5 common mistakes made by entrepreneurs and how to overcome them

Ankit Totla, Co-Founder & Director, InvestimonialAs varied as entrepreneur success stories are, there is usually one common factor in all of them – that’s of failure. Yes, that’s right. Most successful entrepreneurs have experienced failure, and while there’s nothing quite like the excitement of being an entrepreneur, it is one that doesn’t come without its risks. Becoming one of the successful entrepreneurs involves plenty of challenges which you’ll need identify and tackle effectively in order to establish a brand, adjust to match or exceed the competition and keep your business profitable is a challenge no matter how many years you’ve been in business. In my experience, I have seen most start-ups make the same kind of mistakes, in varying manners. Here's hoping this guides some budding entrepreneurs and helps them avoid the common mistakes

Lack of Vision
The vision is the foundation of your strategy plan and should accurately illustrate what you are aiming for. Defining objectives serves the purpose of keeping you on the right track, so that you are actively working towards achieving them. Your vision should evoke passion and make you want to work hard in order to attain your goals. Long term and short term goals will aid entrepreneurs to reach their objectives and to stay motivated.

Inefficient Capital Management
Lack of capital plagues many startup firms, and many close because of it. In addition to a lack of capital, inefficient cash flow compounds the problem. In the early days of business, when the cash flow is limited, the enterprise should avoid a lot of fixed costs and focus on avenues to increase the revenues. Periodic budgets should be made and analysis of the spends and the resulting movement in the revenue should be minutely monitored so that the spends are optimized in the best possible manner to achieve the enterprises goal.

However, along with these options an
entrepreneur should be careful about forecasting unrealistic sales figures,or cutting your operating budget too thin.

Lack of Guidance
You want to maintain the independence you always craved for while still receiving trustworthy, reliable advice. That’s why you need mentors: They can provide guidance, wisdom and direction so you don't become mired in self-doubt.

While mentoring can shower your business with benefits, it's important to choose the right voices to listen to. As an entrepreneur, you may try to use friends, family members and colleagues as mentors. But that won't work. Those people can’t empathize with many of your struggles - the way a mentor in your industry can.

It’s not easy being a new entrepreneur, and mistakes will be an inevitable part of the process. Just don’t let that stop you from reaching your goals!

Make sure you check these to find your fit. Passion, ability and breadth of experience are the most important qualities in a good mentor. Has this person faced challenges similar to yours? Has he or she been where you want to go? Is this person living a life you respect? Do you trust his or her insights? Choose your mentors wisely; make sure you feel comfortable enough with them to confide your fears and unconventional ideas. A great mentor will help you own your vision and accomplish your greatest dreams.

Weak Management
The knowledge and skills of a creative entrepreneur do not necessarily equate to being an effective manager. This dichotomy can surface in several ways. A product that is beautiful to its inventor may not be viewed that way by others, and if the entrepreneur cannot recognize that, no amount of management expertise is going to help. Even with a successful product, the founding entrepreneur may not relinquish the management reins to a person more adept at managing a startup. A weak manager is likely to hire a weak management team with the result being an inadequate business plan and poor operational performance.

Ineffective Marketing
While a small business startup may have a unique product with potentially significant market appeal, it must be able to advertise in a cost-effective manner. Without adequate market research, an entrepreneur will not know whether to introduce a new product or if the market is large enough to support his business. Without a clear understanding of the market, the entrepreneur may spend too much to acquire new customers. If the cost to acquire them is greater than the revenue the customer generates, then the firm cannot earn a profit.

If you can work your way past these major obstacles, you’ll be well on your way to establishing yourself as an entrepreneur. But, remember it’s not easy being a new entrepreneur, and mistakes will be an inevitable part of the process. Just don’t let that stop you from reaching your goals!