10 Common Mistake of Entrepreneurship That Need to Avoid in 2023
Starting a business and running it successfully involves a great deal of risk. The courage to take this risk is part of entrepreneurship. However, courage and the willingness to take risks also include the fear of making mistakes. This fear is important and can help to avoid bad decisions. No entrepreneur is exempt from making mistakes. The mistakes of entrepreneurship belong in the development process of every company. Being successful is not in human genes, and unfortunately, it doesn't come out of the blue either. In addition to a good idea, corporate success requires a concept, a business plan, and a struggle to achieve goals.
Even the most seasoned entrepreneurs make mistakes. You can learn from mistakes. However, this does not mean every entrepreneur must gain experience from all their mistakes. While knowing about the mistakes of others and how to avoid them is not the sole guarantee of success for a company, it can help to get on the road to success faster or to stay on it.
The following ten examples show which mistakes can occur when founding and managing a company and how to avoid these mistakes.
1. A mistake of entrepreneurship: not setting achievable goals
The "brilliant idea" leads to the founding of the company. But the idea must also be implemented. To do this, it is first necessary to formulate realistic goals. A common mistake entrepreneurs make is either to define a vague goal or to aim for unrealistic and far too short-term goals. Targets require precise and realistic planning. Sufficient time must be allowed for implementation.
In addition to the objective based on facts and data, a clearly defined target group for a product or service must also be defined. If the target group is planned too diffusely or too large, marketing expenses can quickly get out of hand. How to avoid this mistake of entrepreneurship? By creating personas. Personas are customer models that represent groups of people characterized by certain characteristics and are compared to the goals of the company or the developed product. The basis for the development of such models can be customer surveys.
2. Learn about the competition and never underestimate the competitors.
Having the right idea is a good start to founding a company or strengthening your position in the market – but that alone is not enough. Unless the idea results in a completely new product or a previously unknown service, a competitor will always exist. A mistake in entrepreneurship is the belief that you have found a niche or can develop a product that will be significantly superior to the competition. Competitors are usually already available with comparable products. Therefore, it is essential to collect as much information about your industry as possible.
You need to position your product on the market with a good concept. The analysis of comparable offers and their manufacturers makes it possible to develop unique selling points and thus stand out from the competition.
However, sometimes a company also fails because the time for the product was not yet ripe. Collecting user feedback is an important strategy if short-term success does not materialize despite an industry analysis.
3. A business plan that doesn't work is threatening.
Studies show that well over half of entrepreneurs are specialists in their fields who need business training. Entrepreneurs' biggest mistakes are a need for business know-how and the resulting low profits. It would be best to have a business model and a business plan to earn money with an idea. Prices have to be calculated, variable and fixed costs in product creation have to be taken into account, employees have to be reimbursed, and taxes have to be paid.
Marketing and sales require time and a sufficiently large budget. The contract with a wholesaler does not close, and a newly opened online shop does not profit after a few weeks. The estimate of turnover must be based on facts and collected data. If the profit prospects are calculated higher, price increases quickly cause customer dissatisfaction.
Having a professional business plan is one of the mistakes in entrepreneurship that can be life-threatening. Creating a good plan often requires specialist knowledge and usually also external advice.
4. The company will only succeed with financial monitoring and control.
The business plan mentioned in the previous point forms the economic foundation for the company's success. However, the fatal mistakes of entrepreneurship are not keeping a constant eye on finances and neglecting control. The annual financial statements show the entrepreneur where his company stands from an economic point of view. It helps to assess which areas have worked effectively from a financial perspective and which areas have over-expenditure.
Businesses often fail because their financial needs are greater than what they anticipated. To keep full control over the running costs, well-functioning bookkeeping is required. Apart from the smallest companies, this is not only required by law but must also work efficiently. For larger companies, the implementation of controlling is recommended. This is used to record and analyze key business figures and business results. Saving potentials, sales forecasts, and opportunities for further product development result from these analyses. Controlling creates the basis for decision-making and gives management recommendations, thus making a decisive contribution to avoiding financial mistakes in entrepreneurship.
5. A deadly mistake in entrepreneurship is trying to do everything yourself.
One of the biggest mistakes of an idea generator is trying to do everything yourself. This particularly affects smaller companies and startups. Of course, there are some advantages at the beginning if you can largely put your idea into practice. In this way, you get to know many company areas better, which is also a positive experience for managers. Ultimately, however, the goal must be to replace oneself after a certain level of development. Larger projects require teamwork and the associated project management.
It may not be easy at first to delegate tasks and responsibilities. But that is expressly not one of the mistakes of entrepreneurship. Even if there may be a loss of knowledge and information initially, these can be overcome with the right strategies and communication tools. Wanting to develop a product alone creates the risk of overload, increases the error rate, and leads to failure. Teamwork, on the other hand, increases the chances of success.
6. The wrong composition of the team is a serious mistake in entrepreneurship.
There are two deadly mistakes, and they concern staff composition. If the financial resources are limited, employees with low salary requirements are preferred. It is not without reason that they make their demands so low. They usually must be sufficiently qualified and have already made many unsuccessful attempts to find work.
The second mistake in recruiting is hiring people you like instead of hiring people you need. Teams are often strengthened on the recommendation of acquaintances or applicants who present themselves as particularly likable in the job interview. It is correct when likable people get a job in the company, but only if they have the necessary qualifications and fit into the team structure. When putting together your team, finding the right balance between highly qualified employees and those with positive characteristics and behavior is important. If the requirements or the company continue to develop, employees sometimes no longer fit into the concept. In this case, an unpleasant personnel decision must be made to restructure the team. With a highly motivated team striving for success, the company can innovate.
7. Lack of spending on marketing and sales prevents product success.
It could be simple: A new and innovative idea is followed by several months of development with well-organized project management, leading to the finished product. This is presented to the consumers, and in a "magic way," there are so many willing buyers that all sales forecasts are met.
But that's not how it is. A mistake of entrepreneurship is the neglect of marketing and sales tasks, even during product development. Even before the project starts, it is necessary to find out whether the project meets the market's needs and what marketing measures are required to reach potential customers. Product development marketing helps better tailor the product to the customer's needs. Through contact with consumers, experience is gained regarding which features are well-received and which are not. Marketing in the product development phase helps to build buyers' personas. A suitable tool for early product marketing is the company website,
8. Putting product development ahead of customer needs harms the company.
When developing a product or offering a service, you must always prioritize customers' needs. Only with a customer-oriented mentality will a company be successful in the long term. A major mistake in entrepreneurship is not listening to your customers. Product ratings and feedback functions are often provided in sales. Integrating such functions in online shops or on the company's website is particularly easy. Only is this feedback also subjected to a systematic evaluation? Because only then do they help with the further development of the product and ensure success in customer loyalty.
Based on the analyzed data, the task is to pass on customer requests to product development. Modern customer relationship management systems (CRM) provide technical support for this process. The holistic, user-centered marketing strategy (customer journey) is decisive in sustainably improving customer trust in a company and its products. Well-prepared customer data and the transfer of knowledge to product development ultimately lead to regular customers and increased sales for the company.
9. A lack of focus and a missing mindset endanger the company's development.
Regarding product development and launch, managers and team members are usually highly motivated. They work hard and put their creativity into successfully implementing the project. If success sets in, there is a risk of losing focus. The employees set themselves up in a comfort zone. But standing still means going backward and is a serious mistake in entrepreneurship. Innovative teams and companies recognize immediately when the demand for their products or services decreases and act immediately. They launch their products or rely on new developments. But that requires the right mindset. This refers to the values, attitudes, and beliefs according to which a company acts. A change in mindset means adapting to changing circumstances and new advanced technologies. The corporate culture is evolving. Above all, younger employees and those newly integrated into a team promote ways of thinking that enable different perspectives on one's product strategy.
10. Wrong business partners harm the company's development.
In most cases, a company's expansion corresponds to the management's strategy and philosophy. High demand for their products promotes the expansion of business activities. However, it also comes with some risks. Solutions must be found as quickly as possible if the necessary infrastructure is not available or there is a lack of financial means for expansion. One can be the acquisition of new business partners or investors for the company. Capital expansion through investors or financially strong business partners is part of the usual strategy for company expansion in the modern economy.
However, a fatal mistake of entrepreneurship can be the wrong choice of the investor. Partners who have entrepreneurial experience and knowledge of the company's product portfolio are not competitive solutions in the long term. Caution is also required when investors demand too much influence and co-determination rights in company management. They are usually about risk-free protection of your capital. A good recipe for the involvement of partners is to select them according to their competence and to build a deep relationship of trust.
How can entrepreneurs avoid mistakes?
There are several measures that entrepreneurs can take to avoid mistakes. This includes:
Good preparation for founding a company with a business plan.
Product development coordinated with customer feedback.
Introduction of modern project management software.
Learning the soft skills for corporate management, such as structured thinking and delegating responsibility.
Adherence to specified working hours without major deviations, also for management
Team building measures to motivate employees
What is a common mistake that many entrepreneurs make?
A lack of change management is a common mistake made by many entrepreneurs. Successful managers, in particular, stick to tried-and-tested corporate management strategies and methods. This behavior means necessary technical and technological adjustments to economic trends should be noticed—the fear of losing vested rights blocks necessary changes and modernizations.
What is the #1 mistake startups can make?
The biggest mistake many startups make is overconfidence. To succeed as an entrepreneur, you need a good idea and a high degree of self-confidence. However, the ego must never turn into hubris. Acceptance of customer requests and good communication skills are sought-after characteristics of young entrepreneurs.
Is an error culture beneficial for companies?
A brief lack of concentration or ignorance leads to mistakes during work. Mistakes are human. Conflict-averse managers transfer the task to other employees after mistakes. A positive error culture, on the other hand, uses error information to improve future workflows. Checklists with work instructions that point out known errors improve the value-added process and motivate employees.