What is the most common mistake entrepreneurs make that I should avoid?
I know there are a lot of entrepreneurs and business people here and I am sure many have great advice. I am fairly new to being a business owner and have already made a bunch of mistakes. I think the biggest challenge I have faced is trying to do too much and not staying focused on my core business. I would like to avoid making other mistakes and am curious what people have learned from some of the mistakes they have made or see others making. Thank you.
One way to stay focused on the right things is to prioritize on what is going to bring in the money. Many entrepreneurs make the mistake of spending all their time creating the best widget or service that they can - and not spending enough time on the sales and marketing end. Sales Drive the Business Bus. And - most entrepreneurs on in the business to make money. So - prioritize your time and effort on the tasks that actually make you money.
I am a business strategist and help entrepreneurs create effective systems, so that they can focus on the tasks that will bring in the money. I help them decide what tasks to delete, delay, diminish and delegate. Your situation is right up my alley.
I have owned and operated my own business since 1982 and without question, the biggest mistake I made was to allow an individual client to become more than 25% of my business. This mistake almost put me out of business (and it took me two years to recover.) Violate this principle and you will eventually pay dearly for it. But on a positive note, I do wish you the best of success in your venture!
Congratulation Zoe on taking the journey of running your own business. Don't make the mistake on trying to avoid mistakes. They are part of the journey, expect them and embrace them with lessons learn. Any new business will have its own challenge to overcome. Focus on your strength in producing an artistic environment and seek professional help for the rest. No list of mistakes to avoid will help because they will come anyway. But how you will build the business will make the different. Professional help for growth will help you for that. Such an investment is always rewarding if done well. It is always about the cost but the value you will see for your ROI.
Good luck for the new venture and read the book EMyth of Michael Gerber because you go further.
Mistake #1: Not having a plan that accounts for and monitors cashflow.
Mistake #2: Not understanding and resourcing the marketing & sales function.
Poor research in to the project they were going to sort, its viability and the true capital
outlay they need to set up; including rational over-drafts and more to the point interest
and charges being accrued on the over-draft. That is to say operating overheads as
office space, rent/rates (often overlooked) and services such as telephone, stationery
with other "invisibles"
Hi Zoe. Operating an art gallery is a dynamic adventure that indeed can be very rewarding. One big mistake other gallery owners have made is not focusing enough on sales revenue and building relationships. High cash flow covers a multiple of other shortcomings. Your success will be determined by how strong you build relationships with art collectors and artists you choose to represent.
1) They don't do the sales behaviors necessary to get the business/backing/network they imagine.
2) They do not invest in personal/team training and/or a panel of trusted professional advisors to fill knowledge gaps, instill accountability and create efficient, productive processes and procedures from the start.
3) They greatly underestimate how much freaking hard work is required to succeed.
The most common mistake I see is trying to do everything yourself to save money.
The second is not getting professional help before it is too late.
Most small business owners are really great when it comes to what they do. They can share their passion and excitement. But when it comes to other aspects of running a business, here is where the failures begin. This is especially true in marketing and financials. Do not wait until it is too late to be helped. Spending now will help you prevent spending a lot later or keep you from going out of business.
I think, you should avoid wrong partners/team members.
One of the biggest mistakes new entrepreneurs make is taking advice from those not qualified to give it. (family, friends, etc) Only take advice from those that have had success in the area you are focused on. Leave your "employee" thinking behind and develop your entrepreneurial mindset. Much success Zoe!
This is a wide-open question which cannot be readily answered without specific information. For example, is your business representative of a new product or service or in a field already including similar products and services? Have you put together a business plan? What are your marketing channels? Are you in need of funding? Are you working alone or do you have a business partner? What licenses, if any are needed at the federal, state, and/or local government level to conduct business? What is the best business entity under which to conduct business? Do you have documents in place to protect your interests if you have a business partner? If you are located in an area where there is a community college, I suggest looking into courses on business startups that may be offered. For example, here in Miami, Florida, Miami-Dade College offers such courses through its Continuing Education Dept. I teach a course on risk management for startups and growing businesses through that college. Do not beat up on yourself for making mistakes. Learn as much as you can from past failures and avail yourself of any learning opportunity. You may also want to join a professional group such as the National Association of Women Business Owners to interact with like-minded entrepreneurs. The SBA website also provides useful information for new businesses. It is not easy being an entrepreneur --- hang in there and best of luck.
I would say that the most common mistake is not planning and budgeting correctly. You need a crystal clear plan in place before you get going so you can be zeroed in and focused on exactly what will make you successful. I would also say that cutting your rates at the beginning disabling your ability to scale and grow correctly is also a very common (and super dangerous) mistake many people make. So definitely do your research on what you should charge for your services and position yourself in the middle with the goal to increase your rates over time, just don't be on the low end or you will be spinning your wheels. Best of luck!
One of the primary mistakes made by new business is having too much overhead. Running as lean as possible, avoiding unnecessary expenditures, will enable you to survive, regardless of what happens.