Finally, there’s one last important thing many new entrepreneurs don’t consider – success is not an accident. You hear all kinds of great stories about how people sacrificed everything to start their business, threw caution to the wind, and succeeded beyond all comprehension. You don’t often hear the stories about the people who did the same and lost everything… Or worse, the ones who were cautious and still failed miserably.
We’ve all heard the statistics regarding how millions of businesses start up each year, and a large majority flat-out fail, get stalled, or totally self-destruct within the first few years. But we also all tend to think that this can’t possibly happen to us – We’re going to be different.
You may fancy yourself more staunch and dedicated than all that, but if you don’t take evasive action to avoid the pitfalls from the start, you may very well end up a statistic, too.
How can this be avoided?
Common Mistakes Made by New Entrepreneurs
Outlined below are some of the common mistakes new entrepreneurs often make when they start a new business. Each one can be a huge stumbling block to the success of any new venture:
- Failing to do detailed research into (a) the potential market (b) the business idea
- Neglecting to create a business plan; even a rough outline is better than nothing
- Not researching local laws that may affect the business, neglecting relevant legal paperwork, failing to pay fees, or learning if there are any restrictions that apply to the business model
- Allowing non-relevant facts to influence the business, or by falling victim to shiny new object syndrome with tempting offers for unrelated tools, e-books, business systems and courses
- Failing to create a detailed budget – including monthly expenditures
- Overspending on the budget – especially when falling victim to the enticements outlined in problem #4
- Failure to make good use of a calendar. Without a properly prepared course of action, failure is almost guaranteed. Pure dumb luck cannot be relied upon.
- Failure to properly identify your target market and customer base
Out of all the mistakes a budding entrepreneur can fall victim to, the one to be the most wary of is #4. This is where the wheels fall of for 99% of new online endeavors.
The Usual Chain of Events
A goal is decided upon and work is commenced. Research soon unveils a new “must have” tool that promises untold riches faster than you ever dreamed possible, with plenty of shortcuts to propel you on your way. You immediately whip out your credit card and hit the buy button with the good intentions of using the product in your project. Unfortunately, the report now reveals six new skill sets you need to learn in order to make efficient use of the product – and none of them even remotely relate to your current endeavor.
Undeterred, you buy another e-book that promises to make you an expert in one of the new skill sets. While you’re at it, you subscribe to an email course that will teach you the skills for one of the other skills. Each time you delve into these new information sources you are reminded about how ill equipped you are – and all you need to do is purchase more e-books or reports.
Fairly soon your hard drive is bursting at the seams with vital “need to know” reports, systems, or e-books. So many in fact, that you can barely remember what report you bought just last week, or where you even saved it to. You now feel like you are being pulled this way and that, with no sense of direction or clear purpose.
How to Prevent Being Derailed
This is how to prevent the above scenario from deterring you from your chosen path:
- Leave your wallet in your pocket and remember the business plan. If you are looking at something and it has no bearing on your current business model, don’t be tempted to buy it.
- Stick to one e-book or system at a time. Learn and implement the system thoroughly before you start work on another. Don’t be tempted by well-written sales copy.
- Get yourself a mentor who has traveled a similar road to the one you are about to embark on. If you do buy a tool, e-book or training system, make sure it’s one from their range. Even then, you must be sure to implement that entire system before looking at anything else they may have on offer.
These guidelines are, of course, somewhat flexible. For example, if you happen to be halfway through a particular mentor’s product line when you realize that another person’s product line is more ideally suited to your needs, go ahead and make the switch. Just don’t make a habit of changing airlines mid-flight.
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