In talking with many entrepreneurs and business owners over the years, there are common issues that are referred to when they talk about business failures.
It seems that we keep making the same mistakes over and over again.
What You Need to Know
The more you understand the common mistakes that businesses make, the better chance you have for success. In an article in Entrepreneur magazine, Paula Andress states, “Mentors, VCs and serial entrepreneurs all say they routinely see entrepreneurs fall prey to a common set of mistakes. So what are they? You should know.”
Andress lists the top ten mistakes that hasten business failures. These include:
Not prepping your life
You need training and education before launching any business. Additionally, your family needs to understand your vision, and what will be required to make your business a success. It will require sacrifice and will take a toll on everyone’s life.
Confusing a product with a business
A startup may start with one product, but a real business has to have something that customers will come back for.
Not paying for expertise
You cannot be an expert in everything, though many entrepreneurs try! There are some areas where you need great expertise—think legal and taxes. Get the help you need to make your business successful.
While gut feel might turn out right sometimes, you need hard data to understand what you must do to succeed. I am constantly surprised at what good data is telling me.
Scaling too quickly
74% of high-growth internet startups fail because they scaled too fast, according to Andress. If you run out of money before hitting your business milestones you will fail.
Clinging to the wrong idea
Growing your business requires adaptation. You cannot fall in love with an idea, product or service. Always use data to ensure you are on the right track.
Failing to delegate
This is the classic management mistake in most businesses. If you try to do everything yourself you will fail.
Thinking money solves everything
While money is important in starting and growing a business, it cannot solve a fundamental problem if your business model is incorrect. Focus on developing a sound business model and that will bring you the money you need.
Underestimating how long sales take
Your business plan has to take into account that you might not bring in a large account for a long time. A large corporate account can take a year or longer to bring in. Make sure that your timelines for bringing in business are accurate.
Many entrepreneurs hold on to a failing business way too long. Failure is miserable, scary and just horrible. But it is a learning experience, and will help you in growing your next business to a successful enterprise.
Every business owner can point to one (or many more) of these mistakes as part of their issues in running their businesses. But you can change that. Make a decision that you will not be a “common” statistic.
Diane Weklar, the Authority on Accelerating Business Growth, is the CEO of the Weklar Business Institute. She is the author of the award winning book, Mastering the Money Maze: 10 Secrets to Winning Business Financing,which is also an Amazon #1 Best Seller. This book provides practical insight to build a successful business and the practical steps to raise capital to help your firm grow. She can be reached at Diane@Weklar.com.