Becoming an entrepreneur is difficult. Every step of the way comes with significant road blocks and another avenue for failure.
Devising a business plan is grueling and securing funding is even more demanding. It’s no surprise that nine out of ten startups fail.
That’s an intimidating failure rate that turns away many potential entrepreneurs.
If you’re still reading, you’re probably well aware of these potential pitfalls, or you’re supremely confident in your business plan.
But if you’re ready to overcome the odds and become the next Zuckerberg, you’ll need some help. Check out our ten lessons every entrepreneur should know to get started.
Be Wary Of Experts
“Experts” are people who have experienced a high level of success within their particular niche. However, no two situations are exactly alike. An expert’s opinion might not apply to your business plan.
It’s also important to remember you’re not an expert either. Overconfidence always leads to rash decisions.
Don’t Get Desperate
Throwing money at a problem often seems like the best solution. However, it’s not realistic to spend extra money when you’re already pandering to investors.
This same sentiment applies when taking money from people. Don’t take a bad offer because you’re desperate. Pledging 50 percent ownership in return for capital is not smart.
Time Is Money
Many entrepreneurs become fixated on perfection. Nothing is perfect, and every second you waste grasping at perfection is a second spent not building your company.
Spread your time equally among your businesses’ various problems. Focus on establishing your business before chasing perfection.
We’re already established that entrepreneurs fail, a lot. Take this failure and use it to your advantage. Learning from mistakes is the sign of a quality entrepreneur.
If your business goes under, try again with a different plan, or develop a different product. Just make sure to never make the same mistake twice.
Networking Is Key
Networking is important in any field, and entrepreneurship is no different. Friends and business associates can unlock the door to new investment opportunities, ideas, and advice.
Becoming an isolated entrepreneur severely limits your opportunities.
Social media and the rise of free information has endeared consumers to transparent, authentic brands.
A 2013 study by the Boston Consulting Group found that authenticity was a main factor in attracting consumers. For millennial consumers, it was the second most important factor in brand loyalty.
Position your company from its earliest stages as true to itself. Make connections with your potential consumer base and express to them positive values.
The Customer Isn’t Always Right
The early stages of your business are all about growth. Yes, you’ll want to cater to your markets, but over indulging the customer is actually detrimental.
Ask yourself what’s expected and what’s going above normal customer service standards. Do you need to offer free phone support for a year? Who’s even answering the phone calls? If your idea seems too grandiose, it probably is.
Never fear taking risks and trying new ideas. Truly successful businesses are always inventing new, more efficient ways to solve problems.
Remember, failure is an excellent way to learn.
No, You Don’t Have the Worst Luck Ever
Entrepreneurs frequently run across hard times. Sometimes luck works in your favor, and sometimes you couldn’t buy a break. This is normal.
Restrain from blaming everything on bad luck. Yes, you might get unlucky, but so does every other entrepreneur. Focus on what you can control and take your luck as it comes.
Don’t Sell Your Soul For The Job
Entrepreneurs are expected to put their blood, sweat, and tears into their business. However, this doesn’t mean to keep building a business that you hate.
Overcoming the odds is nearly impossible if you’re not 100 percent invested into your startup.
Entrepreneurship is a difficult career. Follow these 10 lessons every entrepreneur should know to make your life a little bit easier.