5 Mistakes to Avoid in the Early Days of Your Business
“It is necessary for us to learn from others’ mistakes. You will not live long enough to make them all yourself.” – Hyman George Rickover
Running a business is no easy feat. Mistakes, big and small, will happen along the way. If you’re starting a new business or are involved in the early days of a startup, here are five mantras to keep in mind.
1. Don’t rush into partnerships
Just because someone is your friend, long-time coworker or significant other, doesn’t qualify them as the perfect candidate for a business partner. The best partner is typically someone whose skills and approach are the polar opposite of yours. The first ensures that you are able to cover a lot more ground without additional employees. The second may create conflict, but it will force you both to defend your business instincts and weed out lesser ideas before you waste resources.
2. Don’t get discouraged
Running a business isn’t a goal, it’s a long, winding road. Enjoy the process! Unless your goal is to cash out, and you’ve got some built-in exit strategy, chances are you want a long-term entrepreneurial career. You will have ups and downs, possibly in the same week or even day. You will gain amazing clients and staff, and lose others for reasons fair and unfair. That’s all part of having a business. Instead of discouragement, focus on becoming more resilient and on learning how to handle stress productively.
3. Don’t forget why you started and your vision
Always remember why you started down this road in the first place, because it’s easy to get carried away and forget what it was you wanted from your own business. At times, temporary sacrifice may be truly necessary, but it pays to be conscious of when you’re in danger of permanently shelving the very thing you wanted most.
4. Don’t try to do everything yourself
Resist the urge to cover all the ground alone. Saving financial resources is important, but don’t let your large list of roles and responsibilities undermine your big goals.
5. Don’t stop evolving
Your product or service, your marketing plan, your target market – nothing is set in stone. No matter how fantastic your idea is, if it doesn’t solve a problem for your target market, it won’t be sustainable. Business owners need to be flexible and adapt their idea as they go along. Your industry will likely experience a shift, whether slight or monumental, at some point. You have a priceless advantage in ability to change course and adapt far quicker than a larger organisation. The best way to remain relevant is to keep your eyes open for changing tides, your mind open to new ideas and stay flexible.
What do you think?
Don’t be afraid of making mistakes because if you’re not failing, you’re probably not innovating. What mistakes have you made and learned from in running a business? I’m interested to explore how you dealt with these challenges. Comment your views below and join the conversation.
This article was written by Jelena Milutinovic on behalf of the Australian Institute of Business. All opinions are that of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of AIB. The following sources were used to compile this article: Entrepreneur and Randosity