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Monday, October 12, 2015

3 Common Mistakes Entrepreneurs Can Make

Working closely with entrepreneurs over the past 10 years, I have witnessed the failure of more businesses than I care to count. Let's face it, being an entrepreneur is challenging enough without becoming a victim of ourselves. However, the harsh reality is that many young business owners make common mistakes that could easily be avoided. Here are 3 potentially fatal mistakes that every entrepreneur should be aware of:

1) Trusting bad advice. When seeking direction in addressing a challenge, many business owners will accept guidance from a friend or colleague who may lack the expertise to give sound advice. I have had countless opportunities to refute bad advice by simply leading business owners through the facts, but often times it is too late and the negative outcome is already determined. When someone tells you that it is "really easy" to do this or that and it doesn't require any expert advice, I say "buyer beware." Realistically it is very uncommon for people to simply figure out how to do something on their own without making some mistakes along the way.

2) Failure to plan. When the entrepreneurial bug bites you it's hard not to pursue your idea full steam ahead, but the immediate effect can cause tunnel vision if you aren't careful. Don't get me wrong, those of you who have experienced the "infection of the entrepreneurial bug" know as well as I do that it is important to strike while the iron is hot. That said, you must first do your due diligence to ensure that your business model is viable. This should include in depth market research and preparing a strategic business plan. Is there some risk that the window will close if you don't move quickly? Sure there is, but I can guarantee that if you jump too quickly without a real plan then your business will absolutely fail.

3) Avoid the distractions. Almost every growing business will be come to a point where they are presented with an "opportunity" to provide a product or service that is outside of their actual product or service model. I am not suggesting that you automatically dismiss these opportunities without some evaluation because there are instances when a great revenue opening comes along that your business can really profit from, but more often than not these opportunities will pull you away from doing what you do best and your business will suffer.

I hope you find these tips helpful as you grow your business! As always, feel free to contact Safe Shield with questions or feedback