When starting a business for your first time, you’re going to make mistakes— and that’s okay. Some, however, are not excusable. Here’s a list of some of the most commonly made avoidable mistakes entrepreneurs make when starting out, and some solutions on how to avoid them. 5 Common Yet Avoidable Mistakes Entrepreneurs Make When Starting Out
5 Common Mistakes Entrepreneurs Make When Starting Out
1. Setting unrealistic expectations
Just like Rome wasn’t built in a day, you can’t create a successful business overnight. Setting unrealistic expectations will set you up for a let down. The best way to avoid this is by defining SMART objectives, and both short and long-term goals. Goals and objectives will help you shape a realistic vision of what your business could shape to be in the future. After defining your objectives and goals, it’s time to move onto your strategy and tactics. How will you reach your goals? Your strategy should be the answer to that question
2. Relying too heavily on advice from people.
When making the decision to venture out on your own, you can’t be too reliant on the advice of other people. By doing so, you’re running the risk of following the wrong advice. How do you know if the advice you’re being given is best for you? Listening to your instincts and figuring things out on your own is an important part of the learning process.
3. Not having any web presence
It’s 2014 and somehow only 41% of Canadian businesses have an online presence. The Internet is the first place the majority of Canadians look when trying to look for a product or services. Having a website is absolutely essential as it often acts as the first point of contact between a business and their clients. Second to a website is social media presence. Choosing the right social media platforms to focus on is essential, as not all platforms serve all types of businesses.
4. Failing to be different
Every day a start-up is born into an oversaturated market. If you’re not satisfying a need, or filling a gap in a market, then you’re only contributing to the oversaturation. Failing to be different will definitely set you up for a fall, even if what you’re doing is trending. Having passion, expertise or a certain skill set will not guarantee you success. Do your research to ensure that the market you’re going into actually has a place for you.
5. Not doing any form of marketing
Most entrepreneurs don’t factor marketing into their start-up budget because it’s often associated with high costs. Quite often, you’ll hear word of mouth is the most powerful form of marketing, but still people need to know that your business exists. If your budget doesn’t allow for paid forms of marketing, utilize free tools like social media.
Sarah V. – Intern
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