Everyone wants to be their own boss. Okay, maybe not everyone but the majority would prefer to run their own businesses by themselves. However, we can all agree that entrepreneurship is not for the faint-hearted. There are so many aspects to consider when it comes to building your own business. Today, we’ll be highlighting the pitfalls you must avoid as an entrepreneur.
Pitfalls are defined as hidden or unsuspected danger or difficulty. There are quite many common pitfalls in business, especially in entrepreneurship. These are problems that may occur in the future of your business and it is important to know what these pitfalls are to be able to avoid them. Let’s take a look at six of such problems.
1. The Fear of Failure
The fear of failure is one of the biggest and easiest pitfalls to unknowingly find yourself in. This is because, as humans, we have a clear fixed mindset that only recognizes success and failure, wins and losses. It’s pretty straightforward and cut dry. However when you venture into your own business, especially as a startup, you have to adopt a different mindset that gives room for growth. While you should have a substantial level of knowledge and information, there would always be new things to learn along the way. Think “lessons’’, and throw out the idea of failing because fearing failure would only keep you from taking chances.
2. Hiring Family in your business
Family is such a necessary support system one needs on the journey of entrepreneurship; they believe in you, root for you, and sometimes are the first financial helpers. While all these are true and wonderful, there is a thin line over this pitfall you might not even be aware of. Hiring family members as employees in your startup might seem like the right and easy option, but you wouldn’t want your business deals or marketing plan to be the topic of discussion at a family dinner where everyone has a say. It is easy to blur the line between professional and personal, so why not avoid that stress altogether.
3. The Lure of Shortcuts and Comfort
It is easy to want to cut corners; after all, you are just starting out and no one would notice, right? Wrong. It is important to build from the ground up with the best available options within your budget. Choosing the cheapest option in branding or using low-quality products would only cost your business more in the long run. Another pitfall to avoid is getting too comfortable in your business. It has been said that the comfort zone is a great enemy of creativity, when a business gets stuck in a routine, you get left behind. To adapt and grow as a business, one needs to put in great effort and make changes as you go.
4. Focusing more on competitors
When starting a new business in an industry, part of your market research should be looking at industry experts in that field. These include companies that are already established in the industry i.e. your competitors. As an entrepreneur, do your research, make your findings, and seek to work on the identified gap. However, when all these are said and done, you must focus on your business and stay unique in your operations. Looking to competitors and copying what they do is a severe pitfall and ultimately defeats the point of being a new business.
5. The Grip of Control
As an entrepreneur, you feel like your business is your child, you are responsible for its growth and success, and therefore it is easy to fall into the trap of excessive control. You must understand that you cannot do it all. As you oversee the entire business and maybe focus on specific aspects, delegating other parts to efficient and trusted workers is important. Even a child has teachers, grandparents, and aunties, so it really does take a village. Employ capable people and let them do their parts; you have to let go to watch it grow.
6. Dismissing Customer Feedback
This is a major pitfall that could kill a new business fast. Customers are the basis of any business; we also have all heard the saying the customer is always right and that is still very relevant today, more so as a new business. It is the time to build loyal customers and that begins by listening to what your customers have to say. A business that values the opinions of its customers would grow and do better. It is also necessary to create avenues where customers can share ideas, complaints, and reviews of your products and/or services.
Starting a business is no easy feat, and entrepreneurs have to consider many factors to ensure their business is successful. Being informed is the first step on the journey to being your own boss, and we believe with these six pitfalls to avoid, you are on the way to running a successful business. We have shared some and know there may be a lot more pitfalls to be avoided, please share with us in the comments.