hand to new entrepreneurs. Below you can read about the mistakes it’s important to avoid when you’re just starting as a new entrepreneur.
#1: You don’t know what you’re doing
In most cases, a business will fail because of the entrepreneur and their lack of preparedness. When and if you decide to open a new business (regardless of niche), you should have a well-designed plan to follow, but this is not enough!
Besides knowing where you want to go with this new venture and what you want to accomplish, you must also know the industry. And this is not just about reading books, doing market research, and talking to specialists: you must also work in the industry in order to learn all its nooks and crannies.
#2: You don’t take risks
If you look at the statistics, you’ll learn that 50% of new businesses fail in the first few years of activity. So what guarantees your business will resist the test of time? Well, if you’re afraid of every move you make, you’ll never have the courage to take a risk when the time comes.
Business is about planning, but it’s also about taking a leap of faith from time to time. Otherwise everyone would be able to do it!
#3: You ignore connections
You may be the best entrepreneur there ever was, but you’ll never get too far without the proper contacts. A successful business is built with support from partners, your wonderful team, and from specialists. So, learn to recognise talented people that may someday give you a hand and keep them close to you (on a professional level).
#4: You’re not a good judge of character
Some people don’t know how to discover the true character of a person from just one meeting, but this is of high importance when you’re looking to hire a team. The people you employ during the startup period are the ones that may help you build an empire or may clip your business’s wings. So, if you don’t know how to read people during interviews, it’s best to hire a specialist.
#5: You spend like an employee
Do you know how people make money? They don’t spend it the moment they get it! If your business is starting to take off and more money is coming your way, you shouldn’t spend it all at once. An entrepreneur must have a savings account and must know how to invest in future opportunities.
#6: You’re not specific
What’s the skill set that makes you unique and differentiates your services/product from others on the market? Specificity is very important in the business world and you should first identify yours. If you try to do too many things at once, people won’t understand what you’re actually trying to accomplish.
#7: You’re not flexible
Don’t be stuck in your ways! The biggest mistake you can make with a business is to be stubborn when all the signs point to change. There are times when stubbornness is good, but most of the time you have to see what goes and what not. Knowing how to differentiate between those times is what makes you a great entrepreneur.
#8: You lose focus
The life of an entrepreneur is absolutely crazy, especially when you’re just starting. There are a ton of things to do, lots of information to process, mountains of decisions to make, and it’s extremely easy to lose focus on your final goal.
To keep track of your business and life, learn from the greatest and find time for yourself during the day (even if it’s just for a couple of minutes).
#9: You don’t ask for help
Maybe you don’t know you need help (yet), but you will definitely need it. And we’re not talking just about experts – you will need help from people going through the same things you are. We recommend registering at entrepreneurial organizations such as the Young Entrepreneur Council where you’ll meet other business people just starting their road.
#10: You ignore your intuition
When you feel in your gut that a person won’t be good for your business, regardless of their level of expertise, listen to it. Do the same with every opportunity that comes your way – in time, your instinct will only get sharper.
By: Ian Wright
Ian is a creative print specialist based in the UK. As part of the team at Handy Labels, they’ve printed over 88 million labels and counting.