I’ve learned some lessons on my entrepreneurial journey… some of them from mistakes I made. I’ll share three common mistakes entrepreneurs make with you in this article and show you how to avoid them.
Unfortunately, I made all three of the mistakes mentioned here.
Let’s get to it.
Mistake #1 – Not checking the demand before you invest in creating the product or start offering the service.
They come up with an idea love and think everybody will love, they dive straight in…deploying all the resources that they have or can gather, invest wholly into birthing this wonderful baby and then finally they’re done.
They ship it to the market and try really hard to convince everyone else that this is the product they have been waiting for… the product that will change their lives.
They’re soon heartbroken.
They can’t understand how everyone else seem to be blinded to how much they need the product.
Many can’t take the pain that follows, they give up…they think they’re under a curse or they’re just not cut out for the entrepreneurial journey.
Wrong on both counts…:-(
Well, I used to be in that shoe.
I had identified a problem. I found the solution – the people will not only love me for it…
Well, so I thought.
It never happened.
I locked myself in for a period of about 30 days researching and cracking out quality content.
Guess how many copies I sold…
Zero! Nada! Not a single one.
All the Facebook likes and comments didn’t amount to any significant change in my bank account.
I was heart broken.
I wanted to just give up. How could I work so hard to solve a problem and the people don’t appreciate my efforts??
I ended up getting an encouragement order from my mentor and giving out the book for free.
I learnt the hard way that the market has the final say when it comes to making sales…Find out whether there is a demand for a product before creating it.
Find out what the people want to buy and give them that.
This will make your work easier. If the people already want what you’re offering and are willing to pay for it, you’ll have less trouble trying to convince them to buy.
If you can’t do that, create a prototype…a lite version and use that to guage the demand.
Mistake #2 – Not separating business money from personal income.
Another common mistake many entrepreneurs make is the failure to separate business income from personal income.
Most times, because entrepreneurs are passionate about their business, they tend to pour in everything they have into building the business – even their livelihood. So it becomes quite difficult for them to separate business income from personal income. I mean…I gave this business my all… why shouldn’t it do the same for me?
I once had a bulk SMS website.
I had set it up during my undergraduate days… I didn’t have many clients but the few clients I had always purchased large units.
It was making profit.
Then… I lost sight that it was a business.
I began to do charity… I’d allocate units to some people who called without them making payment. I’d send SMS for some people without keeping the money aside so that the business can have sufficient capital to run on.
Soon I was out of SMS units. I didn’t have the cash to continue. I had used the money generated in the business for personal purposes and charity.
The business did not continue.
Don’t make the same mistake.
Keep business money separate from your personal money and have it recorded.
Pay yourself a percentage of the profit (I don’t like fixed income, I prefer percentage) and do all your philanthropic activities from your cut.
Mistake #3 – Failure to Take Care of Your Business
Starting your own business will change your life. A business will take more from you at the beginning than it will give to you.
I got a piece of land for farming as an undergraduate in the university – it was my second year. I prepared the land for planting and had it cultivated.
I planted the crops myself and enjoyed watching it grow. I was already fantasizing about the harvest and how much profit I’d make from the farm.
I went there a few times during the weekends when I had the time and at other times I didn’t go there for weeks.
I noticed weeds had started to grow on the piece of land so I knew it was time to weed.
I didn’t have the time… school was hectic you know so I kinda had a good excuse.
Guess what happened?
I visited it after abandoning it for a period of time and there was barely any trace of having previously cultivated the piece of land – cattle had eaten up everything!
Every single crop on that land.
Well, I learned my lesson.
The same applies in every kind of business… it will require constant attention and nurturing – especially at the initial stages.
Take care of your business.
Many people who leave the world of paid employment to start their own business soon realize that your business will require more time from you than a paid employment at the initial stages.
Pay attention to it and find creative ways to nurture it.
Get help if you need to. Your business depends on it.
So there you have it – three mistakes I made on my entrepreneurial journey and how you can avoid them.
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Feel free to share your own mistakes with me and some of the lessons you learned in the comments section as well.
God Bless You
The Blessed One
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