- Choosing the right partner – Choosing a business partner seems oh-so-easy! ‘Oh, he is a very good friend of mine; we have been friends for like ages. We love each other - what could possibly go wrong?’ Answer: Everything.
Remember: You are out there to do business and being good friends is not the only criteria that you should be looking at while going into a business partnership. Try and choose a partner who possesses skills that complements yours, so that you both can support each other in the longer run. There are lot of other things that one should consider before choosing a partner, which we’ll discuss in a different post. Let’s consider some more mistakes one can make as an entrepreneur.
- Over-reliance on gut – Gut is good but market research is better. A lot of entrepreneurs tend to rely on their gut while jumping into the market but having the statistics on your side would really not hurt you, and we are saying that from our personal experience.
- Working in bad condition – I spent my last to last summer in Delhi, inside the office, surrounded by large glass windows without any air conditioner. Why? Well, I thought let’s bootstrap, it’s cool! Every successful entrepreneur did it at some point in his life, so why not me? But after sitting in the hot box for a couple of days I realized that all I could think about was the sun and the heat. Most of my time was spent pulling in as much air to my lungs as possible, so that I could at least breathe. Believe me, if your surroundings bother you too much, your productivity will stoop down, and you will not be able to give your best to your business. Fellows, you better be comfortable in your workplace so your entire concentration stays on your work and you can give your best.
- Setting really high Expectations – It could be disastrous to set really high expectations from yourself. Why? Because, the higher your expectations fly, the harder your spirit falls when the expectations are not met. In the words of Seth Godin: “Low expectations are often a self-fulfilling prophecy and high expectations eventually lead to disappointment.”
- It’s hard to do it all alone – When it comes to having a cofounder there are two schools of thought – A, entrepreneurs who would suggest not having a cofounder and B, who would insist you have one. We strongly recommend you have a cofounder on board. Entrepreneurship could be a lonely affair and it’s hard to do everything yourself.
- Falling in love with your idea – One of the biggest mistakes that a lot of entrepreneurs commonly commit is falling in love with their idea. As an entrepreneur, our job is not to fall in love with the idea but to make sure that our target audience falls in love with our product/service. And how do we do that? Well, by taking actions based on practical reasoning rather the decisions tainted by your love for the idea.
Bottom line: Decisions based on just emotions could go wrong because love has the power to make you blind.
- Legal Problems can be solved later on – This is a mistake that I also committed, thinking legalities are not important. My belief led to a situation where I could not open a bank account, could not setup a payment gateway on my website and had a real hard time in accepting the payments from my clients based in US and UK (PayPal had blocked my account so I could not use that either). Please do not hesitate in hiring a competent lawyer. Taking care of the legal issues from the very first day is a necessity and not an option.
- Making what you love rather than what your customers want – Give your customers what they want and not what you want. Listening to the voice of the customer is very important especially during the product development phase. Understanding what your customers want should be the company’s number one priority.
- Listening to everyone’s advice – Listening to everyone’s advice could be dangerous. There would be people who would not know a darn thing about entrepreneurship or your business but would be willing to be the first one to offer you their advice. If you listen to everyone, you can land yourself into trouble. So you better make a list of people in your head whom you consider wise and eligible to offer you advice.
P.S – Completely avoid the words of a person who sends out negative vibes or keeps demotivating you.
- Idea Validation – An idea that has not been validated at the very first stage can end up costing you a great amount of money, time, and frustration. So it’s always advisable to validate your business idea first, before putting everything on stake and venturing into an unexplored territory. There are lots of great articles on the net that help you validate your idea in absolutely no time. My personal favourite is a validation cheat sheet by Noah Kagan, Founder at App Sumo. We would highly recommend you to download it in case you are planning to validate your idea. Here is the link: http://www.appsumo.com/validation-cheat-sheet/
Did we miss something important? Feel free to suggest it by commenting below.