7 Seven Mistakes Entrepreneurs Make When Starting a Business

Pretending You Know Everything:

nothing wrong with admitting that you are a first-time Entrepreneur. In fact, the first mistake that most first-time entrepreneurs make is pretending to know everything. When you need help, ask for it. Chances are someone in your network has done “that”, been “there” and would have some answers for you. You may also need to get training in certain skill areas as you may be good in marketing but very bad with finance.

Starting Business in an area that you know little or nothing about:

One of the smartest decisions you can make as a first-time entrepreneur is investing your time in the right business. Don’t start your first business in an area you know little or nothing about. Research or ask questions where necessary and be open to partner with those who know a lot more about the business.

Waiting endlessly for Capital to launch the Business:

While access to capital is great but you may not always have all you “think” you need to be able to start. You can start small and grow big. Your business should be scalable and there is nothing wrong with “bootstrapping” for a while. The truth is most investors would be more willing to invest their money in a small business with a lot of potential for growth than just an “idea” that is waiting for capital to start up.

Hiring Your Family or Friends:

It may seem harmless. Hire your friends/family because they would be loyal, right? Wrong. What happens if they don’t perform, and you have to fire them? Things can get messy fast, and it could ruin your friendship or relationship. Avoid hiring friends unless you set very clear expectations from the beginning so there are no hard feelings if you have to fire them. Don’t hire people you can’t fire!

Giving Away Control for Capital:

alot of first-time entrepreneurs will stop at nothing to get an investor to invest. This can often be dangerous if you have to give away a controlling interest in your company. If you are still in the idea phase, it might be better to continue bootstrapping the business and get some traction before you look for an investor.

Trying to Please Everyone:

a new business, it is always good to develop a great relationship with people (Customers, Clients and Staff). But you may soon realize that it is impossible to please everyone as everyone has an opinion or two about how you should run your business. You should work hard at continuously improving

yourself and also knowing your target market but don’t be afraid to stand your ground especially when it has to do with your values or principles.

Pouring All Your Money into Branding or Fancy Buildings:

is one of the most commonly overlooked mistakes for many first time entrepreneurs. Ensure you allocate and scale your marketing and rent costs effectively and commensurate with your business size, type, and balance sheet. There are always cost effective options to promote your business and you don’t want to put yourself under the pressure of trying to pay for rent when your business is not generating that much yet. The best way to avoid these mistakes is to ask questions from within your network or get mentored by others who are already successful in business or better still involve a professional to help you make informed decisions. However, if you have already made one or more of these mistakes, you can always learn from them and make corrective actions to move your business forward.

At VTB Consulting we offer specialized Business Advisory and Customized Consulting Solutions to Entrepreneurs, SMEs, Not for Profit Organizations and Multinational Companies. Our services range from but are not limited to Feasibility Studies, Business Plan Development, Recruitment/Outsourcing and Human Capacity Development.

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