Entrepreneurship is a journey of constant learning. Therefore, it is normal – and even expected – for first-time entrepreneurs to make some mistakes. But while some mistakes can be easily corrected over time, others can compromise business development, significantly reducing your chances of success.
If you are venturing now into the world of entrepreneurship, we have selected the 6 most common mistakes of beginning entrepreneurs and how to avoid them.
1. They Do Not Have a Purpose
We are living in the era of purpose. More and more people are looking for a reason for what they do every day, whether in personal or professional life. This change in mindset also changed consumption habits, causing companies to adapt to this new behaviour.
Still, many entrepreneurs still focus much of their energy thinking about what they are going to sell and how, but they forget to think about their reason. So, if you’re starting a new business, start with why, because as Simon Sinek said in his famous TED Talk , “people don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it”.
Think about how your company can positively impact the world we live in and make it your purpose. But remember: this needs to be something genuine and intrinsic to your business, not just for a marketing strategy or cute slogan.
2. Every Entrepreneur Needs a Plan
Contrary to what many believe, business planning is not limited to writing a long and plastered report, which will ultimately be left in a computer folder or in the office drawer.
Planning a business is to think about all the fundamental factors for its creation and operation. This process is essential to check the feasibility of the enterprise, make better choices, set goals and avoid future unforeseen events.
One of the most used planning tools today is the Business Model Canvas, which consists of a panel composed of 9 blocks, in which each block corresponds to a business area:
- Value Proposition: purpose;
- Customer Segment: target audience;
- Key Activities: main products and / or services;
- Channels: where products and / or services will be marketed;
- Key Resources: resources needed to carry out the key activities;
- Key partnerships: partnerships and / or suppliers needed to carry out key activities;
- Customer Relationship: how the company will relate to customers;
- Revenue Sources: monetisation of the business;
- Cost Structure: main costs to keep the company running.
At the end, you will have an overview of how your business works and the main processes and flows. A brilliant way to plan ahead is creating measurable goals!
At the opposite end of the people who do not plan are those who plan beyond what is necessary. Just like a lack of planning, over-planning also poses risks.
One is the loss of timing. You spent so much time planning, scrutinising each step in the smallest detail, that when you launch your idea on the market, puff! It no longer makes sense, your audience is already in another, the market has changed.
Another risk is to fall into eternal procrastination. Planning is comfortable, comfortable. Taking action requires courage, determination. But what if something goes wrong? Well, that’s what entrepreneurship is: a journey of constant learning and improvement, and the best way to learn is precisely in practice.
So, it’s important to know when to stop and get your ideas off the ground. As entrepreneur Tiago Mattos said in the book Vai Lá e Faz , “don’t wait there to jump in the pool. That one doesn’t exist. The right time to start something never comes. And it will never arrive. You will grow with the business and acquire the skills you need along the way. ”
4. Become your Own Entrepreneur
How many times do we come across multiple brands doing exactly the same thing? Same product, same communication and same visual identity.
Sometimes, beginning entrepreneurs try to follow in the footsteps of those who have already achieved success, as if they were a magic formula for success, but don’t fall for it!
To stand out in the midst of so much sameness and be able to attract the loyalty of its own consumers, it is necessary to seek a differentiator. Discover what is unique about your business and make it your greatest asset!
5. They Don’t Have a Communication Strategy
Some entrepreneurs often think that good products and services sell themselves. Just put your website on the air or open your store and that’s it, customers will come running to you! But this is a mistake that can be fatal, especially for those just starting out.
We are constantly bombarded by advertisements, whether on social networks, in applications or in traditional media. Even companies already consolidated in the market are vying for our attention. Given this scenario, it is very difficult to imagine that someone will discover your business if you do not show it.
That is why it is so important to think about communication. For new companies, the first step is focused on discovery and learning. Through a good strategy, you will be able to attract consumers and educate them about your company and what you can do for them.
6. Giving Up at the Beginning
I remember that when I started my first business, I found myself desperate in the first month. In my mind, if business were destined for success, it would happen quickly. If it wasn’t happening yet, then it sure would be a failure.
I couldn’t be more wrong! First, because success is the result of work, not just chance. Second, entrepreneurship is a difficult process, and nothing comes easy – let alone fast.
Another common mistake is to think that successful entrepreneurs do not go through wrenches or that they do not hear “no”. The vast majority listened to countless no , went through several difficulties, but did not give up. Even if their businesses did not work, they did not give up on entrepreneurship. They started again and went over the top.
So, if you are an entrepreneur and think about giving up, calm down! It takes patience and persistence to be successful.