7 Mistakes Entrepreneurs Make

It is Global Entrepreneurship Week and we will be addressing several topics around entrepreneurship. In today's mailer, Brian Evans of Inc.com provides us with 7 mistakes often made by entrepreneurs.

1. Pretending You Know Everything:  There’s nothing wrong with admitting that you are a first-time entrepreneur. In fact, the first mistake that first-time entrepreneurs make is pretending to know everything. When you need help, ask for it. Chances are someone in your network has some answers for you.

2. Starting Businesses That You Don’t Know: One of the smartest decisions you can make as a first-time entrepreneur is investing your time in the right business. Don’t start your first business in a highly competitive field that you don’t know well.

3. Getting Locked Into a Bad Idea: Your business may sound nice as an idea but unless there is data to prove this, you should test it first. This day in age there are endless platforms available to research competitors and market needs. Think Amazon reviews, Quora, Reddit, customer complaint boards, etc.
4. Hiring Your Friends: It might seem tempting. Hire your friends because they are loyal, right? Wrong. What happens if they don’t perform, and you have to fire them? Things can get messy fast, and it could ruin your friendship. Avoid hiring friends unless you set very clear expectations from the beginning so there are no hard feelings if you have to fire them.

5. Giving Away Control for Capital: A lot of first-time entrepreneurs will stop at nothing to get an investor to invest. This can often be dangerous if you have to give away a controlling interest in your company. If you are still in the idea phase, it might be better to continue bootstrapping the business and get some traction before you look for an investor.

6. Listening to Everyone: As you get going with your startup, it will be tempting to listen to everyone. Everyone has an opinion. But the reality is, not everyone has a qualified opinion. You want qualified opinions.

7. Pouring All Your Money into Branding: This is one of the most commonly overlooked aspects for many first time entrepreneurs. Ensure you allocate and scale your marketing costs effectively and commensurate with your business size, type and balance sheet.

The best way to avoid these mistakes is to ask questions, network, get mentored and to carry out research. However, if you have already made one or more of these mistakes, you can always take your learnings from them and correct those steps going forward.