Every entrepreneur has a list of failures before their success stories as mistakes are inherent in life. It’s a normal phenomenon. However, common mistakes entrepreneurs are bound to happen and there are some that are avoidable if carefully thought about. Firstly, who is an entrepreneur?
An entrepreneur is generally defined as an individual who organizes or operates a business or business. In my own opinion, an entrepreneur is a person who starts a business or many firms, discovers and solves problems, and is creative, imaginative, opportunist, risk-taker, self-starter, and open-minded with the hopes of profiting from the venture.
Now that we know this, let’s take a run down through common mistakes entrepreneurs make in Nigeria.
Common Mistakes Most Entrepreneurs Make
1. Inadequate Capital
There’s something called “starters financial pit”. It is when an entrepreneur or startup desperately stays to search for funding 2 to 3 months after the launching of the startup.
It is highly advisable to get an extra stream of income or a stable one – it can include friends, investors, or even family members. Making sure the financial assistance coming from the source(s) is indeed stable and reliable is an important step that every entrepreneur should do. A minimum of 6 months financial buoyancy plan should be drawn and managed.
Starters’ financial pit is one that every entrepreneur wishes to never be in, but somehow end up in. You can avoid it by making adequate financial preparations.
2. A No-Plan Game
The popular phrase, “failure to plan is planning to fail” is indeed true. It is not only a common mistake every entrepreneur makes in Nigeria, but it is an impractical and unrealistic way to start a business or startup as an entrepreneur.
Plan is a detailed formulation of a program of action OR an orderly arrangement of parts of an overall design or objective.
Without a detailed formulation of a set of actions as an entrepreneur, it’s a failed start-up already before it even started.
This mistake of the no-plan game can be avoided by just having a plan. A well-thought plan. A plan includes Market research, content strategy, running ads, and many others.
3. Putting Together the Wrong Team
A team thrives and grows on teamwork. An ineffective and unproductive team fails at teamwork and fails at the business entirely. For the growth of any business, knowledgeable personnel that handle specific roles are highly needed.
Having a great team in place is equal to having an indispensable asset in your business. Find the right team and set business to sail.
4. Monetizing an Invaluable Business
I defined an entrepreneur as a person who discovers and solves problems. If you are not solving a problem, you are not an entrepreneur. A business is set to fail if it doesn’t have a target audience and targeted problems.
People put their money and trust in places that give value, something of relative importance to them. As an entrepreneur, if you do not have that, it’s a failed one right at the beginning, even more so monetizing an invaluable business. Value is offering a better solution to a problem than the existing products, providing a cost-effective product, and standing out, by bringing a unique approach to a business.
This is one common mistake every entrepreneur makes in Nigeria. It is bad enough that businesses are ventured into without the aim of providing value. It is worse because you just want to make a name and money by running a business on vibes and zero value. Think of business as a give-and-take situation. You give value and take their money.
5. Wrong Partnership
A business partner is meant to make the whole bulk of running a business simpler, and fun sometimes.
The problem will be if the partnership is one that doesn’t share the same views, visions, and plan for the business.
There will be disparity and in the long run, failure.
Getting a partner that shares the same views in any partnering entrepreneurship is key.
6. Not Improving Entrepreneurial Skills
An entrepreneur’s personal improvement is the improvement of the business. Don’t stay stagnant, make an effort to increase your standard and skills. You have most likely dodged a bullet if you take this step.
7. Poor Marketing
A business thrives on marketing. People become aware of what you do as an entrepreneur when you market it to them.
Sadly, this is one common mistake every entrepreneur makes. They focus on just one type of marketing strategy instead of being dynamic with it. Draw a marketing plan that targets every kind of customer.
8. Extravagant Office Set-Up
It’s no longer news that the world business is largely remote in this century and time. An extravagant office setup might be needless or not of topmost priority. If a workplace should be set up, it should be invested wisely.
9. Ignoring Customers’ Feedbacks
Feedbacks help to spot mistake and flaws in businesses. It also helps in understanding what the customers need and expect from you. In addition, it builds improvement and ignoring it will definitely wreck the business.
Also, poor customer’s service is a turn-off and a bad look for entrepreneurs
10. Obsessed With Competition
Focus on building the best possible business. If you are great, people will notice and opportunities will appear.Mark Cuban
There is no win in an obsessive competition. It only leaves you worrying and never evaluating your growth. Furthermore, having a competitive spirit has its perks but only when it is healthy. Focus your energy on building your startup and being good at the values you give.
Trial and error might be a failure but, don’t stay there. Try and try again. Make sure you are avoiding common mistakes entrepreneurs make too while at it.