Being an entrepreneur is a challenging and rewarding experience but it’s not without its pitfalls. Although a business idea may seem profitable it may not always be the case and in business as in life failure (along with success) is inevitable. Everyone makes mistakes but it doesn’t mean success won’t come your way eventually, here’s a quick look at the 4 most common mistakes entrepreneurs make:
- Overvaluing their product/company
Most businesses start off with funding in the way of a business loan or investors. Although there are many sources for investment, funding may be hard to come by if you’ve over valued your company. If you’ve ever watched the show Dragons Den you’ll find that many entrepreneurs do this,; not maliciously but because they believe so strongly in their product or idea that they fail to see it’s realistic value.
- Overly diversifying product offering
As a new business owner it’s easy to get caught up in expanding your product offering as your business grows. Though it’s good to provide a range of choices, overly diversifying business services or products can lead to dilution of your company’s mission and vision. It’s important to take a step back and look at why you started in the first place. In most cases a few key products will drive sales and increase business, instead of offering new products work on improving the ones that are profitable.
- Calling themselves “experts”
The term “expert” gets thrown around way too often in the business world. These days everyone’s an expert at something, or so they say. Some may argue that marketing yourself as an expert gives clients the impression that no one else can provide the same level of service. However labeling yourself as an expert can limit your ability to learn and grow as an entrepreneur. The key is never to be the smartest person in the room; this doesn’t mean downplay your knowledge but rather be open to increase your knowledge base.
4. Spending marketing dollars too early
Marketing is tricky as it can help increase and decrease sales. Many entrepreneurs end up spending too much money on marketing campaigns that have no goal or focus and thus do not result in profitable returns. Simply building brand awareness is not enough. In order to build awareness you must first build a brand, and this can only be achieved through clients and sales. Although it’s tempting to run ads or start accounts on all the latest social media channels first focus on building a clientele, without clients you have no brand.
Praveeni Perera is the CEO and co-founder of Professional Edge Consulting a corporate training company based in Ottawa offering training and coaching services to clients around the world. She can be reached via Website, Twitter, Facebook or her Blog.