Guest Post: 10 Mistakes to Avoid as an Entrepreneur

Today’s guest post comes from Akin Tosyali of Tiege Hanley, LLC:

The entrepreneurial life isn’t easy. Starting a business from scratch takes a significant amount of hard work, dedication and the ability to shrug off any mishaps that happen along the way.

Although you’re guaranteed to make some mistakes, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to circumvent as many of them as you can. Here are a few mistakes that entrepreneurs should do their best to avoid:

Clinging to Your Full-Time Job

There reaches a point in every successful entrepreneur’s life when they need to quit their job and devote their time and energy into their new business. But recognizing when to take the plunge is no easy task.

If you’re supporting a family, walking away from a steady paycheck is anxiety-inducing. But hanging on to your full-time job for too long can also have consequences for your new venture—namely, missing out on opportunities to scale because you didn’t have the time.

To make quitting your job easier, start crunching the numbers and doing your research. Be sure to thoroughly examine your business idea from every angle. If you’ve done the proper research and prepared yourself for what’s ahead, quitting your job is a logical next step.

Starting a Business Without Solving a Problem

Budding entrepreneurs often get so caught up in the idea of starting their own business that they forget to solve a problem. Even the highest-quality product or service means little if no one wants to buy it in the first place.

Take Tiege Hanley, for example. We knew that most guys didn’t want to spend time shopping for skin care products—it just isn’t fun for them. So, we created a simplified men’s skin care system that can be delivered right to their door every 30 days, or whenever it’s needed.

By taking the hassle out of shopping for skin care, we were able to solve an issue for a specific target market—in this case, modern guys who want amazing skin without wanting to think too hard about it.

Partnering with Your Best Friend

It’s not necessarily a bad idea to start a business with a close friend. After all, you both know and trust each other.

But while having a close friend as a business partner can be an amazing experience, it can also end in disaster when the two of you disagree. The same qualities that make for a great friend aren’t necessarily ones that make for a great business partner.

Thoroughly screen any potential business partners—even your best friend from kindergarten. By having difficult conversations early, you can save both your business and your friendship.

Be Prepared for Hard Work

The entrepreneurial lifestyle draws in those who are desperate to quit their jobs and set their own hours. This daydream is pleasant, but it doesn’t capture the harsh realities of being an entrepreneur.

New entrepreneurs often struggle with a demanding schedule. Even when they reach the pinnacle of success, experienced entrepreneurs are no stranger to burnout.

As rewarding as it is to own a business, remember that it comes with its own unique challenges. You’ll never stop hustling—not if you want to reach the top and stay there.

Not Learning from Your Mistakes

It’s best to accept early that you’re going to make mistakes. You’re going to fail in some small way, or perhaps a large way. Regardless, you need to learn from these errors and move on.

You’ll probably realize the true magnitude of your errors much later down the road. The lesson may come late, but it’s important to learn from it anyway. Plus, it usually becomes a funny anecdote you can tell without feeling embarrassed.

Placing Too Much Emphasis on Perfection

Some entrepreneurs never see their idea come to fruition because it’s never perfect enough for them. The truth is that there will always be something that needs to be fixed. Don’t let this continue to hold you back from launching your product.

Test your idea with consumers to make sure it’s viable. Better yet, make them part of your new venture by including them in the making of your product. Not only will you have a better idea of what works and what doesn’t, but you’ll also have an engaged audience right out of the gate.

Getting Too Comfortable

Don’t settle for moderate success. Not only will you likely regret it, but it’s almost guaranteed that another competitor will capitalize on the opportunity and overtake you.

The market never stops changing and neither should your business. By adapting to an ever-changing market and being on the forefront of innovation, you can firmly position your business as a leader in your industry for years to come.

Build Strong Relationships with Manufacturers

Your manufacturers can be your greatest allies in your new venture. Once you find yourself a reliable manufacturer, start forming a friendly relationship with them.

Manufacturers can help you when you’re working around the clock to complete a rush order. They won’t always go above and beyond for everyone, which is why it pays to be on friendly terms with them.

Of course, you’ll want to keep in mind that this relationship goes both ways. Your manufacturer will help you when you need them most, while you will sing their praises and try not to surprise them with constant rush orders.

Losing Touch with Your Customers

When a startup begins to grow, it can start giving off strong corporate vibes to its audience. Losing the human element of your brand can also cause you to lose valuable customers who have been with your brand from the beginning.

Remember to keep in touch with your customers on a personal level. Interact with them on social media and let them know you’re listening.

Not Taking Time for Yourself

For entrepreneurs, there is never enough time in the day to do it all. You’re constantly being pulled in all directions and putting out fires.

As difficult as it is, you need to force yourself to take a break. Make time for yourself, whether it’s going on a long run or watching a movie.

While it might seem like you’re wasting precious time, your health will be better for it. Additionally, you might find that your best ideas come to you when you’re doing something you enjoy.

You Got This

It takes serious work and dedication to build a successful business. Even after you achieve success, you’ll never stop working to reach the next level.

Just remember to make time for the things that truly matter. After all, what good is success if you have no one to share it with?

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