90% of startups fail! This means that the odds are against entrepreneurs. But what makes you a good entrepreneur is learning from your mistakes and trying again. We have compiled a list of some common mistakes that entrepreneurs make to guide you on how to avoid them.
1. Not setting clear goals
- You need to set goals. Goals are the primary way to keep your business on track and make sure you’re moving in the right direction.
- To be effective, goal setting should be a process that you repeat often—at least quarterly but ideally monthly or even weekly if your business is really busy.
- Your goals should be SMART: Specific, Measurable, Achievable/Attainable, Realistic/Relevant, and Time-bound (60 days). Use these five guidelines when creating your own goals:
- Be specific – “We will do better next year” isn’t enough information—does “better mean more customers? More revenue? Better service? Each of these things may require different actions so it helps to list them separately.
- Make them measurable – If there’s no way for you to measure progress towards a goal then there won’t be any clarity either! For example: If one of your major objectives is increasing sales by 20% over last year’s figures then have some benchmarks set up early so that everyone knows what success looks like (and when). You could also tie this into projected financial results or other performance indicators if relevant.”
2. Failing to have an exit strategy
Perhaps the most important lesson to learn as an entrepreneur is that you must have an exit strategy. You’ve probably heard this before, but it’s important enough to say again: You need to have a plan for when you no longer want or can run your business. The good news is, there are plenty of options when it comes to selling your company—and they don’t all involve selling out.
If you’re looking for help to determine which exit option is right for your business, check out our guide on How To Find A Buyer For Your Business.
3. Believing you can do it alone
It is a mistake to believe that you can do it alone. No one can be good at everything and the sooner you realize this, the better off you will be. You need to bring in other people to help you, delegate tasks, trust other people and allow them the freedom to do their jobs.
In order for your business to grow, it’s important that you learn how to work with others who have unique skill sets than yourself. This means learning how to work with people who are smarter than yourself and letting them do their jobs without micromanaging every move they make.”
4. Failing to set aside a budget
Make sure everything is accounted for! You never want to be caught short or forget about an expense that could put you in a tight spot later on down the line—that’s why it’s important not just to know what things cost but also to figure out what kind of cash flow situation (i.e., high-income vs low) would work best with each one. This will help ensure that even if something unexpected happens (and believe me, something always happens), there’s still enough capital left over after paying all other bills so nothing gets cut off before its time has come due—meaning no late-night trips back into town just because there’s been an error in calculating taxes owed.* Track your progress regularly so as not only to see where things stand right now but also to make adjustments along the way when needed; this way when tax season comes around again next year there won’t be any surprises waiting around the corner like little black cats who play tricks on unsuspecting travelers passing through midnight forests
5. Not enough market research
Market research is essential to success, and it’s all too often overlooked. The best way to avoid this mistake? Learn as much as possible about your target customer base before launching a new product or service.
The first step in market research is determining which customers are most relevant to your business. If Entrepreneurs want to attract college students, then focus on those between 18-24 years old who attend four-year institutions in major cities. (Alternatively, if you’d rather cater toward high schoolers or middle schoolers, narrow down your criteria accordingly.) Once you’ve identified these individuals’ characteristics and preferences—and what makes them different from other groups—you’ll be able to tailor your marketing efforts appropriately so that they resonate with that audience specifically.
After identifying the right people to whom your product or service will appeal most strongly (i.e., not just anyone), consider how much demand there actually is for it within this group beforehand: what do they need? How can their needs be fulfilled by what we’re offering? Is our product/service priced competitively enough compared with competitors’ offerings? What can we do differently than someone else already out there doing something similar?
6. Wasting time
One of the most common mistakes entrepreneurs make is wasting time. Time is a limited resource, and you need to be focused, productive, and efficient with it.
Think about how you spend your time. Are there any tasks that aren’t worth your while? Do they bring value to the business? If not, stop doing them!
You should also learn how to distribute work among peers and team members. Don’t do everything yourself; instead, delegate as much as possible so that everyone can focus on what they do best in order to create better products or services for customers.
7. Partnering with the wrong people
You don’t have to do everything on your own. It can be a good idea to partner up with other entrepreneurs who complement your skill set, or who have access to the resources that you need in order to make your business successful. But like any relationship, it’s important to choose partners wisely: think about what skills and resources they bring that are most useful for your business and make sure that your goals align with theirs before.