Industry is the fuel that drives a nation, that means entrepreneurs are the driving force of any economy that must thrive. As an entrepreneur, there are a lot of booby traps along the way. For first-timers, the road is rough and there is limited knowledge. This week on WhatsApp conversations, we will be talking about the mistakes that first-time entrepreneurs make. Excerpt;
An entrepreneur is an individual who creates a new business, bearing most of the risks and enjoying most of the rewards. Entrepreneurs do use their skills and initiative to bring new ideas to the market. But the mere fact that they are entrepreneurs doesn’t mean that they are superhumans and can’t make mistakes.
Some of the mistakes that first-time entrepreneurs usually make are the following:
Decision making: First-time entrepreneurs do have a harder time making decisions as they often equate small decisions with how it would impact the company and its budget. They (entrepreneurs) think that they don’t have competitors, they normally think that they are the only ones in that line of business. At times, they don’t normally set an attainable goal, they do pick the wrong co-founder and finally, they don’t normally understand the skills needed to be the “Chief Executive Officer.”
As a young entrepreneur, a first-timer, I was used to hiring employees based on salary requirements rather than talent or experience. When funds are tight, foregoing top talents can help cut costs. But those short-term savings could haunt you down the road. Talented people know their value. Sure, some may be willing to take a small pay cut to join your team, but they’re not going to work for peanuts.
Using cost as the primary driver for hiring decisions is one of the biggest mistakes I made at my start-up. Despite being advised against this approach, I went with my (incorrect) instincts to hire unproven and inexperienced employees. I thought I was being smart. I believed I could train these employees to make up for their lack of experience. I got what I paid for poor execution, with output lacking in both quality and quantity. A better approach? Hire for fit.
Waiting to launch the perfect or complete product. There is no complete product anywhere. All you have to do is launch, go to the market, and learn as you go.
Your product will never be perfect. The longer you wait to launch, the more you will start to get obsessed over details that ultimately won’t matter to the user. Build something quickly, get the early model out and start testing. Otherwise, you risk sinking significant time, energy, and financial resources in a product that is not aligned with consumer needs.
One of the mistakes first-time entrepreneurs make is underestimating the work they want to do. Because of the economic situation. We have in Nigeria, many people go into business just to make ends meet. They are broke and therefore, they go into business. Businesses birthed from the idea of just surviving do not work, they don’t thrive. Most times, they underrate what they are trying to do. They start businesses because they are broke, they start businesses because they are bored, or start a business because they are under pressure; they feel everybody is doing something and they should too. Don’t start your business as a joke; you should have a business plan, it might not be detailed or big but it works.
Another mistake is trying to have everything perfect before the launch date. You have to learn on the job as an entrepreneur. Don’t allow analysis paralysis to be the end of you, start after your research. An entrepreneur must be committed to the principle of learning and relearning. There are things you did not know so, you must learn new things. A business will teach you a lot of things, you must be open to learning. Starting your business does not mean you have arrived, if anything, it means you have just started.
Next week, let’s take a quick look at national development. What do you think Nigeria needs to do to get on the right track? To be part of the next edition, send your response to 08136601345 via WhatsApp or SMS.
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