bAs an entrepreneur there are only two options, it’s either you fail or you succeed. Many people so much underestimate failure that they keeping on reading articles on how to succeed without giving a damn about how to fail. You might think that is right and that it is helping you develop a positive attitude towards business, but, believe me, it is sometimes difficult to succeed if the odds aren’t against you. Just take a look at some of the most successful entrepreneurs around you and you will see that most of them have the odds against them. Many of them have no other choice than to succeed, some of them are college dropouts that have to prove to the word that they know what they’re doing and every other one of them is experiencing one problem or the other. I’m not trying to say it is impossible to be successful as an entrepreneur if you’re positive and comfortable but all I’m trying to say is that “negativity” is more likely to lead to entrepreneurial success so you have to be aware of what it takes to fail as an entrepreneur so that you will do everything necessary to make sure it doesn’t stand on your way.
I’ve met a lot of cool entrepreneurs and I’ve also met people wanting to start their own businesses, I’ve read several entrepreneurial articles and books and I’ve learnt a lot from them all. I will be giving you an insight into things that can make you fail as an entrepreneur.
1. Failure to Research
I have met a lot of cool people planning to start a business lately and you will be surprised to see the passion and enthusiasm with which these people talk about the business they’re about to start. So many of them believe their business is going to be very profitable but they still can’t answer some very simple questions every entrepreneur should answer such as who are your target audience? What is their pocket?
We all get great ideas and the truth, in most cases, is that 99% of our ideas are useless, even if we fail to admit that, and trying to work on them all will only lead to failure while at the same time wasting our precious time. Entrepreneurs don’t just embark on a business because they think the idea is great and the business will be profitable. They take their time. They do their research, and they make sure they have every single fact they need before they start their business.
One of the best ways to effectively research before starting your business is by positioning yourself in the shoes of a startup that needs venture capital. Will you be able to answer basic questions about your business? Will you be able to get the funding your business needs? Or will you be cast aside by potential investors without a second thought?
As an entrepreneur you have to understand that ideas don’t sell, execution sell and proper research is the only thing that brings about effective execution.
2. Failure to Have a Plan
The worst mistake any entrepreneur will make is to believe his/her business will go with ease and that no problems will be experienced in the course of running the business. It is really a great mistake not to plan.
Having a proper plan is important to your success as an entrepreneur and your plan isn’t just what can be created in a day. Your plan should involve you knowing your target audience clearly, knowing the best way to reach them, knowing how much it will cost, knowing what the best way to deliver your service is and also knowing how much you should charge for your service. Your plan should also include a backup for your business not because it is necessary but because it is important. You shouldn’t go into a business like it is bound to succeed because not only the idea or mode of execution affects the success of a business but several other factors every entrepreneur will consider before starting a business.
This is not to say you should go into business with a mindset of failing but nothing can explain this better than the saying failure to plan is planning to fail.
3. Not Keeping Records
When I started making some serious money online and I collected my first payment, it was the biggest amount I have made and I could touch, and I had a feeling of having a lot with me. So I began to buy a lot of things. Yes, I wanted to look good, I wanted to get the best. I also started spending without calculating and whenever I’m asked for money I give it to people without a second thought. I was so surprised when I had to borrow that same month just to make sure I’m okay, because the money I relied on has “mysteriously disappeared”. This is one of the problems experienced constantly as an entrepreneur and some people will be looking for one excuse or the other to give when they go bankrupt.
Getting a lot of money can be overwhelming and it sometimes looks as if the money will never finish, but believe me, money has wings and it can fly. If you take care of it properly it will stay but if you treat it anyhow it will let you know that nothing is as effective in flying as it is.
Your record book is a great foundation of your business because you don’t know where your business stands by guestimating; you need to have a record to prove everything. You have to know how you earn and how you spend, you have to know where your income comes from and where it goes and you have to know if your major expenses are a liability or a gateway to your business success. Your record book help you see where you’re making profits and where you’re losing and not having one can also mean you’re signing the death warrant of your business.
4. Doing it All Alone
Building a successful business is very difficult if you’re doing it all alone and it gets better if you’re two, it becomes even easier if you’re more than two. Trying to do business alone is like the story of a businessman who opens a store. In his store, this businessman is the salesman, he is the record keeper, he is the CEO, he is the accountant and he is everything that business ever needs to succeed. To him this might be very lucrative because he believes he is keeping all the profits but the truth is that he is also failing to realize what he is losing. Doing your business all alone limits the capacity of your business to succeed; it also makes your business look unprofessional while sending opportunities away from you and it ensures the life and death of your business depend on your wellbeing. The day the success or operation of your business depends on you is the day it starts to fail. What will happen to your business if you are to be sick for two weeks? What will happen to your business should you decide to go on a vacation? What will happen to your business if you have a very important meeting that might take the whole day? These are some very important things you should consider before starting your business.
5. Failure to Learn
As time goes on I’m beginning to discover that there is nothing you can’t learn if truly you’re committed to it. I have been hearing a lot about the importance of conversion rate optimization for a long period of time yet I see it as some technical jargon and I believed it is impossible for me to know it, I never even tried to learn it once yet I made the conclusion that it isn’t for me and I might never know it. Thanks to this article from Glen Allsopp, I decided to try to learn it for once and believe me, it is the most amazing, fun and simplest thing I have ever discovered in blogging. On the outside it looks like it is very difficult but on the inside it is as easy as ABC.
The best way to improve your business is to have more knowledge and the only way to have more knowledge is by learning. Try to read books, articles, magazines, blogs and any other thing possible that can give you information on various aspects of your business. Yes, you can easily hire someone to help you out but have you ever thought about how much outsourcing some very simple aspects of your business is costing you every month? Have you ever thought about the possibility of your business failing and leaving you with no money to hire somebody if you were to start again? There are too many risks to be taken as an entrepreneur but the successful entrepreneur is the prudent one. You have to be very careful about the future and you have to make sure your present actions never betray your future. Try to have as many skills as possible; after all, it doesn’t hurt to know something even if you’re eventually going to hire someone to help you with it.
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