Mistakes Startups Make
Let me just start over with a simple question- Have you made any costly mistakes while trying to start a business alone?
If not, then you are one of those lucky champs out there.
In the past 10-15 years, I have observed that solo entrepreneurs (Solopreneurs) make mistakes while transitioning from smart employees or freelancers to entrepreneurship.
The main supporting reason is the stubbornness to change.
And believe me, the larger your business will grow, the more strategic and less tactical you became.
I know the business world is cold, harsh and, if you’re not careful, can crush your dreams into pieces.
Yes, sometimes it’s scary if you think about the hardships of going solo that could bring you down.
That’s why I have spent countless hours and prepared a checklist for you to go through.
This will enlighten common mistakes first-timers make and how to avoid them.
So, let’s begin.
1. Financial Mistakes
I know managing your finances is the biggest concern for you as an entrepreneur.
There are two mindsets either “I’ll spend the bare minimum until I have some decent cash” or “You have to spend money to make money”
But both of these attitudes are extreme.
For instance, if you will overspend on the subscription software and not make full use of it, then it will leave you with those leaks in your cash bucket.
So, create a separate business account. Always build an emergency fund to support in difficult times.
Prepare a budget and spend wisely not mindlessly.
2. Lack of Contact with Industry Experts
“Learn from the mistakes of others. You can’t live long enough to make them yourself.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
Every solo entrepreneur should make direct contact with industry experts. This could be a challenge for most of you if you are working from home.
So, build constant networking, attend various industry-related events and webinars.
Talk to people whom you think can help your business at gatherings.
Even you can collect their contact information and get in touch later on.
Through this, you will be able to get advice about issues that are important for your business.
3. Jack of All Trades And Master of None
Most often solo entrepreneurs indulge themselves with the idea of bringing in new business so much that they list all types of offers & expertise that don’t fit their cup of tea.
This may initially bring them business, but won’t help in the long run if they are not able to keep their promises.
Then it can hamper their reputation.
And do think why would anybody want to work with an organization if it has bad reviews?
Therefore, instead of opening all gates, just focus on the things that you are best at.
You can also outsource or bring someone on board if they have enough expertise in your products or services.
4. Trademarks and Patents Mistakes
As a solo entrepreneur, you might be involved in many inventions and developments.
But make sure, you have immense knowledge to avoid mistakes on trademarks and patents.
For instance, you can protect your ownership of slogans, words, names, designs, images, and symbols.
You should contact your attorney that specializes in patents and trademarks.
You can make use of SignEasy for electronic signatures.
Patents will protect your rights to that exclusive invention for at least 20 years.
But for that, you need to file a patent according to the rules of the country where you plan to start a business.
I have seen many business startup owners regretting later on that someone stole their idea and copied it in some other country.
Don’t worry, just avoid this and start away with your business.
5. Less Selling and More Manufacturing
This is one of the most deadly mistakes that I have seen among entrepreneurs.
Just remember it’s important for you to develop a quality product and focus on the marketing side by side.
If you will focus less on marketing, then nobody will know that even your product exists.
Believe me, you won’t be able to know what all research and development are needed in your product with time unless it is tested by the public.
Plan and devote your time equally to develop well and get better results by market.
6. No Direct Competitors
With time, many solo entrepreneurs started to think that they do not have any direct competition.
But in reality, it is impossible if you don’t have any competition.
Unless you innovate or completely invent a unique product you will have to sail with your competitors.
The best way to win a game against them is to first jot them down in a list. Do your due diligence.
Then plan out how you can differentiate your business to beat them.
7. No Business Plan
Well, lacking a unique business plan will leave you unorganized, without a proper direction to guide, and eventually leading to failure.
This is a fatal flaw that can turn down and put an end to your dream of starting a business initially.
A business plan is a road-map to build a successful and long-lasting business.
It prevents you from wasting your time on implementing your ideas that won’t run in the long run.
So, build a business plan and identify your revenue source to test your ideas without wasting your time and income.
8. Tax Mistakes
Last but not the least, unless you are an expert in tax calculations you need to make sure that everything is in order and accounted for.
It’s very common to make tax mistakes and you can get caught easily if not complying with rules and regulations.
For instance, you can end up filing a wrong type of tax return eventually suffering financial loss.
Always use a tax calculator to gauge your withholding amounts and get an idea of how much money you need to pay.
You can also take help from a professional or an accountant for filing your taxes in a set time frame.
I know it’s easy for you to fall into the above-mentioned mistakes, especially if you are alone.
But don’t worry, it’s not too late to redefine your approach and change your business plans to make it more successful.
Plan and work on your research, ask for help from professionals, and learn from every other source that is trending in the market.
Lastly, do avoid your expenses that may affect your business expenditure later on if it is in a shaky situation.
By gaining insight into every aspect you can stand your business easily in the market and surprise others by becoming a successful solo entrepreneur.