Owning a business can be energizing, enjoyable and rewarding, but also frustrating and stressful. While there's no guaranteed recipe for entrepreneurial success, there are certainly some mistakes that should be avoided at all costs.
Choosing the wrong partners
Business partners are key people who are essential for any startup's success. If you don't choose them wisely, chances are that things won't go exactly as planned.
So how do you know you've opted for the right people? When you have one or many co-founders by your side, the situation is pretty interesting as you're the one who has to choose your partners; however, your potential partners also have to choose you.
When this happens, it's highly recommendable to team up with people you have something in common with, but at the same time, people who have complementary skills, experience, and resources. When business partners have the exact competencies and expertise, they'll do nothing more than 'double' each other's activity.
On the other hand, complementarity allows you to wisely work on different tasks, assigning each one to the person who has the skills and knowledge to properly handle it.
Postponing making decisions
The most important role of an entrepreneur is making decisions in a timely manner (not in a rush, though). If you postpone this process hoping to find better solutions in the future, you might actually lead your business to failure.
Generally, delaying making decisions is very dangerous, since it also postpones other important business activities. If you don't make decisions and take decisive but strategic action, you risk your team following your example, losing great opportunities, and jeopardizing everything that you've built.
If you're afraid of making “the wrong” decisions, consider this: even if your decisions don't result in the desired outcomes, you'd still be able to see their immediate impacts and can modify your actions promptly. Successful business folks do it all time.
Actually, the iterative approach to business growth has proven very effective and is typical among entrepreneurs.
Furthermore, this can give a sense of purpose to the entire team's work. The people you collaborate with will see that you’re willing to take risks, embrace challenges, and can be decisive when making important decisions, a potentially motivating drive for your team.
Please keep in mind that what works during the first stages of a business can suffer some changes when the company is in a later stage of development and the implications of a decision (financial, strategic, operational) can be much more serious.
Despite that, the rule of making decisions promptly still remains vital. This is because a well-prepared entrepreneur will have all the systems (technological, organizational) and plans on hand to gather the information that is necessary for making a suitable decision.
Looking at the prior paragraph's conclusion, it's pretty clear that when you make decisions and they have an either positive or negative impact on your company, it's normal to try measuring the results. And here is where another common business mistake happens.
Oftentimes, founders and business owners don't take into account and don’t measure all the results of their business activities, while doing so is one of the most useful tools you can use to gauge if you're on the right path or decide upon the next steps.
Taking it too easy
Unfortunately, many newbie business owners don't realize how challenging it is to launch and (especially) manage a business. Entrepreneurship requires a lot of work and resources. However, you might live under the impression that once your website or store is up and running, customers will instantly fall in love with the products and services you offer.
It’s also typical to feel like you can take things easy, lay back, relax and wait for the results to come your way. You will relax and enjoy your ever-decreasing time on earth later. It’s probably why you’re a business owner. Making your business profitable isn't an easy endeavor and you have to be ready to give almost 100% of your time and energy to get some tangible outcomes.
When you invest a considerable amount of your funds in renting a huge office space, buying fancy furniture, and hiring way more people than you realistically need, your company can quickly go bankrupt.
Alternatively, when you're just starting your business, it's highly advisable to restrict spending as much as possible. You could have your 'headquarters' in your own garage or living room and spend your money on developing your products or services until you see some growing profit. Instead of giving up too much equity or hiring full-time employees, you can hire a freelancer on a project-to-project basis until your revenue increases. Later on, you can start thinking of a better location, high-tech equipment, and so on.
At the end of the day, keep in mind that while there's no golden bullet to being a successful entrepreneur, avoiding these mistakes can smoothen your way to awesome results.
Share some business mistakes to avoid below.