Connect with us

Start-up Advice

3 Business Misdemeanours That’ll Land You In Hot Water

Here are three of the biggest mistakes new business owners make.

Published

on

worried-business-man-business-mistakes

Starting your own business is the most exciting decision to make. Your mind is likely overwhelmed with all the things you need to consider and all the success you hope to have.

The path towards entrepreneurial success is marred with obstacles though, and sometimes you can feel very alone.

In the start-up phase you’ll find yourself working 20 hour days and sacrificing many a personal commitment in order to just keep on working. You see, the end result can be so worth it.

Managing to lift a business off the ground single-handedly is an incredible feat. Having the entity turn into a burgeoning business growing from strength to strength is the next level of success. And in order to achieve this you can be certain you will mess up along the way.

You’re bound to face obstacles and sometimes how you choose to overcome them will be wrong. At best you’ll have egg on your face, at worst you’ll call failure and give up. But most entrepreneurs make mistakes and land themselves in precarious situations that they have to navigate out of.

The fallout is often in the loss of money or investors and sometimes reputations come undone. But most times, entrepreneurs are small fry enough to make some mistakes and get up, dust off and try again.

But there are some business misdemeanours that can land you in such hot water you may struggle to recover. Usually these mistakes are born out of the business owner’s actual ignorance or misunderstanding of what is needed for success.

Related: 6 Costly Mistakes People Make When Starting a Business

Often times these mistakes have to do with the foundation needed to ensure a business keeps standing, even through turbulence.

These are mistakes you should steer clear of and it can be difficult to know about these heinous business blunders unless you educate yourself beforehand.

The onus is on the entrepreneur to learn about how to start a business the right way. Reading business blogs and books is a good way to find out what the possible entrepreneurial pitfalls are.

Here are three of the biggest mistakes new business owners make. 

1They remain a lone ranger

lone ranger

You’re about to become more self-absorbed than you have ever been. Because starting your own business will overwhelm you and it will be all you ever think of.

Your new business will take priority over everything else and while that might be necessary for it to launch, it cannot be how you continue. And yet, many entrepreneurs end up remaining a one-man-show for a long while after they’ve launched and sustained a successful business.

This is a surefire way of having your business stop growing or worse, fail altogether. You need to create a team who can handle various tasks and who you can delegate to. This will free up your time to focus on new business development, which is how you grow.

If you spend your days bogged down by admin tasks, you’re going to lose out on networking opportunities that push growth.

As a new business owner you should be aware of when you’re going to make you first hire and ensure you’re mentally prepared for this change. 

Related: Exporting Mistakes That Businesses Should Avoid

2Being money conscious to the point of stupidity

You need things when you start a business. You need to spend some money. Even if you’re going the bootstrapped route and you’re only willing to spend once there’s some money in the bank, once the cash is there you should invest in some business things you need.

For instance, not having business insurance leaves you open to risk. At worst, it leaves you open to risk that you cannot afford and will leave you financially sinking. Business insurance is important and the minute you have employees it becomes even more crucial to cover yourself.

Consider if someone happens to hurt themselves on your premises, you need insurance to cover the costs involved in sorting that issue out. What’s more, you should consider investing in business process automation products.

A fine example is accounting software. Doing your books every month might be manageable in the beginning but soon it will become an administrative task you might find less and less time to do. Also, automating administrative processes in your daily operation frees up your time to focus on developing and growing your business. 

3Delaying the hiring process and choosing wrong

You need to be able to recognise when it’s necessary to employ staff. For most entrepreneurs, this is a big and scary step. After all, who will love and nurture your business like you do? Well, actually there are many people out there who enjoy the start-up scene and get a kick out of working for a business that’s still a fledgling.

You can start small but by not hiring anyone you are only increasing your workload and your already growing stress levels. Finding the right staff to hire can also be difficult. The recruitment process is a long one and you will find that it may take months before you settle on a candidate you can see yourself working with on the daily.

Related: 5 Mistakes To Avoid When Building A Website For Your Business

You should also know where to look. You’ll be surprised at the amount of opportunity seekers you’ll find at networking events, corporate launches and the like. You should attend events with like-minded individuals.

The chances of there being a person who knows someone, who’ll be interested in either buying your product or working for your company, are great.

These three faux pas can end your business if you’re not aware of them and you don’t include them in your plan. Be wary of becoming too involved in your daily grind to notice when you need to up your game.

Some entrepreneurs are so caught up in managing their business day-to-day that they don’t give enough time to realising how much they’ve grown and how much they need in order to continue on a positive trajectory.

Megan only discovered her love for writing at the age of 28. Before that she spent her time in the theatre world and then in the magazine industry, where she realised the sweet reward that writing can deliver. After building up her portfolio Megan ventured into the digital realm to try her hand at the online game. Now she is the editor of The Cradle, an African entrepreneurial website that advises entrepreneurs and small business owners across the continent.

Advertisement
Comments

Start-up Advice

9 Quotes Every Entrepreneur Should Live By

Entrepreneurship takes great perseverance. Failure is common. In fact, it is expected. Over 75% of venture-backed start-ups fail.

Jennifer Keithson

Published

on

Prev1 of 11

michael-jordan-quote

Entrepreneurship takes great perseverance. Failure is common. In fact, it is expected. Over 75% of venture-backed start-ups fail.

There are great learning opportunities that present themselves when we fail, but we must be willing to continue on and try again in order to learn anything at all.

It can be quite an arduous task to strive for your own means, to create your own vision and to rally the support within yourself that starting and running your own business requires.

Thankfully, we’re not in it alone. The wisdom of others can greatly ameliorate the process learning from our missteps and hiccups.

Taking from sagacious investors, inventors and thinkers can help you pick yourself up and make something meaningful out of your quest to become a successful entrepreneur.

By studying the thought processes of other entrepreneurs, we can become more enriched and more aware of how to approach the challenges we face in business and in life.

Here are 9 quotes every entrepreneur should live by:

Prev1 of 11

Continue Reading

Start-up Advice

4 Tips To Secure Funding For Your Start-up

Here are 4 tips to help you secure funding for your start-up.

Ellie Martin

Published

on

business-funding

Entrepreneurs seek to create new and ingenious ideas. Successful business owners are adept at looking at things in new and interesting ways. Their creativity fuels everything they do. Blazing through the initial steps of opening your own start-up can seem like a breeze if you’re endowed with this creative mojo, but you still may find yourself stuck at the very last step of starting your business.

Finding funding is undoubtedly the most difficult part of starting a business, and securing it requires the most creativity of all. Still, you can only stretch your creativity so far. Luckily, there are a few ways you can improve your chances of getting the money you need, regardless of whether you decide to attract angel investors or venture capitalists, or if you decide to apply for small business loans and grants.

Here are 4 tips to help you secure funding for your start-up:

1. Seek alternative funding opportunities

Before taking out a massive bank loan, consider these other funding options:

The vast majority of entrepreneurs either use their own funds to start their business or borrow money from friends and family. According to Forbes, 90% of start-ups fail, with 25% of them failing within their first year of operation. Due to this rate of failure, if it really is impossible for you to attract investors or secure venture capital, it is still best to avoid putting up your own money. Before draining your personal savings account, look into other options, such as crowdfunding. Research small business grants as well, as these can help cover gaps in funding.

2. Write a top-of-the-line business plan

If you’re interested in attracting investors, you’ll need a solid business plan to lure them in. Regardless of how wonderful your idea is, you must communicate that idea effectively and back up your claims with thorough research. A tightly organised business plan has the ability to assure investors of your industry know-how. It will give them a picture of how you plan to run your business and how accurately you can assess and address risks.

An entrepreneur who has a business plan with a punchy executive summary and a precise market analysis in hand is more likely to attract shrewd investors than one with only an inspired (and undeveloped) idea.

Related: Business Plan Format Guide

3. Network, network, network

The absolute best way to find investors is to network. Generally, you never want to cold call investors with your business ideas. You want to build relationships naturally with those in your industry and in your local community. Talk with other business leaders and go to local events. Offer to help other entrepreneurs and established business owners. They may return the favour by introducing you to reliable angel investors or they may steer you to a venture capital firm that helped launch their start-up. They may even offer to pitch in some of their own cash, if they really take to your idea.

Moreover, to make sure your networking efforts are effective, try to pinpoint the audience who would be most interested in your idea.

“Network selectively,” advises American author and entrepreneur, Steve Pavlina. “Take the time to build a profile of your ideal customers, and target your networking activities to reach them. Speak to those who are already predisposed to want what you offer.”

Building connections is a vital part of creating your business. You’ll need to build new ones and strengthen existing ones, not only to get the funding you need in the short term, but also to survive as a business in the long term. 

4. Be prepared to compromise

Asking for funding for your startup means experiencing failure time and time again. Most of the investors you’ll encounter will pass on your idea. You shouldn’t take this to heart. It’s all a part of the process. You may find that in order to get the funding you need you’ll have to give a small piece of the business over to an angel investor.

Your first crowdfunding effort may fall short, and you might have to incorporate feedback from backers and implement changes to the core of your idea to crowdfund successfully the next go around. Don’t be too rigid with your vision. If you’re willing to make some slight changes, you could have a much better shot at landing a deal.

Securing funding for your start-up is no easy task, but it is certainly not one you have to do alone. Enlist the help of friends, family, and business associates to help you craft a superb business plan, meet other entrepreneurs and investors, and make revisions to your idea. Use their input to help you find other ways to fund your start-up, such as small business grants and crowdfunding. Use these 4 tips for securing funding for your start-up, continue researching your target market and refining the way you approach investors. Without a shadow of a doubt, if you’re willing to seek the advice of others and compromise when necessary, you’ll find a way to fund your start-up.

Continue Reading

Start-up Advice

7 Strategies For Development As An Entrepreneur

What follows are seven simplified yet key strategies to develop yourself as an entrepreneur which are a hybrid of the authors’ practical experience and what he has learnt from very successful entrepreneurs, coaches, and consultants over several years.

Dirk Coetsee

Published

on

business-strategies-for-entrepreneurs

What lies behind you and what lies in front of you are tiny matters compared to what lies inside of you” – Ralph Waldo Emmerson


I am an entrepreneur, I surround myself with business minded people, I am privileged enough to be mentored by great leaders. I speak to visionaries, I write about them and learn from them.

What follows are seven simplified yet key strategies to develop yourself as an entrepreneur which are a hybrid of the authors’ practical experience and what he has learnt from very successful entrepreneurs, coaches, and consultants over several years.

A wise man once told me, “A higher level of consciousness does not mean you are better than anybody else it just means your mind sees from a higher vantage point and therefore you see clearer than most.”

Related: 8 Entrepreneurs Share Their Best Advice For When The Going Gets Tough

Those wise words lead us into explaining the first strategy:

1. Expand your consciousness

Simply put your consciousness is nothing but what you are aware of. By increasing what you are aware of through experience, study and honest self-reflection and by inquiring deeply into every aspect of your business as to increase the quality of your awareness you are enhancing the quality of your experience as an entrepreneur.

The second strategy often referred to as priming or framing is commonly used by successful entrepreneurs:

2. Priming or framing

Priming or framing is creating a positive mindset first thing in the morning which builds mental strength and the capacity to face the day with a very good attitude. This is, in essence, done by creating a morning ritual or habit for yourself which can take whatever form you prefer, as long as the outcome of it is a stronger and better you.

Some prefer meditation and/or prayer. Others repeat affirmations in the mirror. Some take the quiet early morning hours as the opportune time to read and learn more about their craft. Exercise is another way to start your day in a positive way. See this exercise of Priming or framing as an investment earning compound interest over a period of time.

nelson-mandelaGoogle whom any famous leader or entrepreneurs’ mentor was and a name or many will most certainly pop up. Nelson Mandela’s’ mentor was Oliver Tambo, Warren Buffet holds the Dale Carnegie certificate proudly displayed on his office wall in high regard, the famous investor Ray Dalio is still coached by Tony Robbins.

Related: (Podcast) Being An Entrepreneur Is Painful

That explains why you should:

3. Be willing to be mentored

When I facilitate training or a coaching session a common objection to being mentored is: “ Yes , but I do not know anyone that could mentor me.”

Honestly, what a lame excuse. Most servant leaders understand that it is part of their duty to society by leaving other servant leaders and/or entrepreneurs behind and are actually just waiting for your call.

It is really as simple as that, make your list of people that you look up to and want to be mentored by and call them, sincerely tell them how much you admire them and ask for guidance and mentorship. To those whom knock sincerely a door will be opened.

There is no such thing as a “self-made man” as everyone has received some help in some shape or form along their journey of entrepreneurship.

It is much harder to give up on something that you really have worked hard for over a long period of time as opposed to something that you have approached with half-hearted intent and little effort.

Therefore:

4. Hard work compounded by smart work

Hard work is not only something that you should do to stay ahead of the competition but a necessity in order to build resilience.

When you have lost sight of your purpose and vision as an entrepreneur decision making becomes drastically harder, your morale might be affected negatively, and your bank balance might suffer as a consequence.

So:

5. Ensure that you have constancy of purpose and a clear Vision

A very effective way of priming and/or framing is to remind yourself of your purpose and vision every morning. Make your Vision and purpose visual by displaying it clearly at your office. An entrepreneur cannot talk regularly nor enthusiastically enough about his or her vision and purpose. When you have not wholeheartedly bought into a vision and purpose how can you expect your team to?

ian-fuhrThose whom embody servant leadership of which the founder of Sorbet, Ian Fuhr is a prime example know that unconditional giving as a principle not only builds character but empowers others so that we can not only grow as businesses but as people.

Related: 10 Young Entrepreneurs Under 30 Share Their Start-Up Secrets

That is the reason for:

6. Giving without expecting anything in return

When you give of yourself unconditionally you have a true servant heart and your clients will not only be loyal, but they will love you in general. Giving unconditionally feels good and receiving unconditionally places no burden on you and creates a wonderful and vibrant work atmosphere, generally speaking.

When you only take a stand on your principles and values during good times yet allow them to crumble in the face of challenging times “your house is divided and cannot stand”.  Your principles and values must become ingrained practises and not just frivolous words.

Taking the aforementioned into account:

7. Have non-negotiable principles and values that you live by

As an example, if when respect is a non-negotiable value that you live by you will refrain from losing emotional control and will be willing to walk away from a conversation where someone dis-respects you.

Continue Reading

Trending

FREE E-BOOK: How to Build an Entrepreneurial Mindset

Sign up now for Entrepreneur's Daily Newsletters to Download​​