Entrepreneurs are often one-man shows. If their idea fails, they have only themselves to blame – and that can quite often be their downfall, as the lack of support from a team and the increased pressure to achieve can really play havoc with their drive and focus in the early stages of developing their business. These are 10 ways that you as an entrepreneur can kill your success before it happens.
Deadly Sins Of Highly Ineffective Entrepreneurs
Many entrepreneurs give everything they have to their burning idea. In fact, as an entrepreneur you have to have that level of commitment to succeed. But you also need to sleep and take time to recharge your mental batteries, otherwise you’ll burnout.
Entrepreneurs generally started their venture because they had a glorious vision. Now, to make that vision a reality, they have to do lots and lots of boring grunt-work, the very things that they thought having their own business would free them from. Successful entrepreneurs give every message, phone call, piece of paperwork, and project plan the same dedication that they gave to their vision – but you would be surprised how many entrepreneurs give up before they’ve even really started.
3. Failing To Follow-Through
If you promise to send someone a presentation or the answer to a question that was raised in a meeting, get it out to them as soon as you can after the meeting is done. These are the people who will advance your idea, whether by investing in your company, producing your product, or purchasing your product and services. If you don’t follow up, the next person they talk to might be the one they invest in or purchase products and services from.
If you already have one person agreeing to support your endeavour, and need to find another, don’t let the first one go. Keep that person engaged with your efforts, so that when you get the second person to commit to your vision, the first is just as committed.
5. Ignoring Add-Ons
Your initial idea as an entrepreneur may be brilliant, but there is always another market it can be applied to, or a similar product that it can be expanded to, which will increase your eventual profitability for very little additional cost. You may even find one of these add-ons makes a better first product so don’t be egotistical with your concept and assume that you have got it 100% perfect first time. Always be prepared to improve and change to stay on top.
It doesn’t take much effort to type up your notes after a conference call and file them in an orderly fashion, or to regularly backup your computer. Ineffective entrepreneurs let these simple tasks build up until they are daunting, and then waste huge amounts of time trying to find or recreate something important.
7. Failing To Understand Strengths & Weaknesses
We are all different, and what comes easily for one is a struggle for another. To be an effective entrepreneur, you need to focus your time and attention on what you – personally – do best, and outsource other work or get a partner who can do the things at which you do not excel.
8. Failing To Plan
There are many different methods of organising your day and prioritising your tasks. It doesn’t matter which you use, only that you use one of them. Otherwise, when the day is done, you’ll find that you haven’t accomplished all of the things you needed to.
9. Lack Of Commitment
An effective entrepreneur cannot launch multiple new business ventures at the same time. You need to be able to devote your time and energy to a single new venture. You can have many potential projects, but as soon as one starts to take off, you must devote yourselves to giving that one every chance of success.
Entrepreneurs are dreamers. They all saw a situation or product that didn’t exist, and asked, “Why not?” However, to be an effective entrepreneur, you must stick with a single dream and see it through first, rather than being distracted by other ideas. Other ideas can be developed at a later stage. An entrepreneur will always have more ideas.
As a serial entrepreneur, I myself have fallen foul of a number of these sins throughout my career and the best advice I can give any budding business professional who wants to start their own company is to be open to your mistakes, accept that they will happen but know that you can overcome them and that you can make a success of your ideas if you have the drive and determination to see them through.
Any more deadly sins you’re aware of? Add to the list by commenting below.