December 4, 2011

The 3 Common Mistakes Entrepreneurs Make… And How to Prevent Them

By Guest Blogger, Rob Jager

Entrepreneurs are a funny creature. It’s difficult to tell them their ideas won’t work because they believe in what they are doing and, quite honestly, they might be right! So, given that, let me share with you the few  mistakes I've found most entrepreneurs make and what steps can be taken to prevent those mistakes:

     1.  Planning Time. Many entrepreneurs have a great idea and then start doing it. They forget that it is critical to stop and plan how they’ll get it accomplished and what factors will make it successful or not successful. Planning should include things like who should be involved? How will I price this? How will I market this? What will this cost me and can I make money doing this? Who are my competitors? What options will the potential buyer consider in comparison to my idea/concept? If you’re an entrepreneur and have a new idea, before you do anything, answer the above questions in writing and refer to it often…then get started.

     2. Funding. Many entrepreneurs also underestimate the costs that are involved in running a business. Consider just the basics for costs and how quickly they add up: cost of goods, printing (basics like business cards, flyers, info sheets), website, networking, payroll (if others are involved), taxes, insurance, rent (if using an office or storefront), and many others. Ok, many will say, but I won’t spend money on any of that. You may not, but the need for marketing is the most important, so budget for that. Plan on a 1-year marketing budget and then double it. Do you have enough? 

     3. Trying to Do It All. It’s your idea and you want to control and own it. Agreed and there’s nothing wrong with that. The challenge to consider: Did Steve Jobs, or any other great leader with a new idea, do it by himself or herself? Absolutely not. Yet many entrepreneurs believe they must do it themselves. Here’s the challenge to you: surround yourself with able and like-minded people. They will help you get there. You may have to share in the profits, but you’ll go much further!  The key point is to insist on your expectations and wants. After all, it’s your idea!

I hope these ideas helped you realize a potential pitfall on your horizon so you can deal with and prevent it before it becomes too big an issue. Those who ignore these three things in the beginning will certainly deal with them later…only potentially at a higher cost.

Rob Jager is a business coach and consultant.  He started Hedgehog Consulting to help business owners achieve their goals and dreams in life. He conducts workshops, works with clients, and insists on instilling leadership skills into the owner’s routines.   For more information visit:

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