According to one statistic, there are approximately 582 million entrepreneurs worldwide, but very few of them have the level of success which makes them household names. All entrepreneurs go into the profession hoping to one day enjoy that kind of success – they want to be the person who comes to mind when someone thinks of an entrepreneur.
Entrepreneurs make mistakes. It’s how they learn from those mistakes and avoid replicating them that determines the magnitude of their success. Keep reading if you want to learn about the four biggest mistakes entrepreneurs make and how to avoid them.
Not Having a Business Plan
When entrepreneurs don’t implement a solid plan, their businesses quickly lose steam. For example, discount high street retailer Kmart’s poor results have widely been put down to a poor business strategy which lacks focus and inspiration.
A business plan is not only helpful to guide a budding entrepreneur in the right direction but it’s also essential in building a successful business. The plan should be constructed early on in the growth of the business, if not before launch. It is an excellent way to keep yourself and the business organised, focused, and on the right trajectory.
It is advisable to start with a rough draft of your business strategy and develop this further in the early stages. This way, you can construct a more detailed road map and guide your ambition once you have tested the waters. Maintaining a good sense of direction throughout is important – this is part of the success of Chris Wightman’s agricultural tech company, VM Agritech.
Not Marketing Enough
Too often, entrepreneurs kick the marketing can down the road, intent on focusing on the development of the company from the inside. They are reluctant to splash out on marketing before the business is ‘perfect’ in their eyes. But they have it all wrong.
An entrepreneur should focus on getting their business out there early and in a big way. Early uptake of customers will likely be small, but the income gained is what will keep the business going. One iconic example of this is Red Bull. The company’s founder, Dietrich Mateschitz, came from a marketing background and understood how central this was to success. He is now the co-owner of a multi-billion dollar company.
Marketing is a diverse industry that can be utilised for any need and any company. It includes social media, TV, flyers, search engine ads, website content, and so much more. It is a huge element of any business – especially a public-facing one.
Not Investing in Employees
Employees are the beating heart of any business – the engine, if you will. Without them, the company fails. And yet too many entrepreneurs overlook the centrality and importance of their employees to the business.
The quality of a company’s employees is one of the major factors that will decide whether that company fails, finds moderate success, or becomes a household name. So why do so many entrepreneurs fail to invest in employees?
Effective investment in employees requires a multifaceted approach. Money must be made available, where possible, to provide enticing packages for current and prospective employees. This can include an above-market wage, benefits such as a gym membership, and extra holiday. It can also take the form of investment in training, both at the start of employment and going forward.
Never Follow a Trend
You may think it is common sense that if you want to be highly successful in business, you shouldn’t follow trends. After all, if you are following a trend, there will be many other entrepreneurs doing the same thing as you – you simply won’t be standing out from the crowd and will be competing for the same customers.
That isn’t to say no one finds success following a trend. The essence of a trend, whether that be a new business model or a new kind of product or service, is that it is in fashion and there is high demand for it. But to really capitalise on a trend and make a huge success in doing so, you either need to get in on it very early or have a unique way of following that trend. Ultimately, the chance of finding success like this is low.
That is why you should create your own trend and think outside the box. If you can offer something no one else is offering, something that no one else has even thought of offering, you will have created a whole market for yourself. If you succeed in building a market around your unique idea, others will follow you and offer competition, but you will always be one leap ahead.